The outcome of virtually all human interaction hinges on the leverage possessed by each party.
When a person, organization or country has little or no leverage, sometimes persuasion, ingenuity, good fortune, or the generosity of others, will allow them to achieve their objectives.
The Two Rules of Life, by Eric F. Facer
God made a great mistake when he limited the intelligence of man but not his stupidity.
On February 17, 1933, Adolf Hitler disembarked from his plane at the Cologne Airport and was infuriated by what he saw. Absolutely nothing.
Three weeks earlier he had been appointed as Reich Chancellor of Germany whereupon he decided to call a general election in hopes of increasing the representation of his political party, the National Socialists, in the German parliament. He had come to Cologne for a campaign event and had been assured by his advance team that the mayor, Konrad Adenauer, and a group of local dignitaries would be there to greet him, as protocol required. Because Adenauer disdained Hitler and the Nazis, he sent only a deputy to meet the Reich Chancellor. Hitler was so offended he chose to spend the night in neighboring Godesberg.
Allen Gewalten zum trotz, sich erhalten! (“Despite all the powers, maintain yourself!”)
The life of Sophie Scholl changed on the day she and most of her siblings were arrested by the Gestapo. Along with her brother Werner and her sister Inge, she was summarily removed from the family home in Ulm (a small town about 75 miles from Munich) and taken to a local jail.
Their parents stood by helplessly as their children were handcuffed and their home was ransacked by the secret police. Sophie was 16 years old at the time while Inge and Werner were 20 and 15, respectively. Her older brother, Hans (19), had been taken into a custody a few weeks earlier. The year was 1937.
Melchizedek is an obscure individual who makes but one appearance in the Bible, and most folks can’t tell you where or when. But Latter-day Saints sure can, for the high priesthood of Mormonism bears his name. Unfortunately, our exclusive focus on his priestly authority causes us to miss something profound in his encounter with Abraham.
To grasp the import of this episode, we have to focus on what was going on in Abraham’s life before Melchizedek arrived and what immediately followed. In other words, we have to read it in context.