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Declaring for the Future

Words of Faith Final

Declaring for the Future
Words of Faith 4-25-2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2022
Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL    
www.faithfellowshipweb.com
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Genesis 23
    Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. [2] She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.
    [3] Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. He said, [4] "I am an alien and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead."
    [5] The Hittites replied to Abraham, [6] "Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead."
    [7] Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites. [8] He said to them, "If you are willing to let me bury my dead, then listen to me and intercede with Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf [9] so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you."

         Buying funeral plots is not exactly the stuff we think of for a devotional passage. But Chapter 23 points out more than just the reality that funeral arrangements are a part of life.  
         Sarah died at age 127, and Abraham was grieved deeply by her death. He set out to buy a place for her burial.   It was very significant that Abraham sought a place of burial in the land of Canaan. The custom of the ancient world was to bury family members "back home."  But Abraham did not travel back to his father's land to bury his wife. The purchase of a place for burial in the Promised Land was a declaration that this was now home! God had indeed called Abraham and his descendants to be a new people.
        When Abraham began to negotiate with the Hittites for a burial space, he was offered a tomb among theirs. The Hittites recognized that Abraham was a "mighty prince."  They wanted very much for Abraham to make his home among them so that they would gain from his wealth and presence. But Abraham wanted a place apart for his family. He needed to declare a future for his entire family, and he wanted to pay full price for the cave of Machpelah as a burial site.
         The Tomb of the Patriarchs still exists today. It contains the tombs of Sarah and Abraham (25:9), Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah. Located in Hebron, it is one of the most ancient sites in the Holy Land (http://holylandphotos.org/browse.asp?ImageID=ICHJHB10&SiteID=79). The structure one sees today was built over 2000 years ago by Herod the Great and houses both a synagogue and a mosque since both Jews and Muslims venerate this place.
          Grieving, funerals, and burials are an important part of life. But even more important is the declaration of where we belong for the future! Abraham declared that he no longer belonged in the past; he belonged to the future. Abraham made a declaration that his home was not in the past; his home was in the promise of God.
           We make a similar declaration when we come to know the Lord. Our home is not in this world but in the world to come. Our hope is not in the things of this earth but in the New Jerusalem. Our nationality is not in the past but in the Kingdom of God. We don't have to buy a cave to make this declaration. We make our declaration every day as we live in ways that point to the future rather than cling to the past.

          Father, I put my hope in Your promise! I declare my future to be with You. I rest in the sure knowledge of Your Kingdom that is to come. I rejoice in knowing You.  In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)        
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2022 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.