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Bible verses about God initiates the Relationship with Us
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 14:18-23

Melchizedek seems to appear out of nowhere, without any warning. Aside from a prophecy in the Psalms, this is the sole reference to Him until the book of Hebrews. Not only is this the Bible's first appearance of Melchizedek, but it is also the first time that a priest is mentioned. Furthermore, despite Melchizedek being called a priest, the text makes no mention of sacrifices—understandable since, as the One who would later be called Jesus Christ, He had no need for propitiation to come before God on another's behalf.

Notice also that the priest approaches the man on behalf of God, and not the other way around. This illustrates that God initiates the relationship and not man (John 6:44). It is impossible for man to worship God properly without His involvement first. We see Melchizedek bringing bread and wine, the symbols of the New Testament Passover, rather than a lamb and bitter herbs that were used in the Passover in Egypt. (As an aside, “bread” here is a general term in Hebrew, referring to either leavened or unleavened bread.)

This is also the first time God's title of “Most High” is used. It is used four times in this section on the eve of this Passover. Understanding how and where this divine title is used will help us realize how much of a blessing the Passover is to us.

Both Melchizedek and Abram tack on the description, “the possessor of heaven and earth.” We should consider the nature and the character of that “Possessor.” A landlord may possess a piece of property yet not care a whit about the tenants so long as the rent is paid. This, however, is not the way the Most High feels about His possessions. It is apparent from the rest of the Book that His ownership includes more care and concern for His possessions than we can fathom. His governance in the affairs of men springs from His will and purpose, which, despite human failure to understand them, can be described only as good.

Melchizedek ties the title “possessor of heaven and earth” with the fact that He delivered Abraham's enemies into his hand, showing just how interested the Most High God is in the affairs of men. He is interested enough that He will show Himself strong on behalf of His people and will judge the unrighteous. Without exception, whenever “Most High” is used in Scripture, God is shown blessing His people with whatever is needed for His perfect will to be accomplished, whether that blessing is of knowledge, physical provision, or especially defense and deliverance from enemies. He blesses His people with His perfect personal involvement.

The New Testament records a striking example of this. In Luke 1, the angel tells Mary that her Son will be called “the Son of the Highest,” the New Testament equivalent of “the Son of the Most High.” It is the same title. Just a few verses later, the angel tells Mary that this would take place because “the power of the Highest”—or the power of the Most High God—“would overshadow” her.

Again, we see God's people being blessed with His involvement in order to bring His perfect will to pass. In this case, His blessing includes the supernatural conception of the Son of God, which, as God promised Abraham, will end up being a blessing to all of mankind (Genesis 12:3). This sort of implication is made whenever the title, “the Most High,” is used.

David C. Grabbe
Passover of the Most High God


 

Romans 5:8-10

God initiates the relationship with us. He makes it possible, paving the way so that we can have fellowship with Him. Through this relationship, which He made possible through the gift of His Son, He desires to develop trust in us. Without that gift, without that expression of His love, the relationship never would have begun.

God is also the one who keeps the relationship going. If He did not do this, we would not have enough faith to trust Him, just like the Israelites of old. We would be too impatient, and we would not believe what He said. Obedience, loyalty, and devotion to Him would never be produced.

So, God keeps forgiving us. He keeps extending the hand, beckoning us to come back to the relationship. This is so clearly seen in the way God dealt with Israel in the Old Testament. Over and over, He forgave her and opened the way for her to come back. He deals no differently with us.

The key element in our salvation is this fellowship, which has been initiated through the death of Jesus Christ so that, through the relationship, we can begin to conform to the image of God by being permitted into His presence. If we do not do what is necessary on our part, giving our time and attention to the fellowship—to the relationship—nothing will happen.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Love's Emotional Dimension


 

 




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