O.T.#44 "Plotting a Plot"
May 10, 2013
Genesis 23-Part 1
I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a burying place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight. Genesis 23:4
LET IT GLOW
When you get older, usually one makes plans for their funeral and burial. Some people make
preparations while others don't want to even think about dying. Some make all the arrangements
in advance, while others make none. My parents are buried in my hometown, where we live.
However, both sets of my grandparents are buried in 2 different cemeteries. They chose the area around which they lived or grew up. I suppose we will do the same. Nothing like the present to prepare for the hereafter. Have you plotted your plot yet?
Today's lesson is a bitter-sweet one. We encounter the death of sister Sarah, who lived in a tent, wandering with her husband, who was headed for the Promised Land. They had no permanent
home here on earth, yet an eternal one in heaven. So where was Abraham going to bury his sweetheart? He had no plot of land.
Sarah died at age 127. She is the only woman whose age at death is recorded in Scripture. This
might suggest her importance in God's plan. (MacArthur)
Abraham went looking for a place to bury his beloved. We read of the negotiations of Abraham
for a cave to serve that purpose. He had been promised land for an inheritance, but had not
acquired it as of yet.
Hebrews 11:13 NIV says, All these people were still living by faith when they died. They had
not received the things promised, they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.
And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the
country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country-a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for he has prepared a city for them.
The land of Canaan is "a land of hills and valleys" (Deut. 11:11); the Christian life has both its
sorrows and joys. Yet in both, Abraham walked by faith. In this chapter, he is a mourner, one who sorrows yet not "as others which have no hope." (1 Thess. 4:13) What a testimony he was before
his lost neighbors! How strange that the first plot of ground Abraham possessed in Canaan was a
tomb! Genesis 49:31-33 indicates that six people were eventually buried there. (Wiersbe)
The six buried in this cave that Abraham acquired were Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Leah,
and Jacob. (Gen. 25:9, 49:31, 50:13)
Abraham insisted on paying for the burial place. Ephron insisted on selling the entire unit, field,
cave, and trees. (Trees served as a border.)
Abraham was called a mighty prince, nasi, which designates an official who has been elevated in
or by the assembly. Abraham lived in the area for 62 years.
Rank and reputation accorded Abraham a place of leadership and respect, leading his neighbors
(the Hittites) to freely offer their best sepulchers to him. (MacArthur)
Have you given an thought to the hereafter? I pray that you have made preparations for your
LET IT GROW
In our key verse, Abraham called himself a stranger and a sojourner in the Promised Land.
According to Strong's Concordance, stranger refers to a guest, a foreigner; a sojourner is a
dweller, a temporary inmate or mere lodger, inhabitant.
Abraham recognized that he was not the lord of the land or even a small property owner. A
family sepulchre would not be a legal claim to the possession of Canaan, but it would be a
prophetic sign. Give me does not mean give without payment. Abraham was only a resident alien, requesting the right to acquire property in perpetuity. Likewise, Ephron did not offer a free gift. (Falwell)
Jesus another person who did not have a place to be buried. It was provide by another. Luke 23
tells about it.
Well, we got that settled, Sarah buried. After a funeral comes a wedding, so come back tomorrow.
It will be more uplifting.
Have you settled where you will spend eternity? Another one has provided the way-Jesus Christ.
Our new home in heaven is free to us. Jesus paid the price so we could spend our life there forever
after we die, if we are His child.
John 14 tells us that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us. He is the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Jesus.
LET IT GO
Don't put too much in this old house I'm livin' in.
Look forward to the mansion that Jesus is building for me in heaven.
Tells others how they can have a home in glory.