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Humility and Generosity for His Glory

Genesis 23:1-4,7-9,16 Now Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. Then Abraham rose from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, “I am a stranger and a sojourner among you; give me a burial site among you that I may bury my dead out of my sight”... So Abraham rose and bowed to the people of the land, the sons of Heth. And he spoke with them, saying, “If it is your wish for me to bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and approach Ephron the son of Zohar for me, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah which he owns, which is at the end of his field; for the full price let him give it to me in your presence for a burial site... Abraham listened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver which he had named in the hearing of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, commercial standard.

Its a sad end to the life of a beautiful woman of God and the fact that she lived 127 years in today's age is unthinkable. Abraham's response to her passing away is evidence of his love for her and his desire to give her a respectful burial is evidenced in this negotiation with the sons of Heth.

Again, due to a constraint of space and a desire to get you to read the entire chapter which is very small in size, I have only chosen a few verses. This passage details a healthy negotiation for a burial ground for Sarah and that seems odd at such a painful moment in Abraham's life.

Why would Abraham not take the gracious offer being made by Ephron and the sons of Heth and what are we to learn from this today?

When you consider all of Abraham's wealth, you realize that until this point, he owned no land apart from this plot that he bought for a fair price from Ephron.

God promised Abraham a nation and descendants that are more than the grains of sand, yet Abraham was at a point in his life when he had no land in his name and yet had a faith that defies logic!

The land was under the ownership of the ungodly Canaanites but Abraham shows them respect just as God has instructed us to do, regardless of the sinfulness. The noble generosity of the Canaanites shames us who are so closed and selfish and Abraham's response was fitting and right.

The world thinks that we laud it upon ourselves that we are a saved people and are sinless and guiltless and therefore without reproach. However, Abraham shows us that even though he was confirmed by God to lead a nation in the very land of his sojourning, he was yet respectful and upright in all his dealings with those in authority.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we are certainly forgiven and considered members of God's chosen people but we need to remember that it was not because we qualified but instead because of His choosing and we can never be prideful of our salvation because it was not in us or from us or because of our actions but rather because of our desperate need of a savior and the merciful response of a God who wants to save us and commune with us.

I pray today that we learn humility from Abraham and generosity from the sons of Heth and in so doing glorify Jesus Christ who became so humble as to take on human flesh, live among us and die for us so that we may be forgiven of our sins and have eternal life in and through Him.

In His Loving Service,

ServantBoy

1 Chronicles 29:16-17 “O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours. “Since I know, O my God, that You try the heart and delight in uprightness, I, in the integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things; so now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here, make their offerings willingly to You. 

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12.10.2010

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