With my husband as a pastor, our family has lived in many places. Each and every place we have lived and served, our hearts have fallen in love with the church and community. Each and every time, I have longed for permanence and a place to finally settle. There are some wonderful things that has happened through our moves and we have so many dear friends in many places. I think that is why I use Facebook; it is a wonderful way to see how my friends are doing. Reading the chapter I am looking at today reminds me of the lack of permanence that my family has had, yet God has been leading us and guiding us all along the way. Please read Genesis 23.
Abraham was so far from feeling like a permanent resident anywhere that he had never purchased any land to use for a burial site. That is an amazing statement because Abraham was very wealthy and could have bought a lot of land to use however he wanted, yet he never put down any permanent stakes. To me, that shows how much he was willing to follow God anywhere. In this chapter, we see that he was no longer living among the Philistines, but he was living with the Hittites. Abraham insisted on buying the piece of land to bury Sarah and the interaction for acquiring the land was interesting. Perhaps this was a cultural norm to offer the land for free yet the person acquiring the land would still pay; this may have been what was considered sensitive in this situation. Either way, Abraham paid for the plot of land and he wouldn't have to worry about someone later having bitter feelings because the land was given to him for free. He could use the site to bury his family without fear of someone claiming it was their land.
This isn't as significant to us today, but this shows how much Abraham lacked permanence. He didn't even have a place to bury his wife. It is easy for me to understand this concept having lived in many places, but I wonder how many of us go beyond our physical home and look to our heavenly home. The Bible tells us that this is not our permanent home and the Spirit in us longs for our eternal home. Hebrews 11:13-16 says, "All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them." We are part of this promise; a promise for a better place - a heavenly homeland!
Are you putting your roots and focus toward your heavenly homeland?
This post is linked with Monday Musings and Sharing His Beauty.