Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30)

Saturday, November 30, 2019

2019.11.30 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 22:20-23:20

Questions from the Scripture text: Who else had children (Genesis 22:20)? Who were Nahor’s sons and grandsons (Genesis 22:21-22)? Who was Nahor’s great-granddaughter (Genesis 22:23)? Who else descended from Nahor (Genesis 22:24)? How old was Sarah at her death (Genesis 23:1)? How did Abraham respond (Genesis 23:2)? What did Abraham request in Genesis 23:3-4? How did the sons of Heth respond (Genesis 23:5-6)? More specifically, what property did Abraham want from whom (Genesis 23:7-9)? What did he offer for it? At first, how does Ephron respond (Genesis 23:10-11)? But what does Abraham insist upon doing (Genesis 23:12-13)? What price does Ephron pretend not to want to name (Genesis 23:14-15)? What does Abraham do in Genesis 23:16? Why is the summary of Genesis 23:17-18 important? What is mentioned in Genesis 23:4Genesis 23:6Genesis 23:9Genesis 23:11Genesis 23:13Genesis 23:15Genesis 23:19, and Genesis 23:20?
The end of chapter 22 reminds us that God keeps track of all people from all nations. They seem like random names to us, but we cannot know the multitude of people who may have come from them. Abraham’s brother has twelve sons—a significant number in the lineages in Genesis. But, as we learn in the following chapter, the Lord isn’t just tracing generations of those who live for a moment and then vanish. Every person from every family is an eternal soul, who will be resurrected. Death is the end of this life in this age, but it is not the end of a man or woman.

Sarah is the only woman in the Bible, whose age at death is given in the Scripture. She has been especially chosen by God to be the one through whom the Seed (Christ!) would come. Yet, she is just getting started.

It’s very impressive that Abraham wants to purchase part of the land now. Why? He’s lived here for some sixty years or so, and the whole thing is promised to him by God. He hasn’t needed to outright own anything so far. So, why now?

The answer appears at least eight times in this chapter: burial. He’s not purchasing something that he needs for his living body, but for his wife’s dead body—or, rather, for her glorified body on the day of resurrection! Some believers tie the land promise to the parcel of land that was reappropriated in 1948 and to the nation that currently controls it. But this is not only too small in Abrahamic terms (from the Euphrates to the Nile and the Mediterranean!), but it misses that the land promise has been expanded to include the whole earth.

More importantly, just as Sarah’s body needs to go through a transformative renovation now that it is dead, this bodily resurrection is precisely because the new earth that it inherits will also be transformatively renovated. There is an incorruptible world coming, for which we will need incorruptible bodies (1 Corinthians 15:35-58).

The whole interaction with the Hittites is intriguing—lots of being polite and etiquette, but on the whole, Ephron asks what is an exorbitant price. Abraham, of course, is willing to pay it, because his wife’s place in the world to come is of infinite worth by comparison to some silver that the Lord is literally about to burn up. Such are the values of one who hopes in Christ!
What is your body’s purpose now? In eternity? In the meantime between those?
Suggested songs: ARP16A “Keep Me, O God” or TPH471 “The Sands of Time Are Sinking”

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