I love the real-life accounts of people in the Bible. They are not dressed up in their Sunday best, portrayed as something more than they are. Warts, wrinkles, and all, we see them as not that much different than us. In them, we see ourselves.
Chayei Sarah means “life of Sarah.” It is based on Genesis 23:1 -25:18. This portion marks a significant transition in the narrative of the Bible. Abraham and Sarah exit the stage in God’s grand story. Isaac and Rebekah take their place.
A Faith of Her Own
Let’s consider Sarah. Abraham’s wife was a woman of great faith. Was she perfect? No. But once God made clear His intentions for the descendants of Abraham and Sarah, she left everything behind and followed God. Sarah was right there with Abraham all the way, all the time.
Sarah looked forward, not backward. Even in the fiasco with Hagar, Sarah believed God had a plan and a place for her extended family. Initially, Sarah got in God’s way.She led her husband into her folly! But Sarah believed God would deliver on all of the unconditional promises made to them of a land, many descendants leading to a nation, and great blessing both for their family and the entire world. Yes, at one point her impatience led to her taking God’s work into her own hands. Nonetheless, demonstrating great personal faith, Sarah left her own ancestral home to follow God to the land He would give her family, the future Jewish people.
Throughout the entire time they sojourned among the Canaanites, Abraham and Sarah never took possession of any of the land God promised them. Realization of God’s faithfulness on this matter never materialized. Having lots of children never happened. But, Sarah and her husband did experience God’s blessing. They had been a blessing to others. In their old age, God gave Sarah a son, Isaac. Together, Abraham and Sarah laughed because of God’s goodness. The first patriarchal couple of the Jewish people waited a long time for a child. At the right time, God delivered. He always does.
As for the land and nation, Sarah never received it from God’s hands. Still, she believed.
First of Many
When someone died during the period of the Patriarchs, they were buried where their family was buried. Thus the phrase, “gathered to his people” (Genesis 35:29). Abraham had no land to call his own, no place to bury the wife he loved. Returning her body to Mesopotamia was out of the question. As an expression of their faith, Abraham purchased a field at Macpelah. The property had a cave in which to bury Sarah and the rest of her family when the time came. This simple act was one of great faith. Sarah’s extended family would be buried in the Promised Land. Sarah was the first.
Because of her faith, Sarah looked to the future. It does not appear that she ever looked back. She still hasn’t.
Take five minutes right now to watch this week’s installment of Five Alive from One From Israel. Your teacher is Dr. David Mishkin. The Story of Abraham is an account you should learn to tell. There is an example of how to do that as well.
Let’s Talk About It
What role does patience play in the building of character and stability in the life of a disciple of Jesus?
Prepare a brief testimony of how the Lord taught you to depend on His timing in your life.
How would you explain the importance of learning to wait on the Lord to a young believer?