Genesis Chapter 23 A Relationship of Hope

Genesis chapter 23 opens with the earthly closing to a wonderful relationship. Verses 1-2 state Sarah lived 127 years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her." We have journeyed through Genesis with Abram and Sari and with Abraham and Sarah. Reading some of their stories shows that they have experienced challenges and ups and downs, just like all relationships. The one thing about this wonderful model of a relationship is that it stood the test of time, and it testifies to not only Faith and commitment to God but also Faith and commitment to each other. If you have ever lost a loved one, I don't have to tell you how hard that is. I will take this moment to remind you of 1 Thessalonians 4:13, "But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope." As Christians, we have hope for an everlasting future with Christ, our Lord and savior. We don't have hope in worldly things but Heavenly things. Verse 4 reassures us that Abraham is fully aware of that hope. It states, "I am a sojourner and foreigner among you; give me property among you for a burying place, that I may bury my dead out of my sight." Two very important things, please don't miss them Abraham identifies himself as a sojourner, a foreigner which all Christians are in this world. Second, he understood the importance of trusting God through the period of mourning. I still struggle with the what-ifs of grief, and many people may sympathize, but I understand the best way to honor my loved ones is to trust God with my life because I have a greater hope, salvation. And we as Christians we all share in this greater hope as stated in Hebrews 11:16 "But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." Micah 7:7 "But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me." As we continue in the story, we see a bit of bargaining over a spot for burial, and we see Abraham's integrity and commitment to doing the right thing inverse (16). Please don't miss the valuable lesson that grief brings to our lives. It makes us appreciate each breath, love our loved ones a little harder, and opens up our hearts to reconciliation with others grief teaches us how to love the people we find hard to love. And more importantly, it allows us to view the death of Christ in the correct perspective as a sacrificial gift of salvation. Please don't take this gift lightly. He is a God of love and justice. Remember Hebrews 12:6 "For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son who he receives." We can trust God if for no other reason than the fact that He is a just God. I encourage you to read Genesis chapter 23 in conjunction with Hebrews 11.

Remember, God loves you, and so do I.

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