We know from our previous studies that El means God. This repeat of El here is like saying as high as you think God is, only higher. At least that’s how my little simple mind describes it. God that is higher than anything and/or anyone else. The Most High God is who we are talking about. In everything we do and study it should point to the Most High God.
We first see this name of God used in Genesis chapter 14. Remember Abram, Abraham only before God changed his name to Abraham. Abram had just gone to war with Chedorlaomer and rescued his nephew Lot and defeated Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him. As he returned he met up with the king of Sodom and the king of Salem, Melchizedek.
“After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was the priest of God Most High.) Genesis 14:17-18
Melchizedek is unusual for many reasons, one being here it points out he was a king and a priest. The name Melchizedek means “King of Righteousness”. Many times in the Bible, names of people point them out to be who they really are. You can identify what kind of person, what their values were just by their name. Melchizedek was one of the good guys. Also in Hebrews it gives us a further explanation of who Melchizedek was.
“For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham, returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.” Hebrews 7:1-3
This guy Melchizedek, had no beginning of days nor end of life, in other words he wasn’t born and he didn’t die. His priesthood stands forever and ever. His priesthood is forever. I know this is stuff I can’t understand, so I am not really sure how to explain it, except this way. No matter how high you think of God, He is even greater and Melchizedek’s priesthood is of the God Most High, El Elyon points to that. Melchizedek’s purpose was to rule and to reign and point to God. As I read commentary on him it said that some scholars try to make him a pre-incarnate Jesus, others try to make him Shem, Noah’s son, or Job, or an angel. One thing we know for sure is we don’t really know where he came from or exactly who he was but we do know that his name and his very presence pointed to God. And when he encountered Abram he blessed him.
“And he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’ And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Genesis 14:19-20
It was almost like Melchizedek and Abram were going to try to outdo each other giving gifts in the name of God Most High! This passage goes on to point out that the king of Sodom who was also present at this encounter was almost standing by jealous of what was taking place between Abram and Melchizedek. He was an outsider looking in.
The way Abram and Melchizedek wanted to bless each other could be a lesson for all believers. Melchizedek gave Abram a blessing of the Most High God. Abram in turn blessed Melchizedek with a tithe from the plunder he had received in the battle that he had won because of the God Most High. Think of how much better our churches and communities could be if we were trying to outdo each other’s blessings in God’s name. Unfortunately, our human nature gets the best of us sometime and we let jealousy creep in and get upset because one person “seems” exalted above the other. But if our goal was always to bless each other and to build each other up and to give in the name of the Most High God. Well, I think then the blessing our churches could be to our communities would be the light that we were meant to shine in our world, don’t you?
So today, let’s see if we can bless one another in the name of the Most High God, our El Elyon!