Updated: May 5
This post is part of a series. Read the previous post here: https://tinyurl.com/v636q4z
READ HEBREWS CHAPTER 7 HERE: https://tinyurl.com/vkbjj4m
LISTEN TO HEBREWS CHAPTER 7 HERE: https://tinyurl.com/v64w4tk
Hebrews Chapter 7: Melchizedek, Tithe & a Better Covenant
Hebrews chapter 7 is very intriguing! I am so curious about what you might have thought as you read it. There were some new things here that I never heard of much before. One of the things that I was unfamiliar with, was this character, Melchizedek.
The very first verses of this chapter state that Melchizedek was a king during the lifetime of Abraham. He also served as a priest. This mentioning of Abraham is important because the people in this time period held Abraham in high regard right alongside Moses. The author of Hebrews describes the value and quality of Melchizedek's character by pointing out that the "Great" Abraham himself gave Melchizedek 10% of his profit from battles. This giving gesture was a symbol of Abraham's respect for this king and was also likely because he was not just a king but a priest (someone who would collect a tithe from others). The author is not only telling readers a story from the past, but he is also connecting it with the future. He is alluding to the fact that even after Jesus's ministry, it is still important and necessary for us as followers of God to give our tithes to the church (Hebrews 7:6-9).
What Hebrews chapter 7 is really trying to do is point out what "traditions" should continue on, and what procedures can now be let go of after Jesus's sacrifice. This is plainly stated in Hebrews 7:12-13 which says, "For when the priesthood is changed, the law must change also. He whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar." This is again referring to the priestly duties of Abraham's king friend Melchizedek. If you read the Bible and follow the Levitical laws, you will know that priests traditionally always came from the order or Aaron. You will also find that it was the descendants of Levi who collected this 10% tithe. This is explained right here in Hebrews 7! Yet the author points out that all of that is null because Jesus has come and altered it all. Jesus is the only one who has the power to change the Jewish laws and change what we as followers do to show our dedication to him.
Many people argue over what we should do now in our walks with Christ and what was "done away with" after with his death. The Bible is not as hard to understand in relation to this debate as you might think. Actually, the more I study the Bible the more the New Testament paints a clear picture for me (and you) of what God still values and what Jesus has relaced. In the New Testament, there is an instruction to continue to keep the Sabbath, get baptized, and pay tithe. There is also instruction on what to stop doing such as sacrificing animals and participating in the many Jewish days that had been established. Hebrews 7:18 explains this process when it says, "The former regulation is set aside because it is weak and useless. For the law has made nothing perfect and a better hope is introduced by which we draw near to God." Jesus is our "better hope"! Everything we need to understand about what to do and how to live our lives is in scripture!
Melchizedek is really a parallel to Christ. Christ did not come from the tribe of Levi- instead he came from the tribe of Judah...but he is called our ultimate High Priest. We see this in Hebrews 7:26-28:
Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
1. Why do you think God has continued some Jewish "customs" or "traditions" yet done away with others?
2. What about Jesus makes him a "better hope" than merely following God's rules and regulations?
3. Do you struggle with the concept of giving tithe in the modern world? Why or why not?