Some passages are easier to ponder than others and readily lend themselves to application. This is not one of those chapters. Hebrews 7 focuses on a fairly obscure character from the Older Testament named Melchizedek. He is only mentioned in a few verses in Genesis 14 and Psalm 110. But he is hugely important in Hebrews as the author makes his point that Jesus is our great High Priest and so much more excellent than the priests of the Older Testament.
In today’s brick I want to focus on two points of application that emerged from the text as I pondered it this week. I will put them in the form of question and answer.
1) Why is the practice of tithing (or giving generously as the Newer Testament calls it) so important?
There are two answers to this question. Hebrews 7:2 tells us that “…and to (Melchizedek) Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything.” (see also Genesis 14:20-24). The first answer is this: Tithing is a way to remind us that God is the owner of EVERYTHING and that we are merely stewards of what He has entrusted to us. It is exceptionally easy for us to take pride in all our possessions and equally as easy for our possessions to begin to possess us. Tithing is a way that we humble ourselves before God and acknowledge that it ALL belongs to Him. And it is way for us to express our gratitude for everything that He allows us to steward.
The second answer goes like this: Tithing is a way that the Lord tests us to see if we are GOOD stewards and a barometer as to whether we can faithfully steward MORE. It was immediately after Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe in Genesis 14 that the Lord made a promise to him about having a child in his old age (Genesis 15:1-6). A child that would become the father of many nations whose number would be like the stars in the sky. It was because Abraham was faithful in the little things that God entrusted with greater things. And so it is with us.
2) What kind of prayers do you suppose Jesus is praying for you?
We read in Hebrews 7:25 that Jesus is “able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” This verse got me thinking. What do Jesus’ prayers for me sound like? I imagine that they sound very different than the prayers that I pray for myself. I imagine that they have less to do with my comfort and safety and health and money and more to do with my holiness and obedience and joy and nearness to God and protection from the evil one. John 17, I have no doubt, gives us some good clues as to what His prayers sound like. And interestingly, do you know what that prayer of His is called? The High Priestly Prayer!
So if you want to know how Jesus is praying for you then read John 17. And if you want to know how to model your prayers for others after Jesus’ prayers then read John 17.
May this brick spur you to think about what your practice of tithing reveals about you and to encourage your soul as you hear how Jesus is interceding for you.