As Abraham walked through the land of Canaan, he knew it was his.
God had promised as much.
Raise your eyes now, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. (Gen. 13:14)
But when Sarah died, meekly he went to the elders of the Hittites and declared:
I am a stranger and an alien residing among you.
Here again is that word, גֵּר (ger).
Give me property among you for a burying place.
What follows is an exchange unparalleled in Scripture in which two groups of people, foreign to each other ... other to each other ... out do one another in showing honor. Give it a read and you will know what I'm speaking about.
One thing screams to me. For both the Hittites and the clan of Abraham, it was a given that each had much to learn and benefit from the other. Honor was appropriate because their hearts told them that the other was not one to be demeaned or dismissed but rather embraced and blessed. Honor was fitting because the inherent worth of the other was obvious.
And asserting ones legal rights to land? Just didn't seem to be as important as the treasure seen in the stranger's face.
Can I see as clearly as the Hittites when I meet a stranger, alien, immigrant, or foreigner?
Oh, what treasures am I missing in the face of the other?
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