Monday, June 30, 2008

Genesis 23 - To be a prince

At first glance, this is one of those chapters that does not have a tremendous amount of action in it. There's no ark or tower of babble or angels smiting people. This is not exactly a blockbuster chapter, but there is an idea that caused me to pause in verses 3-6.

After Sarah died, Abraham needs to bury her. It says that he approached the Hittites and told them "I am an alien and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead."

The Hittites respond by saying, "Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead." I missed it the first few times I read it, but there's a pretty powerful concept hidden in there.

I'm talking about the sentence "You are a mighty prince among us." That struck me because I don't live my life that way when I find myself surrounded by Hittites. The best example is the one I am living right now.

I want to write a book and start a ministry. I want to speak to churches and college groups around the world. Maybe that will happen, maybe it won't. But regardless of the future, today I am working a full time job in advertising. I have a boss and coworkers and colleagues and responsibilities.

Right now, it is easy to be over focused on the book. Right now it is tempting to shrug off my real responsibilities for the fun stuff, writing and interacting with readers. But right now, I am living amongst the Hittites. And if I were ever to leave, what legacy would I have created? Would my boss stand up and say "You are a mighty prince among us?" Would my coworkers feel I had been kind and reflected the light of Christ in the workplace were I ever to leave? Would I be offered the choicest tombs based on my behavior?

All too often it is easy to get hypnotized by the future we think God might give us. Going to seminary, starting a ministry, doing something "big and amazing" for Him. But the reality is, we all live amongst the Hittites. In different ways, we all have the chance to leave an impact in the now. And that is what this chapter said to me.

Simply put, every day we have the chance to be a prince.


Dog snob said...

Thanks for the reminder. I've been thinking about that a lot lately as I've been dealing with a few different situations. It's tough to leave a positive influence sometimes when you don't want to have to deal with the people in the first place.

Neyhart said...

This post really spoke to me. Thank you. I needed that encouragement/admonishment.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, this one reminded me of how I've been viewed in the past and how I've let that slip away.

Chris Chowdhury said...

Great post. This hit me right where I needed it. I've got plenty of dreams but right now, but I should be the person of my dreams right now where I am. Thanks, Jon.

Kris said...

I think it's cool the way you are making your way through Genesis. I read through it with my 2nd grader last year. I honestly had not read it in years.


jaygee said...

I guess we all need to ponder on this Jon. We try our best to give impact in whatever we do but some times we do it out of selfishness..we want to attain what we think is ours instead of trying to realize what is God' the end of the day, instead of becoming a prince amongst the people, we become prince of greed and selfishness..God bless you Jon..keep on writing for that is God's mean for you to reach the world..

Anonymous said...

good reminder to everyone. it got me thinking bout myself. in a group of people, in school or in the work place, i'm the quiet one. the one who doesn't mingle much. i'm the type of person who's happy being alone especially if i'm not very comfortable with the persons around me. hence, this is is a challenge for me. because really, people don't see me..hence how could i leave an impression or be a good influence to people. thanks for the reminder.

Stephen Hardy said...

When thinking of dreams, God seems to remind me often: Don't despise the days of small things. Remember to be faithful in the little things...God will take care of the bigger things in His time.

Campman62 said...

That's it...You really challenge me, Bro! I would like to honor you with the "Velvet Sledgehammer" Award.

~10k thanks for u'r crushing spiritual n'sight!

*Do we wear our forgiveness like a crown or a ball & chain ?

Anonymous said...

being a "mighty prince among us"

Perhaps you should look inside yourself and remember who it is you want to impress.

If the LORD is with you - who could possibly be against you.

Flesheater said...

we are to focus on today, doing the will oour Father, today, as long as it is called today. we are to work with what we have and do the best we can. If he can't trust us with the littthings He wil never move us to the big. We are to be a light on a hill in all situations