January 5. 2014

Genesis 13-15; Matthew 5:1-26

In chapter 13, God promises Abram all the land of Canaan (which will one day be Israel).


Abram shows himself to be a capable military leader in chapter 14, and then he receives bread and wine (anyone think of the Lord’s Supper?) and a mysterious blessing from King Melchizedek of Salem – probably Jerusalem (which long ago was called Uru-Salim by the ancient Egyptians and others).  Melchizedek is called priest of God Most High.  Abram gives him a tithe, one-tenth of the plunder.

In chapter 15, God makes another covenant with Abram, and promises him a son, many descendants, and the Promised Land.  God also prophesies Israel’s oppression in Egypt and the Exodus.


Matthew 5 is the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.  Wow.  You could write a whole book on the Beatitudes (5:1-12).  Let me just say that, we would all do well to stop and reflect on what character traits Jesus calls blessed, and ask God to grow those traits in us.

Jesus calls us “salt of the earth.”  As someone has said, when you add salt to food, it disappears into the food and flavors it.  In the same way, we Christians are called to ‘disappear’ into the world and add a godly flavor to it – perhaps spicing up the world with the Beatitudes – being poor in spirit, mourners, meek, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, persecuted for righteousness’ sake.

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