Genesis chapter 23 doesn’t mention God and is dominated by negotiations over a burial site. Strange. And because of these oddities, it’d be easy for us to just skip over this part of God’s word, forgetting that all of Scripture is God breathed and therefore God has something significant to say to each of us.
Sarah dies. And Abraham is determined to bury her in the land of Canaan – the Promised Land (see Genesis 15:17-21). Abraham is showing that his trust is in God’s promise that this land will one day be for his offspring. It’s striking though that the very first piece of land he buys in the Promised Land is land for a grave, not for a home. This tells us that his hope was in what was beyond the grave.
He declares to the Canaanites (Hittites) that he is a stranger and foreigner among them (v.3). He is a man with a foot in two worlds; 1) in the promised of God beyond the grave and 2) in the land of Canaan, the very context and culture God had placed him.
As Christians, we too live with a foot in two worlds; 1) in the promised return of Jesus and 2) the context and culture God has placed us in. So…
How do we live with a foot in two worlds?
Genesis chapter 23 will provide a few surprising answers.