HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight. Genesis 23:4
The minute details of this purchase are recorded to emphasize the fact that, though the whole land was Abraham’s by the Divine gift, he would not enter on its possession till God’s time was come. We may be sure of certain blessings but ours in God’s safekeeping – though they are withheld till the moment that His wisdom sees best. It was a touching confession. The aged Patriarch had for long years owned no settled dwelling-place. After years in the land of promise, he was still without land enough for a grave.
Faith cannot be satisfied with the things of this world. – The sons of Heth had goods and lands, but Abraham did not envy them; he had caught a glimpse of the city which hath foundations, and this so satisfied and attracted him that he had no desire for aught that Palestine could yield.
Faith detaches us from the present. – We are content to dwell in tents because here we have no abiding-place. The shows and vanities of the world, in comparison with the vision of eternal realities, are as the glare of the streets compared with the steady glory of the constellations of the night.
Faith prompts to confession. – It bewrayeth itself. We should be careful and orderly in our business arrangements; but, in our dealings with our fellows, in our justice, fairness, honour, the lightness of our hold on the present world, we should make it manifest that we are seeking a country not our own.
Faith cannot be ashamed. – The God who prompted it must satisfy it, else He would have reason to be ashamed of having failed the souls that trusted Him. But now He is not ashamed to be called our God, because He has prepared for us a city.