Each week we LIVESTREAM the Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, Lord's Day morning public worship at 11a, and Lord's Day p.m. singing (3p) and sermon (3:45), and the Midweek Sermon and Prayer Meeting at 6:30p on Wednesday

Monday, April 27, 2020

2020.04.27 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 25:1–18

Questions from the Scripture text: What did Abraham do in Genesis 25:1? How many sons did Keturah bear him (Genesis 25:2)? How many grandsons do Genesis 25:3-4 mention? To whom did Abraham give his entire estate (Genesis 25:5)? How does Genesis 25:6 refer to Keturah (and Hagar) by comparison to Sarah? What did he do with all his other sons? How long did Abraham live (Genesis 25:7)? How does Genesis 25:8 describe him? What two things happen to Abraham in verse 8? What third thing happens to him in Genesis 25:9? Who bury him where? How did they get the field (Genesis 25:10)? Who else was buried there? What continued after Abraham died (Genesis 25:11)? Whose genealogy does Genesis 25:12 begin? How many sons of Ishmael do Genesis 25:13-15 name? What else does Genesis 25:16 tell us about them? How long did Ishmael live (Genesis 25:17)? What three things happen to Ishmael in verse 17? Who is with him at his death (Genesis 25:18)?  
The Lord sometimes gives His people great earthly blessing. Abraham had 16 sons and grandsons from Keturah. Ishmael had 12 sons who became great princes in cities at he heart of settlements that were nations. Abraham had enough to give presents to all of these and still have the fullness of his estate to give to Isaac.

Abraham, however, knows that all of the earthly blessings are nothing in comparison to eternal covenant blessings. This had been his complaint in chapter 15, that his eventual death renders all other blessings pointless. But God had promised the Offspring who would solve the death problem. Since then, Abraham’s resurrection hope has governed his life, even to the point of that land purchase of which Genesis 25:9-10 remind us, the cave in which his own body is now laid.

And the passage holds before us the promise of something even more than resurrection. Both Abraham and Ishmael breathe their last; their bodies cease to function. And both Abraham and Ishmael die; their souls depart (cf. Genesis 35:18). And both of their bodies are buried by those left behind.

But there is one more thing that happens to each of them. They are “gathered to their people.” This is covenantal language for the destination of their departed souls. In Scripture, it is only used of these two, and then later of Isaac (Genesis 35:29), of Jacob (Genesis 49:33), and finally Aaron (Numbers 20:26) and his brother Moses (Numbers 27:13).

But, Jesus Himself refers to this intermediate state as “Abraham’s bosom” (cf. Luke 16:22). David says that his covenant child has gone there in 2 Samuel 12:23. And Paul rejoices in the wonderful, post-ascension truth that what had been called “Abraham’s bosom” is now the presence of the resurrected Lord (2 Corinthians 5:6–8).

So, the Lord does sometimes bless His people in earthly things. Believers do not despise wealth, inheritance, even earthly influence. These all are, at various times, even covenant blessings. But there are two blessings in this passage that come not just to some of the Lord’s people, but all of them: the intermediate state and the resurrection. And these blessings dwarf the earthly blessings.

You can more easily see Ishmael’s son’s nations, and even the great property that Abraham gives to his descendants (and especially Isaac). But, if by the Spirit’s work in us, we walk by faith rather than by sight, we will see that “being gathered to our people” and the hope of the resurrection are far greater than any earthly or temporary blessing. And we will live in this world with the strength and joy that belongs to only such as have this hope!
What earthly blessings has God given you? What better blessings? What should you live for now?
Suggested Songs: ARP90B “O Teach Us How to Count Our Days” or TPH234 “The God of Abraham Praise”

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