Year 2 Day 241
Read - Genesis 23
Message - Scott Woodburn
The message of modern living is that you can be whatever you want. If you work hard enough then nothing and no one can stand in your way. Do you remember being told that as a child? Perhaps you still believe it? But what happens if your dreams don’t come true? What happens if you never seem to find the pot of gold at the rainbow’s end?
We have grown fond of Abraham and his family. We’ve journeyed with them through highs and lows but as a new chapter begins, death visits the home of Abraham. His dear wife Sarah had reached 127 years and died. Even the heroes of the faith in Scripture one day died. No one was or is exempt.
Sarah had died in faith but she had not seen the fulfilment of all God’s promises. Certainly she had laughed at the birth of her son but the descendants of Abraham were not yet as numerous as the stars in the sky nor had they yet taken possession of the promised land.
Abraham knows this too well. He is a wanderer in the land and has no right to buy property (v4). Perhaps this seems like an inconsequential point but for Abraham it is huge. Where will he bury his wife? God has promised the land to the descendants of Abraham and so he wishes to bury his family on the land that one day his greater family will possess. Therefore the purchase of a family grave in the promised land was a matter of faith. It was a sure sign that Abraham believed one day God's promise would be fulfilled.
Abraham treats the Hittites with grace. He bows before them and eventually offers 400 shekels of silver as the price he wishes to pay for the cave of the field of Machpelah. The deal is done and Abraham buries his beloved wife in the family tomb.
As always Scripture interprets Scripture. Here’s what we read in Hebrews 11 “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth." (Hebrews 11v13) Abraham and Sarah had received promises that were not fulfilled in their lifetime. Not every dream came true before death. Not every promise was fulfilled before the Lord’s upward call.
It is this way for every single Christian. We know the promises of God and we believe them, but sometimes life feels so incredibly hard. What do we do? Do we give up? Perish the thought. We have received the Gospel promises by faith and although death will surely visit us, we will die in faith. We know that there is more than this present life and world. We know that God is true. We know that our faith is not in vain.
Today we still wait for the completion of God’s work. We wait for the return of Christ. We may not see the pot of gold at the end of life's rainbow but regardless, our desire is for a better country, this is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called our God, for he has prepared for us a city. (Hebrews 11v16) Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!
Q9 What is the work of creation? The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.