May 15, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. She died at Kiriath-arba in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her." Genesis 23:1-2
One of the most fascinating incidents in Abraham's life of faith took place when his wife Sarah died. God led him in a remarkable way and interceded for him in a way that revealed His divine hand in it all. This incident had its influence hundreds of years in the future by affecting the burial of his descendants.
When Sarah died, Abraham went to the city gate and spoke unto the sons of Heth, saying, "I am an alien and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead." They had heard of Sarah's death and said to Abraham, "Take the best of our tombs; we respect you very highly; thou art a mighty prince among us; you may bury your wife there."
But Abraham was not a Canaanite and therefore could not own any land, not even to bury Sarah. Abraham said, "Ephron, the son of Zohar has a lot, and I would like to buy it from him. There is a cave at the end of his field and I would like to bury Sarah there; it is called Machpelah." They agreed to let Abraham, a Jew, buy the land from Ephron for 400 shekels of silver.
This was a remarkable act of faith, because what Abraham implied was, "I don't want to bury Sarah on someone else's property. One of these days all of this land is going to belong to my descendants, and I want her to be buried on land owned by my people Israel." Abraham's faith was founded on, centered in, and set in motion by God Himself. Circumstances were not a part of his life that would in any way affect his unwavering faith in an unchanging faithful God. His faith was focused on God and what He had promised to him!
You say, "What's so remarkable about that?" Look at the events that followed in God's providential leading. When Abraham died, he was buried in the Cave of Machpelah with Sarah. Just before Jacob died, he called his sons together and made them swear to bury him with his father, in the cave called "Machpelah" in the field of Ephron the Hittite. There they also buried Isaac, and his wife Rebekah, and Leah. Just before Joseph died, he made a covenant with the children of Israel to take his bones from Egypt and bury him also in the Cave of Machpelah. Abraham and his descendants all were buried in the Cave of Machpelah.
They all believed that one day God would bring them to the land "possessed by God's people." It started when Abraham said he wanted Sarah buried on land "owned by my people Israel." Abraham's faith prevailed. You say, "Well that was just a coincidence." When we as believers "dare to believe" God and walk in obedience to His Word, He leads His own in unerring ways according to His will. God's ways are not governed by or provoked by the whims of man. His ways are past finding out.
What a blessing it is for every Christian to "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=136&date=2012-05-15
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