Thursday, July 06, 2017

Faith—more than just a feeling

Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Genesis 23:1-20

TO CHEW ON: “So the field of Ephron which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field and the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, which were within all the surrounding borders were deeded to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of the city.” Genesis 23:17,18

The question that came to me as I read Genesis 23 this morning was, what’s the point of this little story being in the Bible? Sure it’s an interesting example of how people did deals way back then, but is that all?

My Bible’s study notes add this bit of insight:
“A fascinating story of Near Eastern bargaining, Abraham was quite aware that the Hittites did not intend to give him a free burial ground, nor would he have dared to accept their pretended offer. The issue at stake—will Abraham gain a permanent holding in Canaan, or will he remain a landless dependent?” - R. Russel Bixler, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 34.

The Reformation Study Bible says:
“In faithful expectation that God would fulfill the covenant promise of land (Genesis 3:15), Abraham sought to anchor his descendants in the Promised Land” - Reformation Study Bible on Genesis 23:19 - accessed through “Study This” on

This and other incidents support this interpretation of Abraham doing some intentional anchoring here:
  • He was adamant about not letting Isaac return to Ur to live, though he sent his servant back there to find Isaac a bride - Genesis 24:6-9.
  • He himself was buried in that Machpelah cave and later so were Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob and Leah - Genesis 25:9; 49:29-31; 50:13.

I like how Warren Wiersbe explains it:
“When Abraham purchased the cave of Machpelah for a tomb, he was making a statement of faith to all who were there. He did not take Sarah back to their former home in Ur but buried her in the land God had given him and his descendants” - Warren Wiersbe, BE Bible Study Series, accessed through Genesis 23 on

The lesson that I see for us moderns is one of similarly stepping out of our comfort zone in faith as we take God at His word in His assignments, promises and blessings.

For example, has God given you a burden to communicate the gospel? Maybe you should set up a website or blog.

Are you concerned for today’s children? Consider volunteering in the children’s ministry of your church.

Do you sense an assignment to extend hospitality as encouragement to Christians and outreach to pre-Christians? Start inviting guests over to your teeny tiny apartment.

How will our actions today demonstrate our faith?

Dear Father, help me to act in ways that demonstrate my faith in Your assignments, promises, and blessings. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. Violet, I love this reflection from your morning Bible study and how you encouraged us to let our actions today demonstrate our faith. I also loved the lesson and prayer that you shared that we " . . . take God at His word in His assignments, promises, and blessings."

  2. Thank you, Ramona, for stopping by and leaving a comment. It's always a challenge to let that morning quiet time later translate into action during the day, isn't it?


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