In today’s Genesis reading Sarah, the wife of Abraham dies and Abraham has to buy a small plot of land on which to bury her. After all this time since God promised him land as far as his eye could see, Abraham still doesn’t own enough land on which to bury his wife. God’s promise had not yet come true. Yet Abraham still remains faithful to God.
When Abraham requests to purchase a piece of land from the Hittite elders, they call him “an honored prince among us” and offer him one of their best tombs. It is noted that “no one” will refuse to help Abraham. Abraham is a stranger is in this land. He is not a Hittite. He is living there temporarily. Yet he is revered by these people. Abraham must have made a great impression upon these people with this lifestyle and his treatment of others to warrant such admiration. It reminds me that I am only a temporary resident of this planet. I should do my best to create healthy relationships with everyone I come in contact with. Doing so will be a great witness to God.
Abraham ends up getting a raw deal from Ephron but purchases the land anyway. It becomes the first piece of land that Abraham will “own” in Canaan, thereby partially fulfilling God’s promise to him. God uses a tragic event (the death of Sarah) to bring about part of His promise. God is very cool this way. He can use the most tragic of human circumstances for His glory and our benefit.
In Chapter 24 w see the story of Abraham’s servant finding a wife for his son, Isaac. Notice how the servant looked for a woman who was generous and thoughtful. The servant only asks her for a drink for himself. But the woman, Rebekah, offers to provide water for his camels as well – “enough for them to drink”. I’m sure camels can drink a lot, surely more than one man, so Rebekah was committing herself to a strenuous task of drawing water from a well for who knows how many camels. She was very hospitable.
In today’s Matthew reading we see that Jesus is willing to heal anyone who comes to Him (Matthew 8:3 and Matthew 8:16). Not only is He willing to heal our pains and diseases, but He was willing to heal our biggest problem – our sinful nature.
The man that Jesus heals in the beginning of this chapter is a leper. It is highly unusual for a leper to be around other people. Known lepers were not allowed to be near other for fear of contagion. So this man was taking a big risk to get close to Jesus. And Jesus touched him! The people who witnessed this must have been amazed at Jesus’ bravery.
Jesus sends this now-cured man to the priest whose job it was to examine to see if someone “still” had leprosy. Of course, no one had ever been cured of leprosy before so this was Jesus’ way to show the priest that He (Jesus) had the power to heal even the most horrific of diseases.
In verses 8-10 we see a Gentile believe in Jesus. Jesus gives us a foreshadowing of what is to come – that He will be rejected by the Jews but will be accepted by the Gentiles as the Savior of the world.
We are “mere mortals” (Psalm 9:20). This is a good reminder. Its easy to think of ourselves as invincible, especially when we are young. We aren’t the creator, we are the creation. We aren’t all knowing, we have a lot to learn and always will.
Today in Proverbs we have one of the most famous passages in the Bible: Psalms 3:5-6. If we seek His will, not our own, He will show us which path to take. God knows everything and wants what is best for us. We can have it too, but we have to let Him give it to us. If we take our lives into our own hands, we will miss out on the great things God has in store for us.