Sarah & Abraham's FaithVolume 1, Number 13
Created Date: June 10, 2004
Posted Date: June 10, 2004
Vol 1 - No 13, June 10, 2004
The Word of God to Abraham, the father of all that believe-- Part Seven: Conclusion of The faith of Sarah and Abraham.
"And Sarah was an hundred and seven and twenty years old: these were the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her."
Sarah is the only woman in the Bible whose age, death and burial are recorded. God chose her for a special ministry and place in human history. We saw in study No 8 that Pharaoh the king of Egypt and Abimelech, the king of Gerar, on different occasions, attempted to take Sarah for their wife because of her beauty. However, their efforts were thwarted by God who saved her for His purpose and for her husband Abraham. Sarah loved her husband and she was faithful and loyal to him. Many years after Sarah died the Apostle Peter, as inspired by the Holy Spirit wrote - "For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement." - I Peter 3:5 & 6.
But it was Sarah's faith in God's Word that gave witness to her in an eternal sense. By faith she became the mother of the Hebrew nation through her promised son Isaac. And it was thus through Isaac's seed that the ultimate fulfillment of blessing to the world would come, that is, Jesus Christ.
The lesson of Abraham and Sarah's faith is finalized in the account in, where we learn that Abraham had to purchase a piece of land on which to bury his dear wife. The owner of the land, Ephron the Hittite, offered to give the land to Abraham. However Abraham told him it was worth four hundred shekels of silver and insisted on paying the full price, which he did. The point is that this was in spite of the fact that on a number of occasions God had promised all the land, including this plot, to Abraham.
Stop and think for a minute about human nature, how people act, and compare this to Abraham and Sarah's response. How many women do we know who, without complaining, would live in tents all their life in a land that had been promised to their husband by God Himself, but of which he owned not a square inch? How many men would pay for a piece of land that God had already given them? We see no hint of an attitude that they were not getting what they deserved in Abraham and Sarah's demeanor. And so it is that as Abraham deals with Ephron the Hittite and pays him for a place to bury Sarah, his faith in God's Word is borne witness to.
Some time after Sarah's death Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac - Genesis 24. Then, in the 25th chapter Abraham himself takes another wife when he is about 150 years of age. Her name is Keturah and six children are born to them. Abraham died at 175 years of age and was buried with Sarah on the land he had purchased.
Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness -and quoted therefrom by Paul in ; . That is, Abraham was right before God, not because he was a good man and did good things, but because he believed God and acted by faith in God's Word. Abraham and Sarah were borne witness to, that is, they received a good report through their faith, but they never the less did not obtain possession of the promised land while they lived. In fact, Abraham's promised seed still do not possess the land. This is the lesson of faith to us, as explained in - "And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect."
We look to the Apostle Paul for God's Word to us today. He wrote of promised events in his epistles as if they were imminent and would occur during his own lifetime. In I Thessalonians 4:13 - 18 Paul wrote about the time when The Lord Jesus Christ will come to take those who have placed their faith in God's Word: "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, (had died) that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
Note that Paul writes "we" which are alive and remain, as if he and those to whom he was writing were going to be caught up during their lifetime to meet the Lord in the air. But it turned out that Paul and all those living in his time died almost 2000 years ago and they, like Abraham, have not received what was promised. For almost 2000 years, people have placed their faith in God's Word written by Paul to the Thessalonians and up until now they also have died without receiving that promise. Today we also must accept this passage to the Thessalonians by faith. If we do, we may be the "we" to whom Paul refers that will be caught up without dying, but we may die like Abraham, Paul and believers since them.
Abraham and Sarah's faith testifies to the fact that when the Lord comes to establish His earthly millenium kingdom at some future date they will then receive the promise. And before that event in time, we who have placed our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed by the Apostle Paul, will receive our promise, whether dead or alive, and be caught up to be with Him forever as members of Christ's Body.