I. Abraham’s Tears (Gen. 23:1,2)
Abraham grieved for his wife, Sarah, who died at age 127.
When Sarah died, Abraham was living among the Hittites, near Hebron, about 20miles sw of Jerusalem.
II. Abraham’s Testimony (Gen. 23:3-13)
Abraham described himself as a stranger and a sojourner in the land of Canaan. So, meeting at the city gates (where business transactions were conducted before witnesses), he asked Ephron, a Hittite, if he could purchase from him the cave of Machpelah so he could bury Sarah in it.
The 2 men worked their way through the delicate steps of a business transaction as it was conducted in that day. Ephron offered the property outright to Abraham… knowing he would refuse to accept the gift… as any honorable man would do. In the end, they agreed to an amount that both probably expected from the beginning.
III. Abraham’s Transaction (Gen.23:14-20)
– The Price (v.14-16) 400 shekels of silver.
– The Place (v.17-20) The cave of Machpelah, located in Hebron.
It might look like Ephron took advantage of Abraham’s need for a burial plot… and maybe he did! But, let’s focus on Abraham…
This was, possibly, the most difficult moment in Abraham’s life. He’d just lost his precious wife… after a long – and good – marriage. Yet, in the midst of his grief, he still had to think logically and deal with the funeral arrangements.
Eventually, you, too, will possibly have to deal with the funeral arrangements of someone you love. And, eventually, you will die… and will leave handling those arrangements to someone who loves you.
Do them a favor… plan – and possibly even pay for – as much of those arrangements as you can for them. It will make dealing with their grief over your passing so much easier. And will just add to the many reasons why they love you!
You can read Ephron’s story in Genesis 23:1-20.