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Pastor Brant Seacrist

AUGUST 16, 2020


TEXT: GENESIS 23: 1-20

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SUBJ: The faith of Abraham and the death of Sarah wherein the promise of God regarding the land and beyond are believed.

AIM: That we might imitate Abraham in always looking to the promise of God in life and in death looking for His glory.

INTR: With the offering of Isaac there were no more tests of the faith of Abraham in that he was fully proven and qualified to be called the Father of the Faithful.
1. He had now, for a number of years, been made to witness both the miraculous and the supernatural in the revelation of the Lord to him.
2. He would now be brought to face a reality we must all face – our own mortality and the fact that this is not it.
3. There are some things that appear in this narrative that should attract our attention. We recognize the impact of culture and tradition in much that we do, but we would be advised to note biblical precedents where we find them.

THESIS: Not only must we be driven by faith in life, but also, in death and dealing with in a way wherein God is glorified.

I. The death (vv. 1-2)
1. Sarah is the only woman whose age is given at the recording of her death.
1) We would note that our life is “a tale that is told.” And
2) The implication of that and this text is that there is a divine accounting of all the events in life and death.
3) Some have suggested that the order of the numbers here may have looked to her beauty at 100 as being as it was at age 7 and at age 20. Only a thought.
2. She was accounted as integral to the life of Abraham and so was her faith noted along with that of Abraham.
1) Even her determination to give Hagar to Abraham indicated that she was looking to the promised seed and
2) The scriptures note both her doubt and her subsequent faith as essential to the record.
3. Sarah died in Hebron and Abraham came to mourn and weep
1) Not directly from the offering of Isaac or
2) Not from some journey – probably from another tent.
4. His grief was real even though he sought here “no continuing city”
1) Their marriage had spanned perhaps 100 years or more and
2) Such is the sanctity of human life – Our Lord understands grief and experienced it.

II. The Grave (vv. 3-18)
1. It is to be first remembered, as Abraham noted, that he was a stranger in this land of promise:
1) It was promised and the promise was sure
2) Possession had not and would not be in effect during his lifetime – he sought only a burial place for his family.
2. We will not belabor the point that burial was a practical necessity and yet to be done in a reverential manner – Such has been the Judeo-Christian practice through recorded history:
1) The Lord Himself buried Moses and
2) We read that devout men carried Stephen to His burial.
3. So, Abraham sought a burial place for a permanent family possession.
1) He had obtained a reputation and the respect of the Hittites and others in the Land
2) The meeting was cordial and showed mutual respect
3) The offer was made to give the parcel and the cave to Abraham, but
4) Permanence was essential to him and the faith in the promise of God he would display.
4. In time to come, Abraham would be buried there as would Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah.
5. And so the price of 400 shekels (weight) was paid and Abraham had the only possession in the Land he would know in his lifetime.

III. The Burial (vv. 19-20)
1. No ceremony is recorded but a life from God was acknowledged by Abraham and Isaac.
2. Implied in all this is the hope of the bodily resurrection.
3. We are reminded of the record of another significant burial of
1) Which a detailed account of the death is recorded and
2) A detailed account of the preparation, both before and after the crucifixion and the careful placement of the body in the prepared tomb.
4. “But that body reverently bedewed with tears, wrapped in fine linen clean and white, softly laid down by loving hands, watched by love stronger than death, lay in fitting repose as the corpse of a King till He came forth as a Conqueror. So once more the dominant note is struck, and this part of the prophecy closes with the emphatic repetition of the sinlessness of the Suffering Servant, which makes His sufferings a deep and bewildering mystery, unless they were endured because of ‘our transgressions.’ McLaren
5. Abraham left the testimony of hope in the placement of the body of Sarah in the Land of promise. Our hope and the promise of God is in Heaven at the right hand of God and we have an empty tomb as the testimony that one day ours will be empty too.