#8 The “Names of God” Series
(The Lord God Most High!)
TEXT: Gen. 14:18-24
INTRO: Those things we hold dearest, we hold highest in our hearts and minds:
2. Family: Parents have died to save their children, those they hold highest in their hearts.
3. Men have given up kingdoms for the woman they loved, and held highest in their heart
4. You can tell what a man or woman holds highest in the hearts by the devotion and sacrifices they give to whatever that is!
How we decide our budgets and our priorities says a lot about us … and these things are more than just secular pursuits.
ILLUS: A budget is a theological document. It indicates who or what we worship. -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 375.
It only takes a small amount of silver to obscure our view of others and their needs and what God wants us to see, we must be careful to remember that material things are simply temporal in nature, not eternal. The lure for the “stuff” of this world can quickly obscure our view of spiritual realities no matter how well intended we are.
ILLUS: One day a wealthy old miser visited a rabbi who took him by the hand and led him to a window. "Look out there," he said, pointing to the street. "What do you see?" "I see men and women and little children," answered the rich man. Again the rabbi took him by the hand and led him to the mirror and said, "What do you see now?" "Now I see myself," the rich man replied. Then the rabbi said, "Behold, in the window there is glass, but the glass of the mirror is covered with silver, and no sooner is the silver added then you fail to see others but see only yourself." If you see self and all the respect and honor others ought to give you, you are on dangerous ground. You won't be able to see others if self is in the image you hold in front of you. – SOURCE UNKNOWN
PROP.SENT: The Bible tells us that God is the Lord Most High, if He is in our hearts as the highest desire then our life is both blessed and a blessing. There is none greater or higher than He, and therefore there is no greater blessing! Our devotion may reflect how high in our hearts He truly is!
I. BLESSED BY GOD MOST HIGH Gen. 14:18-19
A. Bread & Wine Gen. 14:18
1. Abram had just fought a tough battle to free some family members and others who really didn’t deserve freedom … he could have justified the bounty he was about to receive financially.
2. Abram was exhausted after the
battle; he needed something and someone to help him. Melchizedek king of
a. Refreshed Abram.
b. Strengthened Abram.
3. That which we hold “Most High” will be that which “blesses us Most!”
a. Therefore the blessing will be only as good as the object offering it!
b. Anything temporal in nature that we hold "most high" is only going to give a temporal blessing:
(1. A sports car – until it decays!
(2. Money – until you die or go broke.
(3. Job – until you get laid off or retire.
(4. But God is forever! Most high, and so are His blessings!
4. Abram was more interested in the
“Bread and Wine” from the Lord’s servant than he was for the loot from the King
b. He wasn’t as concerned about material things!
ILLUS: Jenny Lind, the great Swedish soprano, disappointed many of her friends because she turned down so many big contracts that would have made her world-famous. One day a friend surprised her sitting on a sunny seashore reading the New Testament. The friend rebuked the singer for not seizing her chances. Quickly, Jenny Lind put her hand over her Testament and said, "I found that making vast sums of money was spoiling my taste for this." -- James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 374.
5. Unlike the King of Sodom, the King
6. The King of
7. Can anything else be higher than God? NO! Therefore no blessing can be greater than God's!
B. Blessing Abram Gen. 14:19
1. What a privilege!
a. Blessed is a concept meaning "happy."
b. God can bring true happiness and it will last, material things can’t do this!
ILLUS: Money is a universal provider for most everything but happiness and a universal passport to most any place but heaven. -- Croft M. Pentz, The Complete Book of Zingers (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1990).
c. God loves to bless His people with real happiness.
2. It is a personal touch of God that He blessed Abram with, so it is today with us as well.
a. Abram’s blessings were coming from the God who created the heavens and the earth – it doesn’t get any higher than this!
b. No greater blessing can come from any source higher than the creator of all things!
II. BLESSED BE GOD MOST HIGH! Gen. 14:20
A. Bringer of Victory! Gen. 14:20a
1. God deserves our blessing Him!
a. He has done great things!
b. The victories we experience come from Him.
c. Let's be careful to give Him praise!
ILLUS: A handful
of our people went on a mission trip to
The Rumanian Christians have less, and they're looking for a way to give 10 percent. We have more, and we're free to give as we please. In fact, we get a tax break by doing so, and we're looking for loopholes in the Scripture to avoid doing it. What an indictment. -- Bob Russell, "Take the Risk," Preaching Today, Tape No. 143.
2. Even in the midst of enemies we can recognize the privilege of responding to God in giving, for God is the one who gives us victory over our enemies; and He is the one who gives us everything!
3. We should sing, pray, speak about God's greatness, He is most High!
a. Ultimately it is God’s hand that grants us the victories we experience.
b. God is concerned that we win in battle.
B. Bounty Given! Gen. 14:20b
1. Notice that Abram not only verbally blessed God but demonstrated it tangibly.
a. Cheerful giver – he gave a tenth of everything he had.
b. Tithes given as expression of blessing and joy.
c. A way of showing that his desire to bless God in more than words!
2. Not tithing because he had to but because he wanted to! (The law had not established it yet, the law was more than 400 years away yet!)
a. So many say tithing was a part of the law … well, this was before the law! Just like tithing today is after the law!
b. This was one way Abram expressed his blessing to God, and it was an important way.
c. Abram didn’t decide to tithe because he thought he HAD to do this, or because it might become a LAW at some point … his view of material things was such that giving to God was a joy already, his heart was already fixed on God so the “stuff” was not important already!
ILLUS: Some say, dedicate the heart and the money will follow; but our Lord put it the other way around. "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." If your treasure is dedicated, your heart will be dedicated. If it is not, it simply won't. It is as simple as that. -- G. Timothy Johnson in the Covenant Companion (Sept. 1990). Christianity Today, Vol. 34, no. 15.
d. He also did other things as well.
3. Abram gave a tithe of everything!
a. Not just money.
b. How about giving God your time ... it would be a real blessing to the Lord to have your time occasionally!
c. How about giving God the use of your talents ... it too would bless Him!
d. But giving God these other things are not in place of the tithe, they are in addition to them.
III. BELONGING TO GOD MOST HIGH Gen. 14:21-24
A. Better Belongings! Gen. 14:21-23
1. The World can only offer us temporal things:
c. Buildings & things, etc.
2. God offers us better belongings, He makes us rich:
f. Eternal life!
3. Whoever or whatever is most high in your mind and heart will determine the kind belongings you receive!
a. Most high goods.
b. Most High God!
4. Abram didn't even want the world to think it could make him rich! Only God could really do that. God's riches are different than this world’s stuff.
a. Abram wasn’t saying he didn’t need earthly things,
b. He was just saying by refusing the
ILLUS: If you are stingy with a small income, it's likely you'll not be generous with a large one. -- Croft M. Pentz, The Complete Book of Zingers (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1990).
c. This is demonstrated by the fact he allowed the other men to receive the goods. He was happy however with just God!
5. Abram wasn’t interested in the wealth of this world, his confidence and trust was in God Himself.
ILLUS: There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. -- Colonel Sanders, Marriage Partnership, Vol. 10, no. 1.
a. What would be the point to getting
all the wealth of
b. When Abram could have the blessings
of God through His servant the King of
c. As said above by Colonel Sanders … what’s the point to being the richest man in the cemetery!? Better to be wealthy in Heaven!
B. Belonging to God Gen. 14:24
1. This world cannot offer us anything that will make us truly rich!
2. If the stuff of this world is where we find our happiness, then it is where we find our God! We belong to what we seek!
a. That's why Jesus said, "seek and ye shall find."
b. What are you seeking for in this life?
ILLUS: A tither's problem is seldom money. -- Croft M. Pentz, The Complete Book of Zingers (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1990).
3. If our happiness lies in our relationship to God, then we belong to Him and find our happiness in Him.
4. Abram would accept nothing less than belonging to God, why take something that won't be that valuable in the end like the things of this world, when He could have the God Most High!
a. Abram wasn’t opposed to owning things, just opposed to things owning him!
b. His refusal was a refusal to allow the king to think that the goods he offered him would make him rich and happy. Wealth and happiness he already had ... the kind that has no end to it!
c. So he wouldn't take anything less than the best! God Most High! How about you ... are you willing to settle for something less?
CONCLUSION: What troubles us most is what we belong to; is it lack of finances, or lack of faith? Is it absence of goods or absence of God? What's most high in your heart will be most high in your devotion. Is God "Jehovah-Elyon" (God Most High) in your heart!?