What Ethical Standard?
Torah doesn’t share with us how Avraham sought out God’s direction in both the issue with the wells and the burial site for his wife and family; it doesn’t have to, for we see how this man of faith relies on the standards brought forth by the Almighty, through Torah and how Avraham depends upon those. It is almost as if by adhering to God’s standard of ethics, Avraham Avinu, Abraham our Father, has called upon our Heavenly Father to lead and guide him directly.
And it was this standard of ethic which Avraham took into his negotiations with Ephron and the sons of Het; he did not want to be seen taking advantage of Ephron. Indeed, if anything, he wanted to be seen as giving Ephron the advantage, as this would be the right thing to do in the sight of God. And, so, Avraham responded to Ephron’s offer with: Please be good enough to listen to me. I will pay the price of the field; accept it from me, and I will bury my dead there. Avraham could not have taken Ephron’s offer because he was a man of God, because his ethical system was driven by Torah. Now, again, how can I say that, when Torah would not be introduced for another thousand years? Scripture clearly outlines for us Torah is Adonai’s Wisdom; we see this is Proverbs 8. Let’s begin with verse 22: Adonai made me as the beginning of his way, the first of his ancient works, then we move onto verses 6 & 7: Listen! I will say worthwhile things; when I speak, my words are right. My mouth says what is true, because my lips detest evil, and, finally, we look to verses 12 and 13: I attain knowledge and discretion. The fear of Adonai is hatred of evil. I hate pride and arrogance, evil ways and duplicitous speech. These verses speak not only of Wisdom, a creation from God’s lips, but also His Life Instructions, His Torah. Thus, affirming what has happened, Adonai Tzivaot wrote His Torah on Avraham’s heart, providing him with a strong ethical standard, which, for the most part, he followed throughout his life in Cana ‘an.
Consider: If we were in Avraham’s position, how easy would it have been for each one of us to accept Ephron’s offer of a free burial site? What might have been the implications of accepting such an offer? In other words, what ‘favour’ would we be called upon to provide?
Act: Torah’s ethical standards, the standards of Yahweh, our Almighty God, are far above those of man’s. Reading Torah, we obtain an understanding of many of the ethics Yahweh wishes us to follow. I urge all of us to read Torah each day and gain the wisdom Solomon speaks of in Proverbs 8.
Pray: Beloved Abba, Father, thank you for giving me a standard of ethics, which when followed, will lead towards righteousness in all my dealings with others. I pray you guide me in integrating the wisdom of Torah into my heart. In your Blessed Name I pray.