Genesis 23

We see Abraham's character as a decent guy who desperately wants to avoid taking advantage of others. But there's much more that I completely missed. As soon as Sarah dies, Abraham says "I am a sojourner and foreigner among you". That's fair enough – they were living there first – but there's more to it than meets the eye. Turning to Hebrews 11 (that wonderful and inspired commentry on so much of Genesis!) the writer tells us that he lived "in the land of promise as a foreign land" (Hebrews 11:9) because he considered that he was a foreigner in the whole earth (v13). His wife's death had reminded him that this earth isn't his permanent home, but he's waiting for his true home. What a perfect reaction to a death – recognising that the deceased has entered a blessed rest, and being reminded that life is just being a tourist here on earth. Since I used the word tourist, I found this post helpful (and, in fact, the entire blog!)

Since we won't be hearing more of Sarah in Genesis (as far as I remember!) now seems like a sensible time to go back over her life and see what it's like. She was a woman who lived by faith in the awesome God who had made great promises to her. Where's my evidence for this in Genesis? I don't really have any. Truthfully, she doesn't come across too well in these chapters – she laughed when she was told she would bear a son and then denied it (Genesis 18), and she twice followed her husband into sin when he asked her to lie about being his wife (Genesis 12 & 20). But I'm not pulling it out of the sky. In fact, it's coming from…Hebrews! In the ESV (the English Standard Version of the Bible which I'm going to be using from now on) Hebrews 11:11 says, "By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised." I love my mum and dad dearly (which I don't say often enough – I love you guys!) and I thank God that they trust in the same Saviour I do, but I'm also excited that in terms of God's promises and salvation I'm descended from this God-fearing, faithful couple and can strive to live in their example.

Father Abraham had many sons,
Many sons had father Abraham.
I am one of them, you can be too
So let's all praise the Lord!

Amen, let's.

Heavenly Father, I praise you that you have made your offer of salvation open to everyone through Abraham and Sarah and their descedant Jesus Christ. Thankyou that at the last day you have promised that there will be such a great number who are rejoicing in you with this couple. Help me to live up to their example, remembering your faithfulness and letting it inspire my own and remembering that this life will never be my home. Let me long desperately for the full experience I will have of you in Heaven, and search for as much of you as I can have here. Amen.

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