Year 2 Day 246
Read - Genesis 25
Message - Scott Woodburn
How would you define a well lived life? Let me offer some suggestions. The life we want will last for as long as possible. It will be a life full of good things and very few bad. It will be a life of good health and strength. We’ll dance at our great granddaughter’s wedding and we’ll maintain all our mental faculties. It will be a life of prosperity and wealth and when we die we’ll leave a nice little chunk of change for our family. Sounds good doesn’t it? I’ll not fault you for any of that. I hope to see 100 and get to preach at my great granddaughter’s wedding!
Yet there must be something more than earthly good. There must be something more valuable than the contents of our will. Chapter 25 sees the end of Abraham and it describes the end of his journey in this way “Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.” (v8)
Altogether Abraham had lived for 175 years. After Sarah’s death he had remarried to Keturah (v1) and together they had six children and numerous grandchildren (v2-4). He was able to leave all his wealth to his son Isaac (v5) and he was so well thought of that Isaac and Ishmael were reunited at Abraham’s funeral and together they buried their father in the family tomb (v9). Indeed long after his death future descendants continued to come in the line of Abraham. Ishmael saw his family grow (v12-18) and Isaac and Rebekah were blessed with twins called Esau and Jacob (v24).
As we examine all of this we could certainly say that Abraham’s life was a good one. Yet I think a phrase easily missed is that Abraham was gathered to his people when he died (v8). What does this mean? When Abraham died he was gathered up to heaven. Ultimately we can have all the treasures of the earth but they will be of no comfort to us as we enter Hell. Abraham was a rich man but died in faith knowing that greater riches were to come. Today Abraham dwells in the presence of Christ, saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.
There’s nothing more valuable than the Gospel but sadly Abraham’s grandson Esau wouldn’t agree. He was the first born twin of Isaac and Rebekah. Therefore as the elder brother he had the place of privilege when it came to his inheritance - this was his birthright. Esau came home from hunting one day absolutely starving and so he demanded some of his brother’s stew. Jacob agreed on the condition that Esau would sell him his birthright. Esau readily agreed for after all his primary need wasn’t a birthright but a belly full of stew.
This passage invites us to see a man who has no regard for the eternal things of God and another man, not perfect by any means, who understands the significance of the promises of God. One sells his birthright for a bowl of stew and the other takes every opportunity to claim the birthright for himself.
So what does a well lived life look like? Perhaps one full of years, full of joy and full of stew? I offer you one instead that is full of Christ and His Gospel. Hear the long gone voice of R.S. Candlish on a well lived life “Is the Christian full? Is the pilgrim satisfied? Is he ready to depart? Not because he can reckon some seventy revolutions of the sun in his lifetime, or maybe eighty, or even like Abraham one hundred and seventy-five. Nor is it because he can say of the various sources of interest and pleasure upon the earth, I have drunk of them all. But it is because he has eaten the bread of heaven and drawn water out of the wells of salvation; because he has been filled with the fullness of God; because he has been made a partaker of the unsearchable riches of Christ.”
Q13 Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created? Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God.