Today you should read Genesis 22:20-23:20
So, Abraham has passed the faith test and God has reminded him of His promise to bless him and make a great nation of his family. The next thing that happens is Abraham finds out how his brother, Milcah, is doing. He has 8 sons with his wife Nahor and 4 more kids with his concubine Reumah. Have you ever been jealous of your siblings before? I know I have. This is a very personal illustration, but it rings so true here. I sometimes find myself jealous over my little brother because he has two kids and I have had two who have died.
I know this sounds awful to say, but, I hope this makes sense of this portion of scripture that may otherwise get skipped over. Children were prized in Abraham’s culture, especially boys, so, for his brother to have at least eight boys and him only two, would definitely put him in an inferior position in most everyone’s eyes. This may have caused him to doubt God’s promise that his family line would become a great nation. How could two boys, really just one of which had God’s blessing, compete with a family of eight or more boys? We often consider quantity to be a sign of God’s blessing, when in fact, often times it is the exact opposite.
Just because you have more of something does not mean that God is blessing you more than those who do not have as much. This is a good lesson to learn in all areas of our lives.
From here we read of the death of Sarah. So, Abraham is facing another big test. Have you ever had a spouse or someone close to you die? This always has one of two effects in a person’s life. It can either draw you closer to God or it can become a barrier between you and God. We see that Abraham drew closer to God as evidenced by the rest of his story in Genesis.
Now Abraham has a dilemma. He is living in a foreign land and has no place to bury his wife. He goes before the Hittie men and asks them to sell him a burial place. We see that Abraham had a great rapport with these people because they offer him any spot they have. He chooses a cave owned by a man named Ephron. He offers to pay full price but Ephron offers to give him the cave and the field it is on free of charge.
Scholars tell us that this was actually just a friendly gesture and that Ephron was not about to give up his land for nothing. Abraham insists on paying for it so Ephron sets a price of 400 silver pieces. Typically, there would be a negotiation between the two as this price was extremely high for their day. Abraham, however, pays the first asking price so as not to be indebted to the Hittite people. The transaction is made and Abraham buries his wife Sarah.
Posted by Robbie Byrd