Then Abraham bowed himself down before the people of the land; and he spoke to Ephron in the
hearing of the people of the land, saying, "If you will give it, please, hear me. I will give you
money for the field; take it from me and I will bury my dead there. ”
Before and after the Civil War, the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher was the most famous
preacher in America. He drew crowds of thousands to his church in Brooklyn each week. He
reportedly earned the princely sum of $40,000 per year.
Delighting in his treasures, Beecher enjoyed carrying with him uncut gems and openly endorsed
commercial products ranging from soap to watches. Then in 1874, Beecher's friend and protege,
Theodore Tilton, accused the preacher of seducing his wife.
His trial was such an attraction that admission tickets were sold to the public. The jury failed to
reach a verdict, but Beecher's influence and popularity continued undiminished for another 13
years until his death.
What a contrast this is with the closing days of Abraham's life. While he had faltered in his
earlier years, failing to fully trust the Lord, he spent his latter days as a shining example of a man
who had total faith in God. Even in the midst of his grief, as he prepared to bury his beloved
Sarah, he maintained his integrity.
Confronted the exorbitant request for 400 of silver for a plot of ground, he conceded. Refusing to
lower the level of a Bedouin huckster, demonstrated the graciousness of a man who had learned
to put his life in God's hands.
Great Christians are not great because of what they say; they're great because of what they do.
And what they do during their darkest days is the best indicator of their integrity. The latter years
of every Christian should be our best. A good start is a wonderful thing, but a good finish is even
MAKE SURE YOUR GOLDEN YEARS ARE MORE THAN GOLD PLATED.