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When Loved Ones Die (18 of 34)
Genesis 23:1-7; 19, 20
If you have lost a loved one in recent months, would you raise your hand? A lot of hands have gone up.
We are coming to the closing years in the life of Abraham. Abraham is presented to us in the Bible as the great example of what the life of faith is intended to be. He has been walking by faith. He has been meeting the tests of faith which have been given to him along the way. Now he is getting ready to be gathered to his people.
In verse 2 we are told that he is in Hebron, which is in the land of Canaan. The Bible tells about the land of Canaan in Deuteronomy 11, verse 11. Canaan is a land of hills and valleys. The life of faith is kind of like the land of Canaan. It is a land of hills and valleys. It has its mountaintop experiences, but it also has its valley experiences. It has its great joys, but it also has its great sorrows.
Abraham is going to come to one of those valley experiences in life. He is going to face the burial of a loved one.
The older you get, the more the process of aging begins, the more B's you begin to experience in your life. Do you know the B's of aging? They are baldness, bifocals, bay window, and bunions. There are some other B's I wouldn't mention. There is another B that comes with aging and that is the word, burial.
As you read down through this chapter you will discover that the bury or burying places is used about 11 times. Tonight we are going to talk about the death of a loved one. My father, who is almost 86 and my mother 89, said to me recently, "It seems about all I do now is go to funerals for my friends." The older you get the more that will be true. As you get older you will find that more and more of those you love and those who are very near to you will slip the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God and they will be buried.
We need to understand the time of burying. By the way, this is one of God's ways of getting us ready for heaven. The time will come, if you live long enough, that the population will shift and you will have more over there than you do here. It is one of God's ways of untying us from this old world and getting us ready to go to heaven.
This evening we are going to attend a funeral and try to learn from what happened in the life of Abraham in the death of his precious wife, Sarah, what you and I are to do when loved ones die.
First of all,
I. Abraham's Tears.
We are told that Sarah died at the age of 127. Evidently Abraham was not there when she died because in verse 2 it says that Abraham came to mourn for her. Maybe he was out in the field when the bad news of her passing came to him. Maybe he was away on a caravan of business and while he was away, she died. Whatever it is, he comes to mourn for her.
It was a time of sadness for Abraham, but it was a time of gladness for Sarah. Sarah was now in heaven. She has exchanged her Bedouin tent for a palace of ivory. She has exchanged her we ...
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