Monday, March 30, 2009

King of Righteousness

Daniel told the story of a hermit who used to live in the lower parts of Egypt, and who said in his simplicity that Melchizedek was the Son of God. Now, when the blessed man, Theophilus, the archbishop of Alexandria, heard of it, he sent a message asking that the monks bring this hermit to see him.

When Theophilus saw him, he realized this hermit was a man of vision and that everything that he asked for God had given him, and that he had only said this out of his simplicity.

The archbishop dealt with him wisely, in the following manner, saying, "Abba, pray to God for me, because I have begun to think that Melchizedek was the Son of God. And, it cannot be true, for the high priest of God was a man. But, because I had doubts in my mind about this, I sent for you to pray to God for me that he may reveal the truth of the matter to you."

Then, because the hermit had confidence in the power of prayer, he said firmly to the archbishop, "Wait three days, and I will ask God about this and then I shall be able to tell you who Melchizedek was."

So, the hermit went away and after three days, returned, and said to the blessed Archbishop Theophilus, Melchizedek was a man."

The Archbishop said to him, "How do you know that, abba?"

The hermit said, "God showed me all the Patriarchs, one by one, and they passed before me one after the other, from Adam to Melchizedek, and an angel said to me, 'This is Melchizedek.' That is indeed how the truth of this matter appeared to me."

The hermit went away and he, himself, proclaimed that Melchizedek was a man, and the blessed Theophilus rejoiced greatly.

"Melchizedek blesses Abraham" from The Story of the Bible by Charles Foster (Illustrations by F.B. Schell and others). Melchizedek is derived from the Hebrew Melech or king and Tzadiq or righteous.

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