Strangers and Pilgrims

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Genesis 23
At last Sarah died. She was a hundred and twenty-seven years old, but no matter how long we live, unless the Lord Jesus should come for His own during our lifetime, we must die. Of course we who belong to Him do not look for death, but we are expecting the Lord to come at any moment and take us to be with Himself.
Are you ready if called away suddenly? Do not put off the question of your soul’s salvation one moment longer, for you cannot tell when your turn will come. Death may overtake you unexpectedly, or the Lord might come today. “Prepare to meet thy God” (Amos 4:1212Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. (Amos 4:12)).
Willing to Wait God’s Time
Abraham was only a stranger and a pilgrim in the land of Canaan, but he had laid hold of God’s promise that the land was to be his, and his children’s after him. He knew, too, that God was the God of resurrection, and so he wanted Sarah buried in the land of promise. Notice the words, “And Abraham stood up from before his dead.” He did not sorrow as those who have no hope. If the reader of these lines has lost a loved one who has died in Christ, do not allow the sorrow to crush you. It is quite right to feel it, for the Lord Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus; but it is wrong to get under it so much that we cannot “stand up” as Abraham did.
However Abraham was willing to wait God’s time for the possession of the land, and until that time he acknowl­edges his strangership by purchasing a burying place for Sarah. The sons of Heth would have given him one, but he would rather buy it than take it from their hands without charge. He did not want or need anything from the world in his path of faith. He was beautifully courteous in his refusal, as well as business-like in his dealings with them. It is never right to be ungrateful or discourteous to anyone, either in the world or to Christians. Nor is it pleas­ing to the Lord to be careless in our or­dinary business dealings. We should carry on everything in such a way that if we were taken suddenly in death, or if the Lord should come, all our business affairs would be in order and all our debts paid. Even boys and girls can learn to do things in this way. It will save you many a trouble in life if you do, as well as being honoring to the Lord who has given us instruction as to these things in His Word.
“Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men” (2 Corinthians 8:21).
Heirs Together
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were all buried in the field which Abraham pur­chased at this time; for they were “heirs together of the same promise,” looking “for a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God” (Hebrews 11:9-109By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: 10For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:9‑10)). We who know the Lord Jesus as our own personal Saviour can look forward with joyful assurance to our home above. Abraham had living faith in God, but he did not have the wonderful things revealed to him that are now written for our com­fort in God’s blessed Word. Here is an assuring verse for the children of God, “We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).
Further Meditation
1. Why did Abraham want Sarah to be buried in the land of promise?
2. What was so honorable about how Abraham handled the purchase of land for Sarah’s burying place? Shouldn’t people always get the best deal they can possibly get?
3. You might enjoy the short article on the subject of being a good steward of the finances given to us entitled Faithful in That Which Is Least by W. W. Fereday. You can find it at by doing a Library Search for 56335.