The verses before the verses which I’m going to share with you tell us, simply put, that Sarah (Abraham’s wife) has died. Abraham is now insisting that he pay the full price for a tomb to bury her in, but the Hittites wanted to give it to him for free. — This is what God gave me today in His word today:
Now Ephron was sitting among the Hittites,and Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites, of all who went in at the gate of his city, “No, my lord, hear me: I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the sight of the sons of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead.” Then Abraham bowed down before the people of the land. And he said to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, “But if you will, hear me: I give the price of the field. Accept it from me, that I may bury my dead there.” (Genesis 23:10-13)
Now God knows all of our ways, and He knew our desire to work for our salvation, “No, hear me: I give you my son, and I give you my gift of forgiveness through Him. Accept it.” And we said to Him, “But if you will, hear me: I give the price of your son. Accept it from me, that I may be able to take some pride in myself.”
Explanation of the transquote:
Alright, there are several things not right with this picture… For one, we can’t barter or argue with God; His word (commonly called The Bible) goes. Period. Not only that, but we couldn’t buy salvation even if we wanted to. And while we’re at it, there’s a big difference between buying a plot of land to bury a dead person on, and salvation. But nonetheless, I believe the general idea is there: man, as displayed by pretty much every other religion except Christianity, has a natural desire to work for His salvation. Or in Abraham’s case: man has a natural desire to feel like He really “owns” something by paying for it. If you get something for free, sure, you’ll accept it, but it’s value in your eyes is far less than if it was sold to you.
However much we work for salvation, we can’t make the mark. We simply can’t jump over the thousand foot high hoop into Heaven… So to speak. Our good deeds, as according to Isaiah 64:6, are filthy rags and the more we try to wash ourselves clean with them, the dirtier we actually get (the more we try to wash ourselves clean, the more prideful we get at our, ahem, “success.” — We start believing we don’t need God to be saved, which we do.).
We simply can’t seem to accept that salvation is a free gift, and so, whether we recognize it as such or not, we do little things here and there to try to earn it. Yes, as Christians, the fruit of the Holy Spirit should be evident in our lives (in fact, James says that if the fruit of the Holy Spirit isn’t evident in our lives, our faith is dead), I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is this: what exactly was our motive behind helping that old woman cross the street? Was it because we genuinely wanted to help, or was it to make ourselves feel good? — We should examine our motives for everything we do. And if we discover in doing so that our motives we indeed wrong, we need to pray for forgiveness and a change of heart.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
New Testament confirmation:
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for (D)many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For (E)the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought (F)justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness (G)reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
And he said to them, “If you are willing that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me and entreat for me Ephron the son of Zohar, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he owns; it is at the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me in your presence as property for a burying place.” (Genesis 23:8-9)
This supports the transquote letting us see more clearly man’s (our) desire to pay for what he receives.
You are Loved!