Prepaid Debt

Hebrews 7: 9 In addition, we might even say that these Levites—the ones who collect the tithe—paid a tithe to Melchizedek when their ancestor Abraham paid a tithe to him. 10 For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham’s body when Melchizedek collected the tithe from him. [NLT]


I accept God is using the faithful recording of the writer of Hebrews to reveal truth.  Truthfully I don’t understand much of the chapter BUT verses 9 and 10 jumped out at me. I certainly can’t explain Melchizedek or what prompted Abraham to give him a tithe but those two verses did make me think about that tithe.  Abraham’s tithe was like a prepaid debt to satisfy the wrath of sin and the law long before the law was even given to Moses.  Long before Jesus.

What if that tithe set in motion God’s plan to protect His promise to Abraham and his descendants even before those descendants became a reality?  What if that tithe was God’s symbolic way of ensuring his own interest in the salvation of His creation?  The word sacrifice is familiar when thinking about Jesus but it was a new and meaningful thing for me to consider Abraham’s tithe as the prepaid debt that gave all of us descendants the option of Jesus, God’s promised “perfect” and final “tithe.”

John Piper in Desiring God wrote “…then what is the implication about what we need saving from?…the wrath of God that burns against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.” (Romans 1:18).  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s