Summary: In the burial of Sarah, we see Abraham staking his claim to God's promises
STAKING YOUR CLAIM
Genesis 23:1-20 (NLT)
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Intro: How many have been following our Atlanta Braves baseball team this year? Not doing so well are we? They fired the manager Freddie Gonzales this week. The news said he found out about from a confirmation email telling him that his ticket back to Atlanta was ready for his pick up. It seems that Freddie didn't survive the re-building process that is going on. It seems the Braves are looking to the future. They gave up many of their high dollar and arguably better players in order to prepare for the future. They are following a model that the Kansas City Royals used several years ago that led to the world series championship for them last year. The Royals had staked their future, they had staked their claim on the championship by molding their team around the younger players. The Brave are doing the same thing. They are staking their claim for the future through what they are doing now.
. For me, I wish they would hurry up.
. We are back in Genesis this morning. Chapter 23. At first glance it seems that really all we have here is a historical narrative that really wont preach very well.
. In researching the chapter, I found that it has been used a lot for funeral sermons but not much else.
. Since we are not having a funeral this morning, God will have to use this scripture to speak to us in a meaningful way.
. All scripture is good for teaching and preaching and rebuking the Bible tells us; so what is God trying to tell us this morning.
. This chapter in the Bible is all about staking our claim. It is about our future as God's children and our dependence on the future God has promised us.
. There is 20 verses here so what I want to do is tell you the story and then we will go back and highlight some passages.
. We have been preaching through and you have probably heard more about Abram who became Abraham and Sari who became Sarah than you have in your whole life.
. Our scripture this morning begins with the death of Sarah. She is 127 years old. They are living in Hebron which is in the land of Canaan, the Promised Land. While God has promised all of this land to Abrahams descendants, he does not yet possess it. They only live there.
. Abraham decided that he wanted to bury Sarah in Canaan but he didn't have any where to bury her. He owned no suitable grave site. He went to the elders of the city and said look, I know that I am a foreigner around here but I sure would like to bury my wife here.
. Abraham must have been living a pretty good witness because they told him that they would be happy for him to choose one of the tombs that they had to bury his wife.
. Abraham said that since you think so highly of me perhaps Ephron so of Zohar, one of you, would sell me this cave that I have seen and the field that surrounds it.
. They kind of negotiate back and forth and Abraham winds up buying the cave and the field that surrounded it for 400 pieces of silver. A hefty price at that time. It seem that Ephron liked Abraham but he liked a hefty profit better.
. They went to the closing table and transferred the deed and title to the property into Abrahams name after payment.
. Abraham buried Sarah there and established it as a permanent burial place for his family.
. Now what can we glean from this other than history.
. What we see here is that Abraham is:
.STAKING HIS CLAIM ON GOD
.He is looking to the future. He is depending on God's promises.
. Look at verses 1-4 with me.
1When Sarah was 127 years old,
2she died at Kiriath-arba (now called Hebron) in the land of Canaan. There Abraham mourned and wept for her.
3Then, leaving her body, he said to the Hittite elders,
4“Here I am, a stranger and a foreigner among you. Please sell me a piece of land so I can give my wife a proper burial.”
. These four verses show us Abrahams:
. Faith for the future
. The concept of taking our loved ones home for burial, for a final resting place is fairly normal in our society today isn't it.
. We will fly loved ones around the world after their death just to bring them home wont we?
. One of the precepts that our military lives by is that no soldier will be left behind. To this day we still have people looking for the remains of lost soldiers in Vietnam in order to bring them home.