Basic Transaction

Genesis 23:12-20

12 Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13 and he said to Ephron in their hearing, “Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there.” 14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver, but what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.”

16 Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants. 17 So Ephron’s field in Machpelah near Mamre—both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field—was deeded 18 to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city.

19 Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.

50 % Discount

       Have you ever bought an item with 50% discount price tag?

Do you believe the “Now & Was” price tags to be true and accurate?

Why do store owners file for bankruptcy? They are losing money. The 50% off tag prices on liquidation sale is meant to recover whatever is left.

Do store owners who are bankrupt intentionally sell goods for half of the original price when they badly need money to pay their debts?

The Lord Jesus said in John 10:10, 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Christ pertains to the devil as ‘the thief who steals and destroys’ the enjoyment of life which may also lead to death. Yet, most often in business transactions, thieves may take advantage of naïve or uninformed costumers. They want more than what’s fair and just.

When Jesus said, that He came so that we may experience life to its fullness, did He imply that we can also learn from Him about the basics of transaction? The primary purpose of business ventures is to earn more, right? Have you discovered principles of business transactions in the Scripture?

The Bible says in Proverbs 10:22, 22The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.

And in Ecclesiastes 5:19, 19When God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift of God.

Schools of business may teach how to venture in business but success depends upon God. King Solomon personally experienced when he asked God for wisdom. He was successful, shrewd and smart as king of Israel. He prospered in all his other business ventures.

We need not be expert in business to have a fair share transaction. We don’t wants to be cheated when we deal with bankers, insurance brokers, realtors, car dealers or credit card merchants. Wisdom is needed to have fair deal with those business experts. So, what can we learn from Abraham?

Abraham’s lifestyle teaches us basic principles of business transaction. He had fair share of business transaction when he accepted Ephron’s terms.

1. Accept

12 Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13 and he said to Ephron in their hearing, “Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there.” 14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth 400 shekels of silver, but what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.”

One Hebrew shekel is about 11.42 grams. So, 400 Hebrew shekels of silver multiplied by 11.42 grams equals to 4,568 grams.

The current silver price per grams in Canadian Dollar is $0.69. And, $0.69 multiplied by 4568 grams equals to $3,151.92 Canadian Dollars. That is the amount equivalent to 400 shekels of silver that Abraham paid for the burial place he bought from Ephron. https://www.goldbroker.com/charts/silver-price/cad

Knowing the terms and conditions of transaction is very crucial. Before making decision or signing an agreement, make sure that you want to accept the terms of agreement. If you are not sure, postpone it or just reject it.

The amount that Ephron said as payment for the burial place that Abraham had chosen was the market value in Abraham’s time. Abraham insisted to pay the market value. He asked Ephron if he will accept it.

Why did Abraham insist to pay the market value of the burial place?

The Hittites respected Abraham as mighty prince among them. And he showed them that a mighty prince is honest and righteous. By paying the full price, he testified not just to the Hittites but to his son Isaac and servants that God has blessed him to be a blessing to others.

Do you agree that it’s God’s design for us to learn from Abraham’s lifestyle on how to live by faith? We are Abraham’s children by faith. Let’s imitate his lifestyle, and testify that God provides for our needs.

Pastor’s Discount<

In the Philippines, Christian storeowners have Pastors’ Discount prices, why? Perhaps, they believe that God bless them more because of it, or is it because most pastors have little supports? Some pastors don’t hesitate to ask for discount. Don’t they trust God’s grace is sufficient? If they do, paying the market value is as practical proof, right? Discounts can also be God’s grace.

But, to intentionally ask for Pastor’s Discount is not good testimony.

It says in Haggai 2:8, 8‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty.

And the Lord also declared in Psalm 50:9-10, 9 I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, 10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. 

God provides for my needs. He does not need anything from me. He owns everything in creation, gold, silver and precious stones. He can easily sell them if He needs money, right? I won’t reject Pastor’s Discount but if I ask for discount, I’m saying that God doesn’t care about my testimony at all.

When someone gives me something because he thinks I’m poor, I truly feel embarrassed. I don’t need gifts but I don’t reject gifts.

Before I responded to fulltime ministry the Lord assured me by His promise in Genesis 12:3. 3I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.

Some of you have observed it in the last 8 years being with you, and have accepted that this promise of God for me is very real and accurate. His promise to Abraham is applicable to all believers who live by faith in Christ.

It says in Galatians 3:14, 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Abraham lived a lifestyle for us (his children by faith) to imitate. By faith in Christ, we can live a lifestyle of righteousness like Abraham. Before closing their transaction, Ephron accepted Abraham’s offer to pay the full price for the burial place. Abraham agreed with the price mentioned.

2. Agree

16 Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.

Abraham agreed and paid the market price Ephron told him for the burial place. There were Hittites who heard the terms of Ephron. They also witnessed when Abraham weighed 400 shekels of silver, the asking price among merchants Abraham’s time, and when he handed it to Ephron.

Both Abraham and Ephron agreed in the terms of their transaction.

Everything that Abraham did in his transaction with Ephron was very transparent. The amount paid and Ephron’s terms were legally witnessed. The Hittites have proven before their eyes that Abraham was righteous and honest in his transaction when he paid the burial place in full market value.

It teaches us in Psalm 146:8-9, The Lord loves the righteous.

The term, ‘loves,’ is in present tense. It implies that God’s love for the righteous is active. It’s on the move, not passive, not idle waiting to react on events. God has already prepared our need even before we were born.

When Abraham believed in God’s promise, it was considered as his act of righteousness. It teaches us in Genesis 15:6, 6Abram believed the Lord, and God credited it to him as righteousness.

Since God loves the righteous and considered Abraham as righteous, His active love was practically displayed in Abraham’s business transactions with the Hittites. The Lord must have made the Hittites respected Abraham as mighty prince so that they were more than willing to give the best burial place that Abraham may chose to bury his dead wife.

So, if we consider ourselves as ‘children of Abraham by faith,’ should we not expect God to bless even our daily transactions? We seek the Lord’s blessing for us to testify of His work in our life with righteous lifestyle.

Professional Sports

In professional sports, basketball, football, hockey, or baseball, great players have higher salaries than good players. Lifestyle, how they prepare themselves for games, and how they handle pressures of life separate great players from good ones. Greatness is the totality of lifestyle outside talent.

It says in Colossians 3:23, 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

Some talented players wasted their opportunity, because of unpleasant attitudes. For long term investment, work ethic is far desirable than talent. Good employees go to work on time but great employees go to work before the required time. Righteous lifestyle is a lifestyle for greatness.

God has decreed blessings for righteous lifestyle. Righteous lifestyle will never be insufficient, lacking. God’s grace is sufficient to the righteous.

It says in Proverbs 10:3, 3The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

And, in Psalm 34:15, 15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry.

Before Abraham purchased a burial place, he mourned and cried when his wife Sarah died. God heard Abraham’s cry, felt his loneliness, and added comfort for him when Ephron the Hittite readily agreed to sell and legally assigned the field and cave as personal property of Abraham.

3. Assign

17 So Ephron’s field in Machpelah near Mamre—both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field—was deeded 18 to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city. 

19 Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.

Abraham purchased the burial place legally in the city gate. The term ‘gate of the city’ was a public place for business transactions in Bible times.

The presence of the Hittites during the transaction made the transfer of ownership from Ephron to Abraham more legal. The field and the cave in it, formerly owned by Ephron, was publicly agreed legally to be assigned to Abraham as his personal property from that time forward.

When Abraham buried the remains of his wife Sarah in the burial place he purchased legally at market price, it practically testified to his righteous lifestyle. Abraham gave us example that righteous lifestyle bless by the Lord is practically exhibited in our daily transactions.

Abraham’s blessed life testifies that it is worth living righteously.

So, how can we live righteously?

Have you been consistent placing shirt buttons in their right place?

Polo Shirt

Someone said, “Living our life has similarity when wearing shirts with buttons.” If you place the first button of your shirt at the right place, subsequently, the next buttons will fall precisely at their right place orderly.

Similarly, God our creator has designed us to live a lifestyle orderly. So, the first right step we have to take is to trust Christ as Saviour which is practically displayed through our submission to Him as Lord.

Christ is our Creator. He as designed a lifestyle for each of us.

It is but logical that He who created and designed our life is the most knowledgeable on how to direct our life. Interestingly, that is what Christ meant in Matthew 6:33, 33Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

‘To seek His kingdom and His righteousness’ is to accept Christ as Saviour and to let Him be our Lord. We can only find God’s kingdom when we trust in Christ as Saviour. We can only find His righteousness when we let Christ reigns and rules as Lord in our hearts.

To allow as Lord of our life is practically exhibited when we live our lifestyle in His righteousness. It is not that we force the issue of trying our very best to become righteous. We cannot make ourselves righteous.

We have to seek the empowerment of Christ’s Spirit. When His Spirit fills and empowers us, the result is righteous lifestyle in which we testify.

And, the term, “all things” includes our needs for us to live a righteous lifestyle, and prayers, decisions, or business transactions are also included.

It says in 1 Corinthians 1:30, 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

From the very beginning, before God created everything, righteous lifestyle is God’s grand design for humans to enjoy life to its fullness. When humans committed sin, God’s grand design for enjoyable human life was never the same again. It became very complicated and polluted.

But, God loved us. He sent His only Son to be punished for our sins so that by faith in Christ Jesus, we now live a lifestyle in righteousness. So, to keep living in satisfying lifestyle of righteousness, we’ve to submit frequently to Christ as our Lord, that which practically exhibits living by faith in Him.

Romans 1:17, 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.

Our life, decisions, desires, dreams, even dilemma, in all aspects of life, we give them by faith to Christ Jesus our Lord. That’s the righteous lifestyle that experiences the fullness of life that Christ has promised to believers. That’s the very basic of transaction that has an added blessing from God.

<‘))):< ltsii/2018 >:(((‘>

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