Journey Through The Scriptures

The Life of Abraham

Lesson 7: The Deaths of Sarah and Abraham

(Scripture to Read: Genesis 23:1–11 and Genesis 25:1–11)

Both Abraham and Sarah lived many years and led full lives. Sarah died first, and Abraham mourned for the wife who had lived a great adventure of faith with him. Abraham had to go to the people living around him to buy a burial place for Sarah, since he was still nomadic and did not own any land in Canaan. God had given Abraham such honor and stature in Canaan that his request was readily granted.

When Abraham died, he was buried with Sarah in the cave of Machpelah. In accord with God’s promise of blessing through Isaac, Abraham had made sure that Isaac was clearly designated as his legitimate heir, even though he had other children following Sarah’s death. God confirmed Isaac’s status as the son of promise by blessing him. (For further study, read the exciting story of Isaac’s marriage in Genesis 24.)

Study Questions

  1. In Abraham’s day, people were buried in their homeland. By burying Sarah in Canaan instead of back in Ur, what was Abraham saying about the land to which God had led him?
  2. All of Canaan belonged to Abraham, but the only piece of land he ever actually owned was a burial cave, which he had to buy. Why did God keep Abraham living as a nomad?
  3. How did his special provision for Isaac reveal Abraham’s belief that his own death would not mean the end of God’s promises to him?
  4. What significance do you see in the fact that Isaac chose to live near Beer Lahai Roi, where God answered prayer and cared for Hagar (Genesis 16:14)?

Something to Think About

Just as Abraham did not immediately receive everything God promised him, so God asks us to continue trusting Him each day to keep our faith strong.

No doubt other people have contributed in important, even sacrificial ways, to make your life richer and more meaningful. Is there someone to whom you can express your gratitude this week?