Day 1: Chayei Sarah/Genesis 23:1-16
Grief is one of the strongest emotions and causes men to make rash decisions, hasty promises, and almost impossible oaths. To this end, Abraham was a very wise and discerning man who retained these qualities during stress and grief. A foolish man could be seen as one who hastily makes promises and accepts the promise of others even when submitted in duress. It would be easy to assume that others have good intentions and integrity about what they vow, especially during times of extreme sorrow; however, much of what is said during stressful times either never fully transpire or are retracted once clear heads and minds prevail.
Abraham finds himself in the dubious situation of having a deceased wife and in need of a burial plot for her remains. As any man would be, he was grief-stricken, having to bury his beloved of many decades. The company he kept (the sons of Heth) was saddened for Abraham, as well. So much so that they offered any parcel of their land to be used for Sarah’s burial place. There is no reason to believe that their offer was less than genuine; yet, Abraham knew to be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove. He knew the fallibility of man and where others could fall short in their promises and create oaths so as to askew future generations’ ability to know what land belonged to whom. From all of Abraham’s wanderings, all undertaken with Sarah at his side, he knew that the only word that was true and would be kept was issued from the mouth of Elohim. All that was promised to him from men would come to him by way of purchase, trade, or by virtue of Covenant.
While Messiah was on earth, He spent His time preparing for the death that He was to endure, more succinctly, the purpose of His death. By this, it should be understood that His entire mission was to set captives free, regather the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and to open their eyes to see the Truth, Way, and His Life. Openly, Yeshua grieved for the would-be inhabitants of His kingdom. Looking upon Jerusalem, He lamented how He had longed to gather them together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. He concluded that those stubborn people were simply unwilling to accept such an embrace and love. His Words were, and are, sincere. Never once did Messiah utter any pretense or unfulfilled vow during His life or suffering of death. As a matter of fact, during the Master’s duress and sadness, He took the time to fulfill His vows and oaths—He fulfilled all of Torah, making a way for all of those that choose Him His righteousness by dying to their own will and sin nature.
Our lives should parallel Yeshua’s and Abraham’s in that we should not take anyone’s word for granted. The only Truth and Word that is rightly divided, pure, and unwavering is YHVH’s Word as presented to us in Torah and in the Life of Messiah. The company we keep while in this world is so often not trustworthy. From spiritual and political demagogues to the best-intentioned individuals, scant few are capable of not letting us down or keeping all that they say. This is not to prescribe that we must rely solely on our own selves or our own promises. We, too, will let ourselves and others down, betraying the very principle of our convictions just as Peter did when the rooster crowed. We must live through the life given to us by Messiah, led by His Ruach in word and deed.
The land purchased by Abraham can be traced to the mournfully made transaction to determine rightful ownership. Likewise, we have been purchased and that purchase price can be traced back to the suffering and victory of Messiah. Moreover, that transaction made with YHVH, to YHVH, and established by YHVH will never be voided. All the Philistines, good-hearted folks, and uprights of Christianity or fellow Messianics can try as they might to convince us wrong theology or that Torah has been finished, that Messiah is not YHVH come to us, or that we do not belong to Him. In extreme grief, we may even buy into some of those lies; however, in Yeshua’s grief and in His joy, we have been made complete. We are buried with Him and have been raised up as new creatures with sober minds and thoughts so as to only trust the Covenant Giver and to be His faithful mouthpiece at all times.
Dwell upon Psalm 118:7-9, “YHVH is for me among those who help me; therefore, I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in YHVH than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in YHVH than to trust in princes.”