Then Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, “I am a foreigner and a visitor among you. Give me property for a burial place among you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight.” And the sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, “Hear us, my lord: You are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places. None of us will withhold from you his burial place, that you may bury your dead.” (Genesis 23:3-6)
In response to his request to purchase a sepulcher, Abraham is called, in Hebrew, nasi elohim – literally “a prince of God.” Even though Abraham had been brought out of Babylon, a land of idolatry and paganism, he was still in the midst of tares, so to speak. Yet he provided a light to those in darkness so much so that they acknowledged that he was a special kind of person. In light of that acknowledgement it is important to see that, even though he was regarded as a “prince of God,” he continued to display humility before the elders of that community.
This example is one that each of us should strive to emulate. Walking in humility is one of those things that our Creator expects from us (Micah 6:8) and it is an attribute that is quickly noticed by those around us. Yes, there are those who might mistake our humility for weakness but, as in the case with Abraham, they would soon realize their error when they incite the warrior (Gen. 14). The sons of Heth obviously respected Abraham and he didn’t exploit that respect; he continued to be the man called him to be and that is exactly why he is called “a prince of God” by others.
As followers of Messiah, we too are to be acknowledged by those around us as special people but not because of us — because of the One who lives in us. When we bear righteous fruit, the Father is glorified (John 15:8). How is He glorified? Because others notice the good fruit we bear and acknowledge that He is working in our lives. Yeshua said:
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
So then, let us follow Abraham’s example and bear good fruit wherever we go — even if it’s in the midst of tares and darkness — so others may realize and acknowledge that “greater is He who is in us that he that is in the world.”
Blessings and Shalom,