Genesis 23: Sarah’s Death and Burial

“And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.” – Hebrews 11:11

These past chapters taught us about Abraham’s wife. She was beautiful, yet impatient and temperamental at times. She was beyond frustrated with her barrenness, and ended up foolishly manipulating her husband to sleep with their bondswoman to have a child. The consequences left her weak in her faith. But, we are told to look toward her as an example of a godly woman two times in the Bible (Isaiah 51:1-2; 1 Peter 3:3-6). Why? In the end, she was steadfast in her faith, even after facing some of the toughest obstacles. Sarah held on to the slightest bit of hope, showing a sincere love for, faith in, and submission to both her husband and God. She was extraordinary.

Mourning is okay. We should not be afraid of it. Death has been brought to us by a sinful world. But we should also hold on to hope; a hope and faith that God, through His Son Jesus, will bring believers who have passed up to Heaven.

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 

Abraham knew he was a foreigner when trying to buy land for his wife’s burial. A foreigner because his true home, like ours, is in Heaven. Both Moses and David knew this truth as well (Leviticus 25:23; 1 Chronicles 29:14; Psalm 39:12). Abraham bowed with courtesy to the people who owned the land. We as Christians should do the same during interactions: act courteously, honestly, and kindly. Abraham also received a physical deed for the land, emphasizing it was his not only by the promise of God but also law.

Fun fact: Abraham, Isaac, Rebekah, Leah, Jacob, and Joseph were all buried in the field of Machpelah too.

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