“Consider then how great this Melchizedek was. Even Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, recognized this by giving him a tenth of what he had taken in battle. Now the law of Moses required that the priests, who are descendants of Levi, must collect a tithe from the rest of the people of Israel, who are also descendants of Abraham. But Melchizedek, who was not a descendant of Levi, collected a tenth from Abraham. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God. And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed.” Hebrews 7:4-7
No one would dispute the greatness of Abraham. Throughout the entire Scriptures he is mentioned, his covenant with God is referred to and his faith is talked about. He was the only Old Testament patriarch that was called a friend of God. We can learn a lot from Abraham. His faith paved the way for righteousness for all who believe.
As Abraham returned from redeeming Lot from captivity, Melchizedek went out to meet him. As great as Abraham was, he still recognized the greater one and paid due respect. As Melchizedek blessed him, Abraham gave him one tenth of the choicest portions of the spoils. He responded appropriately to Melchizedek’s position and greatness.
Abraham was a great man, which is why it is important for us to pay attention to what happened between himself and Melchizedek. He gave him a tenth of everything. Now the law, which was introduced 430 years later described the tithe. The tithe was brought to God and then dispersed to the priests. The priests were of the line of Levi, who came from Abraham. Melchizedek was before this, without family ties without record of beginning or ending. So, the gift Abraham gave was not out of obligation to the Law, it was a response to the greatness of Melchizedek.
We can look at the priesthood of Melchizedek to gain insight into Jesus as he was the pattern of that which was to come. If Melchizedek was great, then Jesus is awesome. And God has given us this precious gift to guarantee our intercession before him. What less can we give in return to this blessing than a life fully devoted to our savior and faithful High Priest?