Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Abraham Buries Sarah

Date: PM
Text: Genesis 23:1-4
Psalters: 402, 97, 104, 28
Series: Abram
  1. Her death.
    1. Sarah died at 127 (the only woman whose life span is recorded in Scripture) when Abraham was 137 – lived another 38 years.
      1. Scripture gives Sarah significant importance (Genesis, Heb. 11:11,12; I Peter 3:6).
      2. Sarah’s death brought Abraham great sorrow.
    2. Weep and mourn, but there is a duty which must be performed: Abraham knew an immediate responsibility to bury his dead.
      1. His faith told him that we came from the dust and shall return to it (Genesis 3:19).
      2. And his faith saw the sowing of the believer’s body to be as the sowing of a seed in the hope of better (I Cor. 15:42ff).
      3. In a man of faith, the burying of a believing loved one evidences a belief in the resurrection of the body (like Job 19:25,26).
  2. To bury Sarah’s body Abraham, the sojourning stranger (Genesis 23:4), needed to purchase a piece of land.
    1. Abraham had a specific location in mind: the cave in the field of Machpelah (Genesis 23:8,9).
    2. While making this purchase Abraham knew God’s promise that the whole country would belong to him and his seed (Genesis 12:7).
      1. Abraham opened negotiations with the people of the land and them approach Ephron, so it was known to all.
      2. Abraham carefully and legally purchased an exact parcel (Genesis 23:17,18), so it was firmly acknowledge by all to be Abraham’s.
  3. The significance.
    1. Abraham lived as a pilgrim and a stranger (owning nothing after 62 years) dwelling in tents, looking for a city (Heb. 11:9,10).
      1. If he was really seeking an earthly possession he was well capable of gaining some by conquest or by alliances.
      2. His patience arose also out of his seeking something better than earthly, the heavenly (Heb. 11:10,14,16).
    2. Tenderly and in steadfast hope Abraham entrusted the earthly remains of this princess in God’s kingdom to the earth of the land of promise, believing/expecting her to inherit the heavenly Canaan.
    3. Abraham’s purchase of Machpelah was for himself as well (he made pre-arrangements for his funeral).
    4. This same hope, based on God’s promises, is what is to live in our minds and hearts.