Meeting Melchizedek

Here is something to think about.


Abraham’s nephew Lot separated himself from Abraham and went to live in Sodom.  His decision soon got him in trouble. Genesis 14:1-16 describes how a coalition of kings led by Chedorlaomer overcame Sodom and its allies and took as prisoners the people of those cities, including Lot.  When Abraham heard of this he called out his followers and rescued Lot and the other captives.

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).  (Genesis 14:17)

But before the king of Sodom met him he encountered Melchizedek.

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High,

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11 thoughts on “Meeting Melchizedek

  1. Tom,

    The idea of tax deductions is to provide incentives for supposedly meaningful endeavors.

    Some examples,

    A tax incentive for children to help parents pay for their innumerable expenses to feed, cloth, educate and move them to become taxpayers in time.

    We need people to grow our economy. More people, more spending, more merchants etc.

    Tax breaks for religious organizations saved taxpayers the costs of their helping people in need of charity. Which if not done by the religious organizations would cost ten times more iff done by government, in my opinion.

    The problem of course is all tax breaks are subsidies that are paid by others who may or may not benefit.

    Since government and politicians are involved, as usual, it is out of control, in my opinion.

    As for a tax break for religious personnel, I believe that is a meaningful endeavor………….except…. the government Supreme Court has never provided a definition of religion even though they rule that same sex or any of the other rulings in the past are Constitutional.

    Another religious tax break question relating to religion is it wise to provide tax deductions to some Muslim religions that teach jihad?

    I wrote a post to explain my opinions of a recent Wisconsin court opinion, and another post about Supreme Court, if interested.

    “What is fair for the goose is fair for the gander” is an idiom that needs to be taken into account the millions of tax deductions in existence, which will never happen in my lifetime, in my opinion.

    Also, in my opinion, if we are going to take away religious tax deductions, should we take away family child deductions?

    In the USA, I tend to believe when it comes to tax deductions, this King Solomon writing may apply;

    That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered. (Ecclesiastes 1:15)

    Another thing to consider, your post relates to Christianity beliefs. What about the other religious beliefs in the USA, will they agree with your Christian views about Melchisedek? I doubt it.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    1. @scatterwisdom

      Interesting comment, but I am not exactly sure where you stand on this.

      The idea of tax deductions is to provide incentives for meaningful endeavors? Well, that is how tax deductions are sold.

      What too many of our leaders want to do is control us. Therefore, using the power to tax us, they use their power to allow us to keep our own money to manipulate us. Their job is to protect our rights to live our lives as we wish, not to manipulate us into performing whatever they happen to think is a meaningful endeavor.

      Our government cannot define religion. Do you think government can actually define what constitutes a meaningful endeavor? Do you think our leaders can and will restrain the powers they have to manipulate/force us into performing meaningful endeavors? As you said, this thing with tax incentives has already gotten out of control.

      Do tax incentives do any good? Sometimes, I suppose they do, but is it not more likely that the excessive use of government power prevents more meaningful endeavors than it encourages. Consider. When something does not happen, we never see it. We may never even realize what could have been. All we know is that government has soaked up resources that would have allowed other things to happen.

      1. Frankly, I believe some government incentives are a means in our non perfect world to make wise choices in life.

        While I agree with both yours and the post writer’s religious views are more perfect than our present system of using tax deductions to motivate people to make choices to help support religious based charitable institutions.

        Notice the example I gave of a childhood deductions and a religious run charity instead of a government run charity both have long term incentives to both do good in the short term and result in a payback in the future for the USA.

        Assuming both the child tax deductions and the people given charity are helped in the short term will at some time later be hopefully become productive tax payers in the future.

        My point is if there is a payback for a tax deduction, I believe tax deductions to be a practical means to promote meaningful endeavors in our present non-perfect world.

        If the writer does not want to report his charitable gifts as a tax deduction, he is a more perfect person in my opinion. However, if someone else decides to take the deduction, he or she is more likely to help support a religious charitable institution better, than a government run charitable institution.

        Like I said, the reality is we live in a non perfect world and always has been that way according to history.

        Regards and goodwill blogging.

        1. @scatterwisdom

          Consider again why Abraham did not take a gift from the king of Sodom.

          And the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself.”

          But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’” (Genesis 14:21-23)

          Abraham did not want to leave any doubt as to the cause of his good fortune. Similarly, we should not wish to leave any doubt as to the cause of our charity.

          Moreover, there is another, perhaps more important issue. Government has no business telling us how to spend our own money. Who earns a living just so some politician can tell him how to spend his money? Where is the end to such foolishness?

          We do we call the manipulation of the citizenry by government officials? Social engineering. Because there is no end to social engineering, many rightly fear it. When Socialists tell us they want to transform society, what they have said is that they want to transform each of us into THEIR OWN IDEAL OF PERFECTION. So-called tax incentives are just one of their tools. They use these incentives the same way we use a treat when we are trying to teach a dog a new trick.

          Do I fault the intentions of those who wish to use government incentives? Not necessarily. I see the issue as a matter of wisdom. We cannot use the ends to justify the means, but the temptation to do so can be overpowering, particularly when the means seem so mildly coercive..

          The road to hell is paved with good intentions. — origin uncertain (see => and =>

      2. Tom, you stated,

        “Our government cannot define religion. Do you think government can actually define what constitutes a meaningful endeavor?”

        I concur with you, that is why I believe it is best that Government define what religion is not.

        In the examples of two previous posts. Rights, and Religion, I gave examples what SCOTUS should state what Rights and Religion are not to end the constant controversies, and mis understatings being debate over and over in lawsuits.

        If interested..

        In other words, it would be more practical to inform what a Right or Religion cannot do up front rather than have someone like a terrorist state I did it because it is my religious belief.

        Or, I have a right to demonstrate my political views, even if it includes breaking a window, etc. reputation in the meantime.

        Might sound simplistic, but let’s face it, a lot a people that do folly actually think they have a right to do whatever they think is “a meaningful endeavor” in their simplistic views or misunderstandings of Rights or Religion..

        Regards and goodwill blogging.


        1. @scatterwisdom

          The vast majority of the freedom of religion or conscience issues that we have come from the fact our government has stuck its nose into health, education, and welfare issues. Its nose does not belong there.

          Even the civil rights issues should only concern government agencies, but we have government officials trying to tell private companies who they can and cannot hire. Why? Where does the Constitution give the Feds that kind of power?

          1. The USA Constitution words, all men are created equal, started the present progressive views that may be leading to the phrase “road to Hell is lined with good intentions, ” in my opinion.

            That is because religion has never been 100 percent successful over time to convince people of the Christian message of compassion, or many other religions for that matter.

            For example, in India, people still die in the streets. The only reason it does not happen as much in the USA is because of Progressive views of the Constitution which began with Tomas Jefferson.

            In my opinion, the USA is only surviving from hell, or India, is because the USA has more natural resources to provide more wealth to prevent people from dying in the streets.

            In my opinion, the road to hell progressed in the USA when SCOTUS made the decision to separate State from Religion.

            In my opinion, religion is a much better and greater motivator to a road to heaven than the opposite effect of human progressiveness leading us to the road to hell method.

            There is still time to revive religion before my grandson’s statement comes to fruition. He once told me when I expressed an opinion. “Whatever floats your boat grandpa.”

            The USA is still floating now but will sink if we do not compromise Conservatism and Progressivism views into practical prudent common sense agreements.

            In other words, in my opinion based on the news I hear and read about the USA, if we do not choose soon to revive religion morals in the USA, our boat along with the concept of “all men are created equal” is going to sink.

            If interested, here is one sinking taking place that is even more visible to anyone with common sense instincts that is going to end the great American experiment in liberty.


            Keep in mind what Saint Bernard of Clairvaux who wrote in 1180, according to King Solomon is is going to repeat in time, over and over again and again.
            “Nothing new under the sun, what Kings do after me will be done again.”

            That is if we let it happen again by not making use of the wisdom of the past.

            What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom.

            Regards and goodwill blogging.

          2. @scatterwisdom

            The Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, says “all men are created equal”. The Declaration explains the purpose of government. The Constitution implements the purpose expressed in the Declaration. That is why Progressives like the Declaration even less than they like the Constitution. They don’t want us to understand how the Constitution is supposed to work.

            Does the statement “all men are created equal” lead us to that road to Hell. No. It is when we don’t respect each others rights we have a problem. Consider.

            We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

            What Progressives demand is equal outcomes. What the Declaration of Independence speaks of is the protection of rights, the equal protection of our rights before the Law. Whereas Progressives demand that the government gives us our “rights”, the Declaration says God has already given us our rights. The Declaration says the only reason government exists is to protect our God-given rights.

            Why does the Christian message fail to reach so many people? We are divided between the flesh and the spirit. Jesus calls to our spirit. The world calls to our flesh. The Declaration speaks to the spirit. It speaks of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, not material things. What is the pursuit of happiness? It is why we need life and liberty, so that we can pursue virtue with all the energy we can muster.

            What separates the USA and India? As a Christian nation, the USA promoted freedom of religion. We protected each others rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Because so many once pursued virtue with all the energy the could, they made even work virtuous. Thus, our nation prospered. Therefore, because our government protected our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, our nation grew both spiritually and materially stronger.

            It is odd thing, a difficult truth. There are over seven billion people in the world, but each of us can “save the world” by only by saving one person. In fact, we cannot even save that one person. All we can do is allow Jesus to save each of us. All we can do is accept the Truth of the Gospel and spread that Truth to others. All we can do is seek to become wise by studying the teachings of our Lord and Savior. All we can do is obey Him.

            Joshua put it this way to his people.

            Joshua 24:14-15 New King James Version (NKJV)

            14 “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

    1. IB offers gems of wisdom pretty regular.
      (I just wish she’d stay away from worrying about various effluvium around the internet…but that’s subject for another time)

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