“Listening to God” Bible Reading & Devotion: Apr. 27, 2022 – Genesis 023

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Genesis 23 (ESV)

Sarah’s Death and Burial

1 Sarah lived 127 years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. And Abraham rose up from before his dead and said to the Hittites, “I am a sojourner and foreigner among you; give me property among you for a burying place, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”The Hittites answered Abraham, “Hear us, my lord; you are a prince of God among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will withhold from you his tomb to hinder you from burying your dead.” Abraham rose and bowed to the Hittites, the people of the land. And he said to them, “If you are willing that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me and entreat for me Ephron the son of Zohar, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he owns; it is at the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me in your presence as property for a burying place.”

10 Now Ephron was sitting among the Hittites, and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites, of all who went in at the gate of his city, 11 “No, my lord, hear me: I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the sight of the sons of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead.” 12 Then Abraham bowed down before the people of the land. 13 And he said to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, “But if you will, hear me: I give the price of the field. Accept it from me, that I may bury my dead there.” 14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “My lord, listen to me: a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver, what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.”16 Abraham listened to Ephron, and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weights current among the merchants.

17 So the field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre, the field with the cave that was in it and all the trees that were in the field, throughout its whole area, was made over 18 to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, before all who went in at the gate of his city.19 After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah east of Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 The field and the cave that is in it were made over to Abraham as property for a burying place by the Hittites.

 

REFLECTION

  • For many years after his arrival in Canaan, Abraham continued to live a nomadic life, moving from one place to another. God had promised Abraham years ago that Canaan would be given to him as his property (17:8). But he was still a stranger (sojourner, v4) in the land. This time he waited. Here we read that Abraham purchased his first piece of land from the Hittites as a burial ground for his wife Sarah.
  • This purchase is proof of Abraham’s continuing faith in God, though at the time of Sarah’s death, she and Abraham had not seen the fulfillment of most of God’s promises. Knowing that his descendants would have to endure four hundred years of bitter bondage in a foreign country (15:13), he looked beyond that to the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises.
  • Waiting is an important discipline in our faith journey. It is in waiting that we experience the reviving strength from God. Jesus has also promised all believers the New Jerusalem in His Father’s place. We have been waiting for many years. Have you become weary in your waiting?
  • Meditate on the following verses and listen to what God’s speaking to you today.

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.    (Isa 40:30-31)

 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, please allow me to learn how to wait in my life as a sojourner on earth! I know very well that my final dwelling place is in heaven, and no matter how beautiful my dwelling in this world is, there is my more beautiful home in heaven. Please allow me to have an extraordinary vision and a heart of patience while I live in the world, to hope and wait for all that You have promised, because Your promises will eventually be fulfilled! Many of my expectations may not be fulfilled when I die, please let me live a life that glorify You in the world with faith and let those great spiritual pioneers often surround me like a cloud, give me courage and strength, that I may be like them, to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint, to mount up with wings like eagles, to be a good witness for You in the world. Amen!

 

HYMN

Everlasting God – youtu.be/yubLGTOcm8c

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