Friday, May 13, 2011

Genesis 25:1-11

We are going to take two days to visit this next passage, first looking at the death of Abraham and how it affected his family, and then, tomorrow, we’ll look at Abraham’s obituary. In verses 1-6 we are told that Abraham remarried a woman named Keturah (there’s a piece of biblical trivia) after the death of Sarah. It’s often pointed out that a man who has been happily married will remarry quickly after the death of his wife. Men need a woman! Isn’t it interesting that his second wife gave him six more sons! Now, think about how impossible it was for Sarah and Abraham to have a son, yet in his old age everything seems to be working like crazy! Why did God allow Sarah and Abraham to wait so long for their Isaac? Well, God was purposely building Abraham’s faith and working out His character in Abraham during those barren years. I like the way Beth Moore expresses this:

“The most profound things God promised were often fulfilled against the greatest odds and through the most difficult hardships. To God, faith is often the point - God does nothing cheaply. Perhaps the divine nature of a promise fulfilled guarantees its expense. We may receive a hundred unexpected things from God with delightful ease while the fulfillment of some things we believe He promised us proves virtually impossible. You see, the impossibility is what makes the fulfillment of the promises fall under the God category. God makes promises man simply can’t keep.”

Even with all of those sons, Abraham recognizes who the son of promise is:

Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east. (vs. 5-6)

Abraham did not shirk his responsibility to his other sons, but he made sure that they were not around to interfere with Isaac’s right to the promised land.

And, finally, we come to the end of Abraham’s life:

Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi. (vs. 7-11)

I’m so thankful that Abraham died a nice quiet death and just “breathed his last.” Finally, he was at home! Today, however, I want to focus on verse 9: His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him... There is nothing like a death in the family to bring everyone back together! It absolutely necessitates that people put aside any differences and come together to honor and mourn the deceased. Remember that the last time Ishmael and Isaac had been together, as far as were told, was the day of Isaac’s weaning celebration, when Ishmael tormented Isaac, and so was sent away with his mother. But at the end of Abraham’s days, Ishmael returned to bury his father. I wonder if he made it to Abraham’s deathbed before he died... At any rate, he and Isaac are brought face to face for a reconciliation. Jon Courson focuses on this passage in his commentary, in a special study he calls, “Someone’s Gotta Die.” He writes:

“While it’s sad that it took the death of their father to bring them together, I’m glad it took that, for in their story we see that if there is ever to be reconciliation between you and the son or daughter who is estranged from you, between you and the mother or father who doesn’t understand you, between you and the friend who betrayed you, between you and the spouse who hurt you - someone has got to die. There is no other way.”

How many of you are feeling some conviction at this point??? I’m raising MY hand! Courson points out that it took the death of Jesus to reconcile us to God, and that if we ever want reconciliation to occur (and, admittedly, we may NOT at this point), someone is going to have to die - and I think that means ME! This is such a huge concept, and so hard to do, much less even WANT sometimes. Yet, Courson points out that there are several reasons why it has to happen: 1) reconciliation delights our Father (reconcilers have died to self and put others first); 2) reconciliation defeats our foe (Satan LOVEs division, especially in the body of Christ, so our when we take the step of reconciliation we foil his plan); and 3)reconciliation destroys our flesh (the cross is the ultimate place where we crucify our flesh and exchange our own will for His). There is nothing more awful than a bad relationship, whether one of outright enmity or one of just painful silence.

Since WE are the ones reading this, that tells me WE are the ones who need to die! If you are like me, this is going to take prayer first just to have my heart changed to even WANT to do God’s will in this area! Pray for me and I’ll pray for you!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment