faith, Genesis Series

Genesis 23 Identity in Action

Chapter of the Day: Read Genesis 23.

Meditate on Genesis 23:4 ‘” I am a foreigner and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.'”

There is nothing quite like death to remind God’s people that they are only foreigners in their time on earth. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, died at the age of one hundred and twenty-seven years old in Genesis 23.

Abraham in his mourning approaches the Hittites to purchase property to bury Sarah. He respectfully and humbly deals with their worldly way of bargaining, and even in his grief chooses to be a great example of a man of character among the Hittites. He pays the full price for the tomb.

Death is a heart-wrenching reminder to people that something isn’t quite right with the world, and rightly so. Death and separation are the ultimate consequences of sin.  A reminder to all of us that there is a costly price to pay for our wrongdoing against a holy God. In Sarah’s death, Abraham realizes that he is only a foreigner. However, God is still good, through Sarah’s death part of the promise from God is fulfilled when Abraham takes ownership of a piece of the land that is promised to his many descendants to come.

There are great consequences to the sin that is a reality now for all of us, however, no consequence is too powerful to change our identity in Christ. Nor should we use it as an excuse to behave as anything other than a child of God.  God is still faithful and we can use consequences of sin as reminders of where our true citizenship will be when we are reunited with our creator in heaven. We can look forward to a time when we will no longer be foreigners, we will instead inherit the Promised Land.

Prayer: God thank you that you remind us who we are in you and where our true citizenship is even through consequences of our sin. You are a good, good father who has gone to prepare an eternal home for us on the other side of death.  Lord help me to respond, even in times of trouble, as Abraham did. Help me to not use it as an excuse to treat people poorly. Help me point them to you, even in my own pain and suffering. In Jesus’ name amen.

Application: Do you remember a time when you felt like a foreigner amongst the people around you because of your identity in Christ?

Have you felt the sting of death the death of a loved one?

How has the pain of that separation caused you to respond to those around you?

Read 1 Peter 2:15-17 ” It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. 16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God and respect the king.”

How does God want us to treat others based on who He says we are?

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