King of Peace

“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God” (Genesis 14:18).

The mysterious king Melchizedek was at least a type—if not an actual pre-incarnate appearance—of Christ. As such, it is appropriate that he is called the “King of Salem,” or “King of peace,” and that this is the first mention of the word “peace” (Hebrew, Shalem, or Shalom) in the Bible. He is also called “King of righteousness” (Hebrews 7:2), because his name is a combination of two Hebrew words carrying this meaning.

Thus, Melchizedek—that is, in principle, Jesus Christ—is king of both peace and righteousness, for neither can really exist without the other. True peace can be founded only in true righteousness, for “there is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked” (Isaiah 48:22). Similarly, God had promised: “O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea” (Isaiah 48:18).

Peace and righteousness go together. No armistice or peace treaty will ever be permanent (always there is a new “Pearl Harbor Day” ahead) unless founded on righteousness, and this will never be until Christ returns, for He is both the “Prince of Peace” and “the righteousness of God” (Isaiah 9:6; II Corinthians 5:21). The nations of the world have been at war with God—and therefore with each other—ever since sin entered the world. When He does return, there will finally be permanent peace and eternal righteousness. “In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:6).

We may well honor those who have fought and died for peace, as did those who died for our country, but real and permanent peace can only be attained through the King of Peace. HMM

The Patriarchs
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