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El Elyon – Most High God

“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.” (Genesis 14:18)

Prior to Chapter 14 in Genesis we see that Abram and Lot had parted company because of conflict between their people and families. Lot had chosen what he felt to be the better part and went into the valley of Jordan and moved his family and possessions there. Even as the grass on the far side of the fence seems greener it is not always the better place. For in that valley of Jordan were the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot moved near to Sodom and set his tents there. We read that Sodom was an exceedingly wicked town. “Now the men of Sodom were wicked exceedingly and sinners against the LORD.” (Genesis 13:13)

As time passed there was trouble coming to Sodom as there were four kings who came down to Sodom and made war with the king of Sodom. The king of Sodom and four other kings went out to battle against the four kings in the valley of Siddim. They were defeated there and the five kings fled. The four kings then took the spoils of the land and also Lot and His possessions.

Abram heard of the capture of his nephew Lot and took 318 of his trained men and pursued after the four kings to rescue his nephew. Abram defeated them and took back the possessions that they had looted and brought Lot and his family back to Sodom. Along the way Abram net Melchizedek the king of Salem. There they broke bread together and Abram give Melchizedek a tenth of the spoils that he had recovered. Abram did so because Melchizedek was a priest of God Most High. We are looking at this verse because it is the first time in the Bible that this title is given to God. “God Most High” What does that title mean?

In Strong’s God is translated El and means “God Almighty.” Most high is Elyon and means “lofty, Supreme.” Here Abram recognized Melchizedek as a priest of God Almighty who is Supreme above all creation. In the Old Testament El Elyon appears 28 times with 19 of those occurrences in the Book of Psalms. I find it proper that the majority of this title appears in the Book of Psalms. The Supreme Deity that is above all that there is deserves all our praise and worship.

I find it appalling, given this title that Abram had recognized, and that all of creation gives praise and worship to El Elyon, save that which was created in His image. I find it frightening that man would in His presence take His name in vain and refer to Him as nothing but “the man upstairs.” God is not a man, He is the Supreme deity above all creation. El Elyon is the expression of the extreme sovereignty and majesty of God in His highest preeminence. Man, the worm that he is, should bow and cry out in complete humility to the most exalted High God. “I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me.” (Psalm 57:2)

El Elyon whose voice comes with the judgment of fire. “The LORD also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire.” (Psalm 18:13) El Elyon, our Creator, who before no man can stand in the presence of His righteousness. “Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” (Isaiah 6:5) Man as prideful as we are, as selfish as we can be, who attempts to sit upon our self-made thrones thinking that we shall rule as a god, but God will not be mocked and man on that day will be humbled. “That they may know that You alone, whose name is the LORD, Are the Most High over all the earth.” (Psalm 83:18)

In the beginning man was paced upon the earth and he was commissioned by God to be fruitful and multiply. Man was told to take the responsibility to rule over the earth to care for the possession that God had granted unto him. “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26) How have we done? Man was told to live in the image that he was created in and conduct himself in obedience to the Word of God. “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) Yet the world is in flux and God’s creation that was very good is now to perplexing for man to manage because man has forsaken the Word of God and has not progressed from the fall that he still thinks that he can be as the Most High. In man’s blindness he denies that he lives beneath the wings of God’s grace. “For you have made the LORD, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place.” (Psalm 91:9)

El Elyon is a God of love. He loves His creation and desires that none of His creation shall be lost. As the sins of man has separated him from and loving Creator, God in His infinite love sacrificed the price of His Son that man could be restored to a right relationship with Him. “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” (Romans 5:10)

The good word from El Elyon came to the Psalmist promising us that God would send a redeeming King that would be above all kings and would save His people from the throws of worldly destruction. “I also shall make him My firstborn, The highest of the kings of the earth.” (Psalm 89:27)

The Archangel Gabriel came unto a virgin named Mary, whom God had found favor, and announced to her that she would give birth to a son. And that son’s name would be named Immanuel, God with Us. The one who would come to seek and to save the lost, to teach the way to the Kingdom of God, train His Apostles to preach the gospel to all the nations of the earth, to redeem them with His perfect holy blood, pay the debt of sin which no man can pay, and defeat death by His resurrection. The very God of God amongst men, the El Elyon. “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;” (Luke 1:32)

Then at the proper time in the history of the world a child was born in the small town of Bethlehem and the evening sky was filled with the glory of God as a host of angels announced His birth to the shepherds while they tended their flocks. He came to the attending shepherds of their sheep that one day that they would go forth and tend the sheep of His Father in Heaven. “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” (Luke 2:14) Today He asks those of us who claim His name, “Do you love Me?” Do you? Then heed His reply, “Tend My sheep.” (John 21:17)

The politicians of this world will not solve the problems that we as a people face. For they run to the well from which the problems have been created, their own selves and our own selves. If the water from the well is bitter, then why do we constantly return to it for more? The Lord spoke these words to the prophet Jeremiah, “Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.” (Jeremiah 6:16) To this day the people will not return to the truth of God’s Word nor walk in them.

The nations are afflicted as Israel in the days of King Solomon when he feared what would happen when his people became lost in their self-sufficiency. When people live in their own efforts and prosperity, blind to the certain fall before them, they see not their need to be beneath the wings of God’s grace. King Solomon a man filled with the wisdom of El Elyon was given these words of His truth. “And My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) The Word of God is the same, repent and return unto the Lord and seek His ways, seek His Kingdom, and seek His righteousness that we may live in the grace of His love for ever.

For those who will continue to forsake God, love them and let the light of His truth shine through you that they might come to the throne of His grace. “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” (Luke 6:35)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, October 11, 2015

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