Saturday, January 5, 2019

Genesis 23; Bereavement

Abraham's request for a place to bury Sarah is quite poignant to me.
"I am a stranger and an alien residing among you; give me property among you for a burying place, so that I may bury my dead out of my sight." (Genesis 23:4).
Here are some points to be noted:

* Dead Sarah belonged to Abraham.
* Abraham managed to bury Sarah in property that now belonged to Abraham.
* Death separated Sarah from Abraham.

After a time of grief, it was time for Abraham to let go of his dead wife. It was necessary for Abraham to accept his loss. Abraham expressed his grief but not over an extended period of time. He would cherish her memory. He also needed to get on with the practical matter of setting her remains to rest. He needed to bury her away from his sight. She needed to be buried in a place of her own in order to help the living to remember her.

Since Abraham now owned property in the land of his sojourn, he was moving toward fulfillment of the divine promise that Abraham's seed would inhabit that land (Genesis 15:17-21).

Death, by definition, is separation. We can observe separation in this account of Sarah's death. Abraham deeply felt her separation from himself.

Sin results in spiritual death. In the book of Romans, death is all about loss of hope, judgment and separation from God (Romans 5:12, 18, 21; 6:23).

Death is always grievous; but to believers, there is hope of being reunited in the next life (1 Thessalonians 4:13); so there is some measure comfort for those who grieve.