God Is EL ELYON

Genesis 14:18-23 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. [19] And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: [20] And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all. [21] And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. [22] And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, [23] That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich

A little girl loved her daddy so much. When people asked her “What’s your name?” she would always reply “I’m Mr. Sugarbrown’s daughter.” Her mother told her one day “When people ask your name, don’t say ‘I’m Mr. Sugarbrown’s daughter’. Tell them you are Jane Sugarbrown.” One Sunday the Pastor saw the little girl and asked, Aren’t you Mr. Sugarbrown’s daughter?” She replied, “I thought I was, but mama told me not to tell any body.”

We all have names that we were born with, nick names that we were given by friends (or enemies), secret names that loved ones call us. God Who was never born has many names, names that He has given us and Names others have given Him. These Names describe Who God is and point out His unique power. The Name of God we’re going to look at tonight is

EL ELYON – the God Most High

In the Old Testament El Elyon occurs 28 times – 19 times in Psalms. Elyon (Biblical Hebrew עליון) means The Supreme, the Highest”. There is nothing greater than our God.

1 God’s Greatness Is Best Seen Against Our Brokenness. The first time that El Elyon is used in the Bible is in our focal text tonight. We read again:

Genesis 14:18-20 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. [19] And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: [20] And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Melchizedek the King of Salem comes out to meet Abram. Melchizedek is the priest of El Elyon. He blesses Abram noting that Abram is the child of El Elyon. And then Melchizedek praises the victory that Abram won, noting that the victory came from El Elyon.

Now who is Abram?

To understand who Abram is you need to go back to Genesis chapter 11. Man had tried to rebel against El Elyon. Rather than obey God’s command to Noah to “multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1, 7) man decided to try and work his way into Heaven. Wasting time and resources people got together and built a Tower in Babel. God confounded man’s languages, and people scattered and created nations. One of the nations formed was called Ur of the Chaldees, and in that nation a man named Abram was born.

Abram was a broken man.

God had given a command to the world to “multiply and fill the earth”. When Abram was born (and he was the firstborn) his father Terah named him “Abram”, the Hebrew אַבְרָם ‘abrâm (pronounced ab-rawm’) which means “High Father”. Abram was going to give Terah many grandsons and granddaughters. He would be the “High Father”. But as time passed Terah died without grandchildren. And Abram and his wife Sarai were childless – broken – unable to do the command of God.

But God is the God Most High. And God loves to find and bless the broken. The “High Father” was broken, unable to bear children – but where we are unable God is most able. The LORD – the Great God Most High came to Abram and told him:

Genesis 12:1-3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: [2] And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: [3] And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

What was God’s command to Abram? Leave your family – leave your homelands – leave the familiar AND MAKE ME MOST HIGH. Go where I tell you to go. Do what I tell you to do. I will not only UNBREAK you, I will MAKE you:

Cursing will turn to blessing
I will bless them that bless thee
I will curse them that curse thee

Oh how God loves the help the broken. How the God Most High loves to lift up the hurting. Yet if we expect to be blessed, we must heed Him. We must take our shortcoming to Him Who is infinite in strength. We must crawl with our brokenness to Him Who is never without resources. He is the God Most High! He is able.

Psalms 57:1-3 … Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. [2] I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me. [3] He shall send from heaven, and save me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth.

Abram began to follow God, to go where the Lord led. He took his nephew Lot with him. God told Abram to leave his family behind, and Abram mostly obeyed. He took his nephew Lot with him. When God tells us to do something we should remember that He is El Elyon – the God Most High. As the Proverb says:

Proverbs 30:5-6 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee …

Taking Lot with him contrary to God’s Command it wasn’t long before this error (shall we call it sin) came back to haunt Abram. Confusion came into the camp, and God is not the Author of Confusion, but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33). Lot’s people and Abram’s people began to fight among themselves:

Genesis 13:6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.

What was the solution? They had to go their separate ways – Lot one way and Abram the other. Abram was following El Elyon, but Lot was following Abram. So Abram said:

Genesis 13:9 Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

Abram gave Lot the choice. Lot could choose which way he would go, and Abram would take the other path. How did Lot choose? The Bible says:

Genesis 13:10 And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.

Lot chose with his eyes. We get in trouble when we make ourselves the Most High. When we put ourselves in the place of God (and we are not God) we are on dangerous ground. Lot messed up by making himself the Most High.

Genesis 13:12-13 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. [13] But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

But Abram made God the Most High in his life. He honored God as He is. Many people today follow a god of their own creation, a god of their minds and not of the reality nor of the Scripture. The Psalmist said:

Psalms 107:8-13 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! [9] For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness. [10] Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron; [11] Because they rebelled against the words of God, and condemned the counsel of the most High: [12] Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. [13] Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses.

God is near to those who see Him as EL ELYON. How God loves to lift up the broken. Did not God when He became flesh say:

Mark 2:17 … They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Lot chose with the eyes and would suffer for it. But Abram trusted in El ELYON. Because of this the Lord told Abram:

Genesis 13:14-17 And the LORD said unto Abram, AFTER THAT LOT WAS SEPARATED FROM HIM, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: [15] For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. [16] And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. [17] Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.

What Lot chose he would lose. What Abram allowed God to give he would keep. God is the EL ELYON – the God Most High!

2 What You Sow, You Will Reap. It is a principle of Scripture that what you sow, you will reap. Lot chose with his eyes whereas Abram allowed El ELYON to choose for him. Abram worshiped God. Lot worshiped himself. Abram recognized God as EL ELYON. Lot made himself EL ELYON.

One of the few Scriptures written by an UNBELIEVER is found in Daniel chapter 4. Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon had seen Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego tossed in a fiery furnace. He saw the Son of God standing in the furnace with them, and said “there is no other god that can deliver after this sort” (Daniel 3:29). Yet Nebuchadnezzar continued worshiping false gods, continued to make himself a god. Then one day God struck him down. Daniel chapter 4 was written by Nebuchadnezzar as a warning to those who would try and take God’s place. God told Nebuchadnezzar:

Daniel 4:25 That they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

For seven years Nebuchadnezzar lived as a beast of the field, eating grass like an ox. God broke him. Why do trials sometimes come upon us? Because we sow what we reap. And because God alone is EL ELYON, the Most High God. At the end of his trials:

Daniel 4:34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation:

Now let’s go back to Lot. Lot chose with his eyes. He chose for himself. He did not honor EL ELYON, but made himself a god. The area he settled in was intensely wicked, and being wicked was very unstable. America is becoming more and more wicked, and hence more unstable.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

With wickedness comes instability. The land looked good to Lot, but it wasn’t good. It was a land torn by strife. Chedorlaomer the King of Elam headed a coalition of Mesopotamian states and five kings paid tribute to him for twelve years.

Genesis 14:4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

Chedorlaomer answered their rebellion by making war against the five kings – and yes, he cleaned their clocks. His vastly superior forces easily overwhelmed these usurpers. The forces of Chedorlaomer took …

Genesis 14:11-12 And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way. [12] And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

The Most High King Chedorlaomer and his Most High Army took Lot and his family captive, probably to sell as slaves, along with all his goods. What would Abram do? This is a huge armed force, and there is NO WAY Abram would be able to overcome them. What could Abram do? The Bible tells us that:

Genesis 14:14-16 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. [15] And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. [16] And he brought back ALL the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

Abram went out and attacked a force that had just defeated five kings. He went out and attacked unknown thousands of armed and trained troops with just 318 trained men. And he brought back foolish Lot. Abram was empowered by God to bring Lot out. The victory did not just release Lot – it liberated ALL the people and goods that Chedorlaomer’s Army had taken.

Our God is greater than anything. He is the God Most High. He is Able.

Psalms 91:1-2 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. [2] I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Abram trusted in God. He followed but One King – the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords – and God took care of him!

3 Two Kings Came To Meet Abram. The Bible tells us that:

Genesis 14:17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale.

a A Wicked, Self Sufficient, Pride Filled King Came To Abram. One king, the King of Sodom, crawled out of his hiding place following Abram’s slaughter of Chedorlaomer and his forces. The King of Sodom told Abram:

Genesis 14:21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.

This is the arrogance of the sinner, the foolishness of the wicked. The King of Sodom sowed war and reaped defeat. He deserved nothing. He should have knelt before Abram and recognized that the God Most High had used him to bring peace to the area. But the King of Sodom stands for the sinful disobedience and pridefulness of man. Abram had the right to keep EVERYTHING – and here is this heathen saying “Give me the persons and take the goods”.

Ken Hemphill wrote in The Names of God:

It is typical of fallen man to want to negotiate when he has nothing of value to offer. I frequently share the Gospel with people who feel that they can bargain with God about their entry into Heaven. They content that they are not bad people or that they are better than most Christians they have met. …. Until we fully recognize God’s sufficiency and our insufficiency we will never know Him as El Elyon”.

How did Abram reply to this fool?

Genesis 14:22-23 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, [23] That I will not take from a thread even to a {shoe lace}, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:

Abram didn’t want the King of Sodom’s help. The Bible says:

Proverbs 13:20 (ESV) Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

Run from the evil. Tell them of Christ – yes – but do not make allegiances with them. Abram utterly rejected anything from the King of Sodom. He didn’t want to be self sufficient, but he wanted to rely on the God Most High, El Elyon.

b A Righteous, God Exalting King Came To Abram.

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

The Priest of the Most High God came out and blessed Abram. Let’s close by looking at his blessing.

  • The Most High God SUSTAINS His People while Sin SUCKS THE LIFE out of us. The King of Sodom came demanding “give me the people”. Melchizedek the Priest of the Most High God brought forth bread and wine along with blessing. God takes care of His people.

Psalm 23:1 (KJV) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

John 10:11 (KJV) I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

  • The Most High God – El ELYON – Is STRONGER Than Anything That Stands Against Us. Melchizedek said:

Genesis 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he {Abram} gave him {Melchizedek} tithes of all.

It was God Who delivered Chedorlaomer into Abram’s hand. Abram gave honor to the God Most High when he gave tithes of all. Some Christians have argued that the tithe is part of the Law, and that believers are no longer to tithe. HOGWASH. The tithe predated the Law. One of the greatest gods in America today is money. If money is your god, then your God cannot be El ELYON. God is the possessor of EVERYTHING.

A man once went to his pastor and said “How can you say that God is the owner of everything. After all, I worked for everything I have!” The pastor replied, “Ask me that question again in a hundred years”. Think about it. God owns it all. God will get it all. He just asks that, while you live, you give some back to His work. That you give him …

one heart – Yours!
one day out of seven
one tenth out of a hundred

For He is EL ELYON, The God Most High. Because Abram followed EL ELYON a day would come when Abram would become Abraham, the Father of Many Nations.

  • The Name El Elyon – The God Most High – Emphasizes The SINGULARITY Of Our God. There are not many ways unto Heaven, but one Way. All gods are not the same. Only One God – the God of the Scripture – is the True God. And this God has provided a Way unto Heaven through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I have heard people say that SINCERITY is the proof of faith. The King of Sodom was sincere in his faith. Nebuchadnezzar was sincere. Hitler was sincere. Stalin was sincere. Sincerity is no proof or righteousness. Faith alone in God along saves. Faith along in Christ alone saves (John 14:6).

May God touch your hearts with His Word!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. I am looking for the Church. Most of what I see today is not the Church, but clubs, where members sit in padded pews and drink deeply of self. I am looking for a people willing to be righteous not self righteous, serving not served, In short, I am looking and praying for a people who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. I hope I find this people before it's too late.
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