Shimon Pozdyrka: Why did Abraham first of all buy a grave in the promised land?

In each weekly Torah chapter, we find a huge amount of God’s revelations and instructions. And each weekly chapter can be viewed from many different perspectives. We can consider, for example, our father Abraham as a leader and a person of influence, we can consider Abraham or people next to him as behavioral models. I believe it is right and healthy for us to view biblical characters as worthy or unworthy behavioral models for ourselves. Otherwise, why did the Lord leave us in Scripture examples of these people – examples of faith, godly examples, and also wicked examples?

The weekly chapter “Hayyei Sarah” (Gen. 23: 1-25: 18), consists of only two and a half chapters, is eventful. It talks about how promises begin to be fulfilled for Abraham. And here’s what is interesting to observe in this chapter. Earlier, in the 15th chapter of Genesis, we read:

“And Abram said, Behold, You have not given me offspring, and behold, my household is my heir. And the word of the Lord came to him, and it was said: he will not be your heir, but he who comes out of your loins will be your heir. And he brought him out and said [to him]: Look at the sky and count the stars, if you can count them. And he said to him: You will have so many descendants. Abram believed the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness. ” (Genesis 15: 3-6)

God shows a great picture of heaven, speaks of countless grains of sand, says that there will be so many offspring … This covenant concerns not only posterity, but also the earth. And it is interesting, in my opinion, what can be seen in this weekly chapter: that the fulfillment of the promises given by God requires our certain actions.

In order to create the world, the Lord, as it were, limited Himself, His greatness, glory, holiness, power, giving us a certain space where He formed a world in which there are people, there is history. And having done this, He, by His will, limiting Himself, taking a step back, involves us in the process of relationship and interaction with Him. God interacts with man, makes promises to him, makes promises to Abraham, and He says this: “Friends, you need to take your part of the responsibility.”

How does land acquisition start? God said: “Pass this land, from north to south, from west to east, this land will be yours, your descendants will dwell, this I promise you, this is your blessing” (see Gen. 13:17).

But everything starts not with the fact that he conquers this land, not with the fact that he buys this land … but with the fact that he buys a place for burial. Looking into the glorious promises of the future, reflecting on and accepting the promises of the Heavenly Father, the first thing Abraham does is he buys a grave!

I think this is a really very interesting point. We draw a parallel with the Brit Chadashah (New Testament), with our time, and we understand that we have great promises of the world to come, of the city, the author and builder of which is God. But it all starts with the fact that we must understand very clearly: we have our own cross, which we need to take, and we have a burial place. A person’s life in dedication to God, in making promises, in fulfilling the process of promises begins with the fact that we die to ourselves.

We are dying to ourselves so that our selfishness does not control our desires. Whatever plans or interests overwhelm us:

I wonder what kind of family the Lord will give me?
I wonder, what calling will the Lord give me?
I wonder, in what ministry the Lord will gloriously use me?
And what great riches will He give me to earn?
And so on …

And the Lord says: “Everything, everything that is good in your heart, I know … but let’s start with the most significant, initial acquisition – is the grave.”

And we think: “Well, God, somehow this is not fun. This is somehow strange. ” But the Lord knows that if we do not acquire a grave, do not find this grave, do not buy it, like Abraham, relatively speaking, then we will not try to be honest, sincere andunselfish. We need to learn to bury ourselves. Abraham, buying this tomb, perfectly understood that Sarah is now lying here, and after a while he will be next to her. And I think this prospect did not frighten him, he perfectly understood the course of life.

Let this be a good example for us, so that we do not become selfish, so that we do not try to fulfill the promises of God based on our own carnal ideas. The promises of God begin with the fact that our old self – our complaining, nervous, fussing, eternally self-absorbed self – must be buried.

By Shimon Pozdyrka, Rabbi of the Messianic Community “Bnei Brit Chadasha”, Chisinau / ShomerTV