Abraham has passed the supreme test.  He has shown himself, he has shown Isaac … that nothing that we have or are or hold cannot be safely released into the hand of God.  I must ask myself … and I must ask you … what are you holding onto that you think you just cannot release to God?  This most difficult question must be considered if we are to truly “walk by faith”. 

Today, we will close our journey with this faithful friend of God. 

Read Genesis 23.

Sarah dies and Abraham mourns.  What a close and intimate relationship the two of them had.  And I think it was unusual in that particular time and culture.  Women were purchased – traded – bargained with and for – property.  And yet we watch this man, the one that God chose, treasure his wife.  And we watch Sarah honor and respect her husband.  When Peter is writing about women in his letter, he says,

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  For this is the way the holy women  of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.  They were submissive to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master.  You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.” (1 Peter 3: 3 – 6) 

If you are married, how can you live out Sarah’s example in your own life and marriage?  We would do well to spend some time thinking about how to do just that.  Of course, in no way does this suggest that you submit yourself to an abusive husband where there is danger for yourself or your children … but that is certainly not the circumstance in which Sarah found herself.  She honored her husband …

Read Genesis 25: 1 – 10.

Obviously, Abraham’s rejuvenation from God that allowed him to father Isaac did not immediately leave him!  He fathers 6 more sons by another wife.  Amazing.  Don’t miss verse 5.  Abraham now has fathered 8 sons:  Ishmael, Isaac, and these 6 boys by Keturah.  He takes care of all of them … evidently making sure they were provided for … BUT … his inheritance goes to Isaac … not shared … just Isaac.  Because Isaac was the son of the promise … the son of the inheritance … the lineage of our Lord. 

And Abraham breathed his last at the age of 175 … full of years.  He was buried in the cave he had purchased to bury Sarah.  Notice that this is the ONLY piece of actual land in Canaan that Abraham owns at his death.  God’s promises included the whole land … and that would come about.  It just does not come about in Abraham’s lifetime.  We have such short eyesight!  Continue to persevere in prayer for those you love … and TRUST God with the timing. 

Abraham is buried and scripture says, “he was gathered to his people.”  Who were his people?  Perhaps the writer is referring to physical lineage … but I think the reference is to the people of faith.  People who choose to hear … to serve … to worship the God of the universe.  Are those “your people”?  Are they mine?  If you belong to Christ … if you have accepted Him as your Lord and experienced the new birth of the Spirit … you are Abraham’s seed.  So his people are your people.   People of faith. 

Lord, thank you for preserving the story of this amazing man of Yours.  Thank for providentially insuring that both the successes and the failures are recorded for us.  May we walk in his footsteps.  May we listen for Your voice.  May we respond in obedience.  We commit ourselves anew this day to walking by faith, not by sight.