by Ronald Duane Cochran
(Garden Grove CA. U.S.A. )
5. The Selection of Abraham
(1018.6) 93:5.1 Although it may be an error to speak of "chosen people", it is not a mistake to refer to Abraham as a chosen individual. Melchizedek did lay upon Abraham the responsibility of keeping alive the truth of one God as distinguished from the prevailing belief in plural deities.
(1018.7) 93:5.2 The choice of Palestine as the site for Machiventa's activities was in part predicated upon the desire to establish contact with some human family embodying the potentials of leadership. At the time of the incarnation of Melchizedek there were many families on earth just as well prepared to receive the doctrine of Salem as was that of Abraham. There were equally endowed families among the red men, the yellow men, and the descendants of the Andites to the west and north. But, again, none of these localities were so favorably situated for Michael's subsequent appearance on earth as was the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. The Melchizedek mission in Palestine and the subsequent appearance of Michael among the Hebrew people were in no small measure determined by geography, by the fact that Palestine was centrally located with reference to the then existent trade, travel, and civilization of the world.
(1018.8) 93:5.3 For some time the Melchizedek receivers had been observing the ancestors of Abraham, and they confidently expected offspring in a certain generation who would be characterized by intelligence, initiative, sagacity, and sincerity. The children of Terah, the father of Abraham, in every way met these expectations. It was this possibility of contact with these versatile children of Terah that had considerable to do with the appearance of Machiventa at Salem, rather than in Egypt, China, India, or among the northern tribes.
(1019.1) 93:5.4 Terah and his whole family were halfhearted converts to the Salem religion, which had been preached in Chaldea; they learned of Melchizedek through the preaching of Ovid, a Phoenician teacher who proclaimed the Salem doctrines in Ur. They left Ur intending to go directly through to Salem, but Nahor, Abraham's brother, not having seen Melchizedek, was lukewarm and persuaded them to tarry at Haran. And it was a long time after they arrived in Palestine before they were willing to destroy all of the household gods they had brought with them; they were slow to give up the many gods of Mesopotamia for the one God of Salem.
(1019.2) 93:5.5 A few weeks after the death of Abraham?s father, Terah, Melchizedek sent one of his students, Jaram the Hittite, to extend this invitation to both Abraham and Nahor: "Come to Salem, where you shall hear our teachings of the truth of the eternal Creator, and in the enlightened offspring of you two brothers shall all the world be blessed."
Now Nahor had not wholly accepted the Melchizedek gospel; he remained behind and built up a strong city-state which bore his name; but Lot, Abraham's nephew, decided to go with his uncle to Salem.
(1019.3) 93:5.6 Upon arriving at Salem, Abraham and Lot chose a hilly fastness near the city where they could defend themselves against the many surprise attacks of northern raiders. At this time the Hittites, Assyrians, Philistines, and other groups were constantly raiding the tribes of central and southern Palestine. From their stronghold in the hills Abraham and Lot made frequent pilgrimages to Salem.
(1019.4) 93:5.7 Not long after they had established themselves near Salem, Abraham and Lot journeyed to the valley of the Nile to obtain food supplies as there was then a drought in Palestine. During his brief sojourn in Egypt Abraham found a distant relative on the Egyptian throne, and he served as the commander of two very successful military expeditions for this king. During the latter part of his sojourn on the Nile, he and his wife, Sarah, lived at court, and when leaving Egypt, he was given a share of the spoils of his military campaigns.
(1019.5) 93:5.8 It required great determination for Abraham to forgo the honors of the Egyptian court and return to the more spiritual work sponsored by Machiventa. But Melchizedek was revered even in Egypt, and when the full story was laid before Pharaoh, he strongly urged Abraham to return to the execution of his vows to the cause of Salem. *
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