Friday, February 5: Genesis 23- Holding true while God's promise unfolds.

Death is a part of life, a sad part for sure. The Bible devotes a chapter of Abraham’s story to the death of Sarah. Sarah was 127 years old, so she was able to watch her son Isaac mature into manhood. Isaac was about 36 when his mom died.

Abraham mourned his wife’s death and since he didn’t own any property, he negotiated to buy a small cave as her burial crypt. It seems that this cave and the well at Beersheba (chapter 21) were the only portions of the Promised Land that he actually owned. Then again, I don’t really understand land rights of Abraham’s day because he certainly used land for his impressive herds.

Considering this, it seems that Abraham personally received very little of the promise God made to him. His children, as plentiful as the stars in the skies, amounted to one 36-year-old son who is not married and has no heirs to his name. And as far as land itself, he had two non-descript plots, a well and a burial cave.

Scripture reminds us that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55), understanding God’s ways is not always obvious to me (or us as humans). As Abraham nears the sunset of his life he could have thought, “Well, the Lord’s promises didn’t amount to very much.” But the seed he received truly was the first fruits of the full promise. Abraham’s ongoing task is to remain faithful to the Lord and allow God to do what God has determined to do. And also to remember the lesson of chapter 16 not to play God and attempt to bring about God’s promises through human effort!

God was faithful but the story isn’t over yet.

The same can and often is true for me. I don’t see the fulfillment of God’s promises. I may see a ‘first fruit’ of the promise but rarely the full crop. And what I have to remember is to remain faithful to the Lord and not to play God myself.

My mind whirls with a number of personal examples… I suspect you have your own examples too.

Lord, I pray for continued faith to believe and follow You, to trust Your Word and promises, even when I don’t see much of the promise fulfilled yet.

Lord my prayer is to live all the days remaining in my life faithfully to You, my Lord, my Savior and my God. Through Jesus Christ,  I pray. Amen.


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