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22 20-23 20 Rest In Piece

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                                                  liberty bible church          2/24/08 P.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“Rest in Piece”

Choices in this life may indicate what we believe about the next.

Genesis 22:20-23:20

introduction

Illus. of “Flower Mix-up” Resting in eternal peace is something that everyone wants to do, but few make the decisions in this life that make that peace possible. Abraham makes some choices in this passage that indicate that he is preparing for, not only the next life, but the next generation of his descendants that would follow him in this life. He wants them to be at p-i-e-c-e while he rests in p-e-a-c-e. Let me show you what I mean.

OPEN to passage.                                       

                

Prop. In this passage, we see how important preparing to die is.

Open in PRAYER.

PREVIEW the passage. Abraham and Isaac’s faith has been confirmed and now it’s time to begin to transition to the next generation. We see that in…

  i. the passing of a promise vs. 22:20-24

Illus. of Henrietta Mears said, “God buries His workmen, but not His work.” In this seemingly insignificant paragraph, we see where God is preparing for His work to continue through Abraham’s descendants and He makes sure that Abraham is part of the process. It starts with…

a. a family update

       Illus. of we send these out at Christmas. Abraham hears some news here.    

V 20-   1. News has come from the east that Abraham’s brother has had some sons. Abraham has some nephews; eight

       22      by his wife Milcah and 4 more from a concubine named Reumah in verse 24. They’re all listed here.

V 23    2. The important point here is not the number of sons, but the daughter of the youngest son, Bethuel. We all know that Rebekah would become the wife of Isaac.

b. why here?

            1. Many question why this information is here and not before chapter 24 where we see the Abraham looking for a bride for Isaac.

            2. To place it at the end of chapter 22 ties it in with the burial of Sarah. In burying Sarah in the promised land, Abraham is turning his pack on his homeland and claiming this land as his new home, even though he has yet to own one square inch of it. He is ignoring his ancestry. Generally, sojourners were taken to their homeland for burial. I.e. Joseph was taken here from Egypt for burial. Egypt was not his home.

Trans. This section begins THE PASSING OF A PROMISE. Isaac was to become the recipient of all that God had promised Abraham and Rebekah would be an integral part of that. Second, we see…

 ii. the passing of a princess vs. 23:1-4

Illus. of “If You Want to Go to Heaven, Raise Your Hand” The old man didn’t want it to be his time. We come to the place in the Scriptures where it is Sarah’s time. You’ll recall her name means “princess.” So, here…

a. the princess dies

V 1      1. Sarah was 127 years old when she died. This would make Isaac 37 and Abraham 137. Abraham still has 38 years to live.

V 2      2. A Abraham spends some time in mourning for Sarah in Hebron. It has been 15-20 years since the events of chapter 22. There Abraham lived in Beersheba. Now, he is in Hebron, about 30 miles to the north.

b. the need

V 3-4   1. Abraham has been a sojourner here for years. He owns nothing. He has nowhere to bury Sarah. So, he makes a request of the sons of Heth.

            2. The sons of Heth were Hittites. Even though the Hittite empire never extended down this far, evidently here were some that settled here and kept some of their customs, as we will see in this bargaining that takes place.     

Trans. We see THE PASSING OF A PROMISE and THE PASSING OF A PRINCESS. Now, we get to the bulk of this section.

iii. the pASSING OF a piece of the promised land vs. 5-20

Illus. of Jonathan Edwards once said, “The bodies of those that made such noise and tumult when alive, when dead, lie as quietly among the graves of their neighbors as any others.” Abraham thought it was a small thing to ask a burial place for Sarah, but he would soon realize that he had to purchase more than he desired.

A. Abraham’s request  

V 5-6   1. Abraham was well respected among the people in the area. Even though he was not a landowner. He had many servants and flocks and a great many possessions. He had even conquered kings in the past. He was told that he had the choice of any burial ground in the land.

V 7-9   2. Abraham wanted to purchase the cave only from Ephron, a Hittite, the son of Zohar. But, Hittite custom did not allow this.

b. Let the negotiations begin

V 10    1. They were negotiating in the gate to the city. This is where official transactions were completed for business.

V 11    2. Ephron wanted to sell the field with the cave. This sounds as if he is offering it as a gift, but many say he is offering the field along with the cave for purchase. This is called Bedouin bargaining. Giving for giving. You give me and give you. To accept the land, Abraham had to accept all feudal responsibilities that went with the land. I.e. taxes. This may be why it sounds as if Ephron wanted to give the land away.

V 12-   3. Abraham is asking the purchase price of the land. He wants this to be legal and there to be no questions later,

       13      even if Ephron wants to give it away. Abraham knew the implications of burying your family in the land. He was taking this land as his home country. He is forsaking Padan Aram.

V 14-   4. Here Abraham is given the value of the land. So Abraham weighs out the currency to pay the purchase price of

       16      the land and the cave.

V 17-185. This made the purchase legal, with witnesses present and all feudal responsibilities passed now to Abraham. 

V 19-206. Abraham can now bury Sarah. Later, Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Leah were all buried here as well.

c. The impact of this purchase

            1. Abraham bought this land in faith. Normally, people were buried in their homeland. Abraham was indicating that this was his home now. There was no going back. His hope was in the land. It’s interesting that the only part Abraham ever owned in the promised land he had to buy, and it was a burial ground, even though God had given him all the land.

            2. Abraham realized that God’s promises do not end after this life. God will do far more in the next life than in this one.

            3. Abraham died in faith. Cf. Heb. 11:39-40 Abraham nor his descendents would not possess the land without the participation of the NT saints. God’s promises to those in faith are not ended when this life does. Abraham in hope bought a grave site. Believers today have hope beyond this life. Jesus spoke of the fact that Abraham was still alive. Cf. Matt. 22:31-32    

conclusion

We’ve seen THE PASSING OF A PROMISE, THE PASSING OF A PRINCESS, and THE PASSING OF A PIECE OF THE PROMISED LAND. Abraham’s choice to buy this land to bury Sarah was a demonstration of his faith in the promises that God made him about the land. He bought a p-i-e-c-e of ground where he could rest in the p-e-a-c-e of the promises of God. In other words, the choices he made in this life indicated his faith in the next. How do our choices in this life indicate what we believe about the next life?

1.      We must first trust in God’s promise for eternal life through Jesus Christ. GOSPEL

2.      We prove our believe in the next life by the way we live our current life. Do we live in the fear and admonition of the Lord? Do we obey His Word.

3.      Do we follow the example of Christ in the way that we serve people? What are our priorities? Are they self-centered or others’ centered? This list could go on. We make a myriad of choices that may or may not indicate what we believe.

Illus. of “Last Will and Testament”

I pray we can all leave this kind of faith for our descendants after us. This will give them a p-i-e-c-e of something that will offer them p-e-a-c-e in this life, as well as in the life to come.

pray      

                                                  liberty bible church          2/24/08 P.M.

By Tom Zobrist

“Rest in Piece”

Choices in this life may indicate what we believe about the next.

Genesis 22:20-23:20

introduction

Abraham makes some choices in this passage that indicate that he is preparing for, not only the next life, but the next generation of his descendants that would follow him in this life. He wants them to be at “p-i-e-c-e” while he rests in “p-e-a-c-e.” 

  i. the passing of a                                                                                                           vs. 22:20-24

a. a family update

           

b. why here?

      

 ii. the passing of a                                                                                                              vs. 23:1-4

a. the princess ________________________________

b. the need

iii. the pASSING OF a                                                                                                                                vs. 5-20

A. Abraham’s request 

b. Let the _________________________________ begin

c. The impact of this purchase

            Cf. Heb. 11:39-40; Matt. 22:31-32     

conclusion

How do our choices in this life indicate what we believe about the next life?

1.       

2.       

            3.


 

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