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Death’s Testimony of Faith

21 Sep

Why does it take Moses twenty verses to say that Sarah died and was buried? This seems quite odd, but, as we prayerfully look deeper, we begin to see more of the things hidden from a cursory read as well as the secrets they hold for us. Sarah is the only woman whose age is recorded at her death, and only she, above all other women, is given as a model for the New Testament Church (1Peter 3:5-6).

We are not told if Sarah was sick or, if so, how long she might have been ailing. Abraham and Isaac may have been prepared for her death or it may have caught them by surprise. Certainly, Abraham’s offering of Isaac could have caused him to consider the loss of a loved one, but the actual experience far outweighs anything that may have prepared him for the event itself.

Sarah was 127 years old at the time of her passing, so Isaac would have been 37 and Abraham 137 years of age. She died at Hebron where the Lord promised Abraham and Sarah that Isaac would be born (Genesis 18:1, 10). Sarah’s death caused Abraham to consider where he should bury his family and where he, also, should be buried. The land of Ur was not a consideration, because it seems that Abraham considered the Land of Promise his home, although he dwelt there as a pilgrim from the time the Lord called him out of Haran. Therefore, the death and burial of Sarah came to be a testimony of Abraham’s faith.

The children of Heth were Canaanites (Genesis 10:15; 23:3), and Abraham came to them to ask permission to bury Sarah in their land (23:4). In doing so, he publicly confesses he is not one of them (viz. as Lot became a Sodomite), but, rather, he shows he is but a sojourner in the land. Moreover, by choosing Canaan as a place to bury his wife, he testifies that he no longer looks to Ur as his home (Hebrews 11:13-16).

The sons of Heth no doubt thought that all Abraham wanted was to bury Sarah, so they offered him to choose among any one of their own family tombs and bury Sarah with them. There was nothing specifically wrong with this gesture. Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb.Therefore, Abraham stood and bowed himself to them as a gesture of appreciation (Genesis 23:5-7), but, since he had their permission to bury Sarah, he asked them to witness a business transaction he wished to conduct with Ephron, the son of Zohar (Genesis 23:8-9).

The Canaanites were several tribes (Genesis 10:15-18), but Ephron was a Hittite. Although the Hittites dwelt among the Canaanites (Genesis 36:2; Exodus 23:28), they were not descended from Canaan, the son of Ham. So, Abraham and the sons of Heth went to the city gates. There Abraham would seek to acquire a family burial site from Ephron, while the sons of Heth witnessed the event, and thus he testifies to all who knew him that he is not one of them, that he does not consider his birthplace home, and that he lives as though he looks for something he does not yet possess as his own. However else this may have been interpreted by those around him, death, too, became Abraham’s testimony of faith that God would yet perform what he promised to do for him.

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2 Comments

Posted by on September 21, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God

 

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2 responses to “Death’s Testimony of Faith

  1. Eddie

    November 23, 2014 at 13:00

    Hi Steve. That’s quite a dissertation, especially since I never once mentioned baptism or salvation by faith alone. Perhaps I overlooked something I said that you found it necessary to correct–don’t know. But thanks for stopping by an leaving your ‘comment’. Nevertheless, I wonder what you would do with Acts 10:47, 11:46 and 1Corinthians 12:13. Have a great day.

     
  2. Steve Finnell

    November 23, 2014 at 11:57

    BAPTISM AN OUTWARD SIGN OF AN INWARD GRACE? BY STEVE FINNELL

    The proponents of salvation by faith alone state that water baptism is an outward sign of an inward grace. Is this a correct doctrine? Yes. The problem is in the explanation of that statement. Faith only advocates say that water baptism is simply a symbolic reenactment of forgiveness that occurred at the moment a person believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, Lord and Savior. The Scriptures do not teach that as a fact.

    DOES THE BIBLE TEACH THAT BAPTISM IS AN OUTWARD SIGN OF AN INWARD GRACE? YES.

    Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

    Men are baptized into Christ Jesus. Men do not believe only into Jesus. Men are baptized into His death, they do not believe into His death.

    Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father,so we too might walk in newness of life.

    We are buried with Christ in baptism so we can walk in newness of life. We walk in newness of life after water baptism, not the moment we believe.

    Romans 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection.

    We are united with Christ in baptism. We are not united with Christ the very minute we believe. Water baptism symbolizes the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

    Romans 6:6-7 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body, of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is free from sin.

    You are baptized in water so the body of sin might be done away with and be free from sin. If men become believers in Christ and then wait one year before being baptized, they are spending that year not having their old self crucified with Christ. They spend a year not being free from sin.

    Galatians 3:26-27 For you are sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

    They were clothed with Christ when they were baptized into Him.They were not clothed with Christ the moment they had faith.

    Colossians 2:12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

    You are raised up in baptism, in the faith of the working God. Men are raised up by a combination of faith and baptism. Men are not raised by “faith only” nor are they raised before they are baptized.

    Colossians 2:12-13…..When you were dead in your transgression and uncircumcision of you flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions,

    When are men dead in their transgressions? They are dead before they have faith and are baptized in water.

    Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Peter had already preached Jesus as Lord and Christ. Peter had already preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. They were still in their sins. They were not saved the minute they believed. They needed to repent and be baptized in order to have their sins forgiven and to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Faith, confession, and repentance precede water baptism. Water baptism is the point of forgiveness of sins.

    Water baptism is not an empty symbolic rite demonstrating what happen the very moment men believe.

    WATER BAPTISM IS THE POINT OF FORGIVENESS FROM SIN.

    WATER BAPTISM IS A BAPTISM INTO CHRIST.

    WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN MEN ARE CLOTHED WITH CHRIST.

    WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN MEN ARE RAISED TO WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.

    WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN OUR TRANSGRESSIONS ARE FORGIVEN.

    WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN WE ARE FREED FROM THE CHAINS OF SIN.

    WATER BAPTISM IS WHEN WE ARE SYMBOLICALLY CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST AND PROMISED RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD.

    YES, WATER BAPTISM IS AN OUTWARD SIGN OF AN INWARD GRACE! THAT GRACE OCCURS DURING BAPTISM NOT PRIOR TO IT.

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

     

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