The Death Of Sarah
Genesis Chapter 23
Stedman - Abe tears
“What a bitter day it is when a man buries his wife! It is perhaps the lowest point ever reached by the human spirit, and the sunset for him of all earth's hopes and expectations. In Genesis 23 we stand beside Abraham now, as he weeps at the grave of Sarah. He is walking through the valley where death has cast its shadow, but we shall see as we read this chapter that there is a light which always shines in the dark shadows in the life of a man of faith.”
- about seventeen years have passed between chapter 22 and chapter 23. These accounts of Abraham's trials follow consecutively in the sacred record, but they are separated by many years of blessing, tranquility and peace.
Sarah was one hundred and twenty-seven years old when she died and Isaac, and her son, is now thirty-seven.
By this time the little family of Abraham, Sarah and Isaac had moved back from Beer-Sheba to Hebron,
Here the H.S. pauses to give us a glimpse at Abe’s tears - illustration of the fact that - ok to mourn the loss
A) Often think about what it would be like to lose Denise - don’t know what I would do - only been 11yrs
B) My kids feel the same way as I do - but I’m am not so sure how they would feel if I were taken
C) Video today - kids who’s dad died - Aaron says dad I would be so sad if you died .
1) Amy said - I would be too like when Abby died - Abby was Denise’s parents dog .
It was customary in those days, the body of Sarah was placed in a tent all by itself and into that tent goes Abraham alone to weep and mourn.
It is remarkable that this is the only time we are ever told that Abraham wept. This old man has gone through many, many bitter disappointments and times of heartbreak in his He was heartbroken when Ishmael was sent out.
His heart was torn with anguish when he had to offer Isaac upon the mountain. But the only time the record reveals that he wept was when Sarah died. I think this reveals the depth of his grief and love for this woman.
But in the midst of his sorrow Abe had a hope. A hope that all believers have - Knowing there is more than this life .
Paul 1Thes. 4: 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.
Side note how can have that hope - Sarah died in Hebron - which is the place of fellowship
Canaan the land of blessing - pictures the spirit filled life
Going to Canaan's land- not heaven
v.3 3 Then Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, 4 "I am a foreigner and a visitor among you. Give me property for a burial place among you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight." I love this phrase, "Abraham stood up from before his dead."
That signified a squaring of the shoulder, a lifting up of the eye, a
firming of the step, a facing of life again,
and it is followed by a wonderful confession of faith: "I am a foreigner and a visitor Lit a stranger and a sojourner among you."
That is the word of a man who looks beyond all that earth has to offer and once more sees the city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God.
Stranger - is a person who finds himself in a place where he doesn’t naturally belong -
Sojourner - is a temporary resident - one who is only staying for a little while His Citizenship is somewhere else !!!!
Wiersbe - A Fugitive is one who is running from Home -
Vagabond - has no home
Stranger is away from Home
Pilgrim or a sojourner is heading Home
Abe had 3 cities in his life - Every believer has 3 cities spiritually speaking -
1st Abe had a city behind him - Ur of the Chaldeans
2nd Abe Had a city beside him - Sodom
3rd that which kept Abe from going to Sodom was the city before Him & beyond Him which was Heaven
Turn to Heb. 11
All of us have those same 3 cities in our lives - City behind us - Our Past
A) Important to not look back - Israel -
1) Hand to the plow & looks back not fit for the kingdom
Writer of Heb v. 15 declares that if Abe would have thought about the city behind him - opportunity to return - would have gone back
Paul Phil 3 forgetting what lies behind
DON’T LOOK BACK - LOOK UP !!!!!!
2ND ABE HAD A CITY BESIDE HIM - SODOM
A) Now you & I are living in a society where Sodom is our next door neighbor
B) Abe lived in a tent - away from Sodom - yet prayed for Sodom
Wiersbe - We have been called out - one day we will be called up - but right now we are called to live in!!!!
SEPERATION IS NOT ISOLATION
Salt & light - Not playing around - not one foot in / one out - Lot
Abe was that - back there in Gen. 23 - great testimony
Abe had a city beyond Him - Heaven
C.S. Lewis If you read the history of the Church you will find that those Christians who were the most effective in this world were the ones who were living for the next world
It is sense Christians have largely seized to think about the next world that the church has become in effective in this world
W. HEAVEN IS NOT JUST A DESTINATION IT IS A MOTIVATION
DEATH MAKES HEAVEN MORE TANGIBLE
COURSON - 3 PEOPLE THERE