In our devotional reading for today we see the account of the death of Abraham's dear wife, and her burial. This may seem to you a strange passage for a devotional reading but as we share some thoughts I believe that you will realize that this passage is very important, especially prophetically.
Up to this point in the book of Genesis we have been traveling through history, from the Creation, the Flood, the building of Babylon, the travels of Abraham and now to the death of his precious wife, the mother of his second son, the "son of promise", Isaac.
With the death of his wife, Abraham needed to make provisions for caring for her body and the plan that he would set in motion for not only Sarah, but a burial site for himself, their son Isaac and their grandson Jacob and their wives.
Since Abraham was living in Hebron, which makes it the "oldest Jewish community" in the world, dating back some 4,000 years, Genesis 13:18, he of course would select a place nearby for the burial site.
The piece of land that Abraham selected belonged to Ephron the Hittite, verse 17. Ephron wanted to give the "cave" to Abraham for the burial site, verse 15, but Abraham refused the offer and instead paid the amount of "four hundred shekels of silver". That amount in today's currency would be around $700,000, a large sum of "money" for a "cave".
Verses 16 to 20 are the "title deed" to this piece of land in what today is the area of Judea, or known in some circles as the "West Bank". The term, "West Bank" is a political term that basically is anti-Jewish. It is an area about 35 miles Southwest of Jerusalem.
The Mechpela Cave is the burial site for the Jewish Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is the second most sacred place on this earth to the Jewish people, second only to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Notice that Abraham paid "cash money" for this piece of real estate.
The fact that Abraham purchased this "cave" to bury his wife is evidence that he believed the Lord, and that the Lord had given him and his descendants this, the "promised land". Abraham wanted to be buried in the "promised land".
The interesting thing about this story is that today this cave site is on a very controversial piece of land. There are almost 800 Jewish people that live in Hebron, surrounded by around 150,000 Palestinians that do not want the Jews to be there.
The Jewish people that live in Hebron today believe that the Lord has given this land to them and they are not willing to leave this land, thus the conflict today. They believe that they have the right to be there because their "forefather" Abraham purchased the land and the Bible is the "titled deed" to this land.
Ezekiel 35:10-12 tells us that in the last days the Edomites, the Palestinians of today, will try and take the land that the Lord has given the Jews. Malachi 1reveals that these Edomites will return and rebuild. However, the Lord says that their "borders" will be the "borders of wickedness".
All the prophetic passages that relate to Genesis 23 and the land that God gave Abraham 4,000 years ago, all of these prophecies are at the point of being fulfilled. There is only one thing that must happen before these prophecies are fulfilled, the Rapture of the Church and that could happen today. Keep looking up.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for the great example of "faith" that Abraham is to me, and the revealing of the prophetic significance of this passage and the event that it records for my information. Help me to live in light of the truth that we are living in the "last days".
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?