And Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites…, “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.”
I didn’t know about this Hittite named Ephron before I opened Genesis 23 today, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget him now. Dive back into this scene with me, friend. Abraham spots Ephron’s cave on the edge of town and wants it for a burial site, but he probably thinks to himself, ‘best case scenario, he plays hard ball and sells the cave for an inflated price; worst case scenario, he refuses to sell, and I’m back at square one.’ But he asks anyway, and I don’t think he anticipates what comes next. Effectively, Ephron responds, “Listen, brother: you want my cave—it’s yours. And that wide meadow leading up to it—that’s yours, too. Take all of it—I don’t want a shekel for it!” What an unsung hero! Ready to sacrifice to the Lord’s work without hesitation, without whining about the inconvenience, and without expecting some extravagant ‘thank you’ in return.
Man, we need more Ephrons in the church today. Starting with me!