The last days of Abraham are recorded in our reading today. He remarried after the death of Sarah and lived to be 175 years of age. Death has a remarkable way of bringing people together and it seems significant that both Isaac and Ishmael together buried their father. It was his death that brought them together. Just as the death of Abraham united Isaac and Ishmael, so the death of Jesus on the cross makes a way for both the descendants of Ishmael and the descendants of Isaac to become one. It is only at the cross and in Christ that reconciliation can take place.
The blessing of God that Abraham experienced was passed down to Isaac on the death of his father [verse 11]. I recently met a family who were asked to speak on generational Christianity. The grandmother, her son and daughter-in-law, and her four grandchildren, all lovers and followers of Jesus, spoke at the meeting. There is a Chinese proverb, speaking about business, that says, “First generation good, second-generation not so good, third generation finished!” In Christ, that does not have to be the case and in God’s Word, we read that God shows love to “a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” [Exodus 20:6 NIVUK].
We can see the evidence of this verse in the influence of Abraham that has extended for thousands of years beyond his death. He is mentioned in 15 verses or passages in the New Testament, including James 2:23 where he is given the lovely title, “The Friend of God”. All those people who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord are called the children of Abraham [Galatians 3:6-9]. The promise that God gave Abraham has been remarkably fulfilled in the millions of people who like Abraham have put their faith in the one true God through the death of Jesus on the cross. A life lived to the glory of God will have an impact that will last way beyond its length of days on earth.
In what way do you think that your life will continue to impact people even after your death? Is there anything that God wants to change in your life in order that others might be impacted for good?
As we draw to the end of this series on the life of Abraham, is there anything in particular that God has challenged you about through these daily devotional studies? If God has challenged you in a particular way, what have you done about it?
Please feel free to contact me and share your thoughts with me. This will not only strengthen you but also be an encouragement to me as I write each day. God bless you.