By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.
Father Abraham was promised a promise. The Almighty swore to Abraham, all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever(Genesis 13:15). Yet, after decades of wondering, and even going to war with five kings to protect his inheritance, he was still a foreigner in the land of promise. When it came time for him to bury his wife, the patriarch still claimed to be as a ‘foreigner’ in the Land (Genesis 23:4) and he had to haggle a burial place from a mocking Canaanite.
The Scriptures record three important places being purchased by a Jew: the Cave of Machpelah by Abraham (Genesis 23:17-18); the place where the Temple was built (2 Samuel 24:24); and Joseph’s sepulcher (Joshua 24:32). The Scriptures solidly record these purchases but until today, these places are claimed to be Muslim holy sites ‘stolen’ by the Jews.
Abraham believed the promises of God and acted upon them as much as he could, but he lived within his reality of having to buy what already belonged to him by divine right. He actually refused Ephron’s offer of a gift. Abraham bought the land, and he bought it at an exorbitant price. This teaches us the difference between promise and reality.
Four thousand years later, as a response to a distant echo, the descendants of the Children of Abraham moved into this land and conquered it. Until today this small strip of land by the Mediterranean Sea, that Pleasant Land promised to the descendant of Abraham not to die but to live in, is being bought at an exorbitant price. It is being bought not only at the price of the lives and deaths of many victims of war and terrorism, but also at the cost of world’s anger and the resurgence of anti-Semitism. The haggling continues, not with one king this time, but with the United Nations. Sometimes Israel is so tiered of the ‘haggling’ that it is tempted to offer ‘land for peace’.
We must also live with our reality. Our souls have been bought and purchased; Yeshua paid the exorbitant bride price to live within the walls of our hearts, but daily the haggling goes on with he who does not let go. We also can get so tired of the daily fight that we compromise with the evil one offering him some land in our heart for peace. But wait, Messiah bought that land; it belongs to Him. And as Israel must remember the price and the promises, we must also remember that we belonged to Him who paid for it.
Abraham still claimed to be a ‘stranger’ in the Land of Promise. Will Messiah say that He is as a stranger, a guest in your heart? Is He the prime owner in promise, and reality?