February 2, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 22:20-23:20

Have you ever tried to do something nice for someone and they just won’t let you? Or maybe you’re the person who is hard to serve. I tend to be the latter but one time my friend rebuked me because I was stopping them from being a blessing to me. Now I only say no once and if the person insists I just accept it and say thank you. So if you are looking for someone who will let you serve them just let me know =). Ephron must have felt like Abraham was just being difficult. He tried and tried to give him the land but Abraham insisted that he pay for it. Why was Abraham being so difficult?

Abraham wasn’t being difficult, he was being faithful to the calling that God had given him. Hebron was part of the Promised Land that God had promised to Abraham and his descendants. Abraham was demonstrating his trust in God’s promise by establishing future rights to this land and a marker for his future descendants to be associated with. This was a big move because Abraham’s wife was forever going to be in this land so he had to have supreme confidence in God’s plan to establish his family there in the future.

Have you ever wrestled with a calling from God? Did/Do you believe in God’s call on your life enough to take steps of faith toward that goal?

By: Chad Wiles

Author: Center Point Church

A multi-campus church in central Kentucky. Our mission is to take everyone we meet one step closer to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

7 thoughts on “February 2, 2016”

  1. “My lord, listen to me; a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver, what is that between me and you? So bury your dead.” This makes me think of situations where friends insist on “paying you back” after a favor has been done. To me that’s always felt like keeping score. By adding a transactional element to our relationships, I do think we deprive each other of the blessing of service.

  2. Uz & Buz. Two fine names to be considered for the next family at CPC who has twin boys! Happy Groundhog Day, CPC! Let’s hope Punxsutawney Phil does NOT see his shadow, ushering in an early Spring!

  3. I’ve always wondered why Ephron named a price if he didn’t want to be paid back. It has always seemed to me that his lips said one thing while his heart said something else, and Abraham zeroed in on the one guy who would name a price and let him make a legal, fair, and witnessed purchase. Perhaps his years and faithfulness helped make him an astute judge of character. 🙂

  4. Notes in my Bible suggest that Abraham wasn’t necessarily being difficult, he was following the standard bargaining process at the time. To accept the land as a gift would have been insulting and the offer rescinded. Now, the price asked was high; Abraham could have offered half but he didn’t. Whatever the case, this was still a huge step of faith- one of many. Often the first few steps of following a call on our lives are the most difficult and require a ton of faith. Certainly not easy, but if we take the plunge and give it all to Jesus, it’s amazing to watch Him work!

  5. There are social customs and legal transactions taking place in this passage.

    “I am a sojourner and foreigner among you…Hear us, my lord; you are a prince of God among us…None of us will withhold from you his tomb to hinder you…” – Genesis 23:4-6. Abraham’s rank and reputation have earned him a place of leadership and respect. And yet in verse 7, though a great man, an old man, and now a mourner, he stands up, and bows himself humbly before them. Again, in verse 12, he bows graciously.

    Hittite Law required the owner of a complete unit of land to continue to perform the services to the king (feudal law, etc). Whatever the motive of Ephron, it is no longer about land anymore but added responsibility to king and subjects. Abraham’s response demonstrated respect to a superior before the people of the land, that they might respect Ephron the more for the display they witnessed: a proper transaction within the laws of the land, since land, not a cave, was now the discussion. Abraham’s response was prudent and just. Ephron is the unknown, a variable, probably sincere like those in verse 6.

    This passage is testimony of “Pay…respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” – Romans 13:7. Ephron honors Abraham’s leadership and character by offering land freely; Abraham honors Ephron by upholding the local customs and law.

    For all the sinful conduct noted in Abraham before kings, this is a bright star for the believer’s heart. My sins toward God and leaders past have taught me. I cannot remain that same man. How can I refuse Ephron an honest and trustworthy exchange?

    I shall go to work and remember: the man across the table, whom I hardly know but made in God’s image, shall be accorded the respect and honor as the Holt Spirit has enabled.

    Thank you for Jumpstart today!

  6. Good thoughts Chad. It definitely can be frustrating when you’re trying to serve someone or meet a need for them and they simply do not want to accept the help.

    As for your questions on calling, absolutely. I can think back to when I wrestled with the call to vocational ministry. I can also think back to when I wrestled with things God was telling us to do at CPC. For the most part, though, I do believe that I’ve taken faith steps forward in those ‘calling moments’. But maybe not always with the right heart posture.

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