Daily email from the Vicar Number 73

Good morning everybody.
Back to the story of Abraham in its original context, and our Bible passage today is Genesis Chapter 23.  It is quite a lot of text to tell a small part of the story, Abraham buying a burial plot for his wife Sarah.
However, what we do see is Abraham trying to put down roots in Canaan by buying land, which suggests he and his descendants are there to stay because he trusts the Lord’s promises about the land.  Also he seems to be keen to do the right thing by not accepting the burial plot as a gift but paying for it to make it official.  It is a reminder to us that the Scriptures, the Word of God, are not just about the deep things of God, but also include in the story the ordinary things that affect each of us, the death and burial of a loved one.
Also at first reading it seems that the local people, the Hittites, are showing great respect to Abraham, by the flattering words they use and offering the land as a gift, and I was thinking what a good lesson to us that a person of faith in a strange land has built up such respect from those who have different values and customs to him.
However, the Bible commentators suggest that there may be ulterior motives for offering the land as a gift because it doesn’t secure definite ownership like a purchase does.
And also when it came to the actual deal, Ephron insists on selling the whole field and not just the bit at the end, and charges 400 shekels of silver which is apparently an exorbitant price, Jeremiah over a thousand years later pays just 17 shekels for a field from his cousin! (Jeremiah Ch.32 v.9)
Anyway we trust that this little episode is a small step for the Lord’s plans for Abraham and his descendants coming into reality.
In our prayers let us remember our own nation, as well as the USA, with all that is going on at the moment with pent up feelings and upset about racism over many years.  Pray for wisdom and peace to prevail, and for all of us to have the Lord’s mind and eyes to think and see as He does.
In our church address list we return to the beginning again and pray for,
– Colin & Penny
– Martin & Lucie
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