The Sojourner Becomes a Resident

“And Abraham listened to Ephron. Then, Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver which he spoke of in the hearing of the Sons of Cheth — four-hundred shekels of silver according to the merchants. Thus, the field of Ephron, which was in Makpelah, which was before Mamre —  the field and the cave which was in it and all the trees which were in the field which are within all of the borders around it was sold to Abraham as property in the eyes of the Sons of Cheth and all those who entered the gates of his city.”

(Genesis 23:16-18)

 

The deal is now fully negotiated and made. Abraham purchases the lot and its contents as his own. This will be the first piece of the Promised Land that actually will fall into the control of Abraham…a taste of the promise that will be later fulfilled as the children of Abraham move out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into Canaan. A third party (the merchants) is called in to measure out the silver (again, making sure that a fair deal is struck and no one can complain the Abraham cheated Ephron out of his property), and witnesses seal the public deal. Abraham is now a land-owner, at least on human terms, and will bring his own life to a close dwelling in this area.

The sojourner has now become a resident, the alien has been given a home. In death, Sarah’s body is given that which she did not enjoy in life, though in the new creation, she will enjoy it most fully. How that is the story of the believer. Before God takes ahold of our lives, we are spiritual wanderers, flitting about from one ideology to another, always glorifying self and not Christ. But in Christ, we find a home. In Christ, we find meaning. And in Christ, we finally belong. How Christ’s church ought to reflect that; how rarely Christ’s church does a good job of reflecting that. Jesus said, “Come to me all you that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest…” (Matthew 11:28). May Christ’s church be that place where we can find our rest from the wearying burden of sin in our lives and in the world.

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