Monday, December 2, 2019

2019.12.02 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?
Generations come, and generations go. The genealogy of Rebekah concludes chapter 22, but the burial of Sarah occupies Genesis 23.

It must have been curious to the Hittites—that this transplanted Chaldean who had been content to be a sojourner suddenly wanted to own just the cave at the end of the field (Genesis 23:9).

Ephron recognizes the business opportunity. His ears must perk up when Abraham says “full silver” in verse 9. Ephron escalates the transaction to include not just the cave, but the field as well (Genesis 23:11). When Abraham confirms that he insists on paying (Genesis 23:13, there must be no doubt that it belongs to him), Ephron goes in for the kill, “the land, four hundred shekels of silver—what is that between me and between you?” (Genesis 23:15). In fact, it is likely that “currency of the merchants” in Genesis 23:16 refers to the common practice (condemned by God) of having one set of weights for buying, and another for selling. Abraham would have been subject to the heavier set!

But for Abraham, this wasn’t a business opportunity. It was not a time to think about the financial cost. It was a time to look forward. Forward past the decay of Sarah’s body. Forward past his own death, when his own body would be laid in that cave at the end of that field and decay. Forward to a day of resurrection that must come.

In Genesis 15:2-5, God had promised Abraham that he would have a descendant who solves the death problem—and a multitude of descendants who would enjoy the fulfillment of that promise. Then Romans 4:17-21 tells us that in Genesis 17:17, part of Abraham’s reasoning as he believed the promise about Sarah was that God gives life to the dead. And Hebrews 11:17-19 tells us that in Genesis 22, the reason that Abraham is confident in Genesis 22:5 that he and Isaac would both return, and willing in Genesis 22:10 to slay Isaac, is that he was sure that God could and would raise the dead.

Abraham’s faith was a resurrection-expecting faith, and therefore it was a body-burying faith—even at exorbitant cost in the silver that he would not be taking with him.
What are some ways that the resurrection and eternity affect how you use money?
Suggested Songs: ARP16A-B “Keep Me, O God” or TPH234 “The God of Abraham Praise”

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