Since Genesis chapter 12, God has promised Abraham ownership of the land through which he’s wondered. In Genesis chapter 23, God begins to fulfill that promise…but not in the way you would think.
This chapter opens with the death of Abraham’s wife, Sarah. As a vagabond, Abraham owns no land on which to bury his wife. So he negotiates with one of the locals to buy a plot of land, and there he buries his beloved Sarah.
It’s interesting that of all the land God promised to Abraham, the first piece of ground Abraham officially owns is a burial plot.
As believers, we too are told of a promise land that will one day be ours. Our claim to this land began with a burial plot…the burial plot of Jesus. And our ownership of that land is complete with another burial plot…our own.
Perhaps ownership of any promised land involves a death and burial. There are things in our life that need to die and be buried if we are to lay claim to the promise land God has for us. You can see this in the Galatians 2:20 and Colossians 3:5. The problem is, we often try to avoid the death and burial of certain things in our life. We try to avoid the loss only to discover we then miss the gain. (Mark 8:36.) (Hebrews 12:2.)
God wants so much for us, but sometimes achieving His promised land will involve some burial plots. Are you trying to find a promised land without experiencing loss or burial? Could it be that the loss and grief you hope to avoid are actually part of gaining the promised land God has for you?
Bret Legg is the Teaching and Counseling Pastor at Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, GA.