Genesis 23 – I Can’t Accept That Gift

Abraham and his very large group of servants, plus livestock had settled in Canaan. But it sounds like he didn’t own any of the land he was living on. “I am an alien and a stranger among you,” he told the Hittites when he asked them if he could buy a plot of land to bury his wife.

He must have been a pretty good neighbor because several Hittites offered to give him a cave for Sarah’s tomb. Abraham refused the gift, and insisted on paying a fair price instead.

So after a few refusals of free land, Abraham finally paid Ephron the going rate, and bought Ephron’s field in Machpelah.

The Bible tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). If Abraham had accepted a gift of land, he would have been indebted to unbelievers. He had to buy a tomb, and pay a fair price in order to be free from obligation.

Sometimes we might be too quick to align ourselves with non-Christians. Not just in marriage, although that is certainly part of God’s instructions about tying ourselves to unbelievers. But I think God would have us consider who we hang out with, who we do business with, the places we frequent. Now I am not suggesting we not go into the world to share the Gospel. I’m not saying we shouldn’t become all things to all men in order to win some. I’m just wondering if we should take a page from Abraham’s life and consider who we are under obligation to.

Abraham lived in the land. He just remained separate from them. “Come out from among them and be separate” (2 Corinthians 6:17).

I hope you have attached yourself to a Bible believing group of people who love the Lord and are reaching out to the lost. I hope that is where your loyalties and obligations lie. And I hope when people think about you, they recognize there is something different about you, for Jesus’ sake.

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