by Molly Audiss
Genesis 23:7, “And Abraham stood up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.”
As I was reading through Genesis again and I started reading chapter 23, I became captivated with the amazing people skills that Abraham possessed.
Everyone loved this guy—and for good reason!
In chapter 23, Sarah, the love of his life, has died. These two were close, so close. She followed him through thick and thin, all over the country, and beyond. She was a true partner, a loyal companion and friend. Abraham was heart-broken. He sought for a place to bury his wife and spend time weeping for her. Because Abraham was a traveling man, he had no place of his own to bury his wife. But, he was also quite wealthy, and money was no object. He came to the local land owners and asked them if he could purchase a place to lay his beloved to rest. The response of these men shows us the reputation Abraham had. These men honored and respected Abraham so much, they were pretty much tripping over themselves to be a help to him. “Choose any place you like, and it’s yours!” was the unanimous opinion of all the land owners.
Abraham had lived in many different places, yet everyone who knew him, liked him. Why? It was not his wealth. There are plenty of obnoxious rich people in life. No, it was the humble, kind, fair way he treated others. What a testimony of true Christianity!
Twice in this story, Abraham bowed himself before the men of Heth.
He was humble.
He never allowed riches to go to his head. He had been personally promised by God that his seed would be greater in number than all the stars in the Heavens. He was called a Friend of God. If anyone had a right to give airs, it was this man. Yet, he lived humbly, honoring and preferring others.
At this point, Abraham was deeply grieving. Everyone would have understood if he was short or curt with them as he spoke. Yet, he kept his attitude right and continued to be kind, not just to his family and close friends, but to everyone around him. What an excellent man of character.
As a child I remember my pastor saying often, “Your true Christianity is revealed, not on your best days, but on your worst days.” As Abraham made funeral arrangements for his most precious, beloved wife, he never used his grief as an excuse to be unkind.
This is convicting to me. I want to be truly Christ-like in this way. If we interviewed each person that has spoken to you in the last 30 days, would each one have positive comments about the way you treated them? It is a tall order, where the rubber meets the road. Kindness is just about as real as it gets—real Christianity.
The more I study about this great man, the more I understand why God chose him as a friend. I want to be the person God would choose as a Friend, too!