Dealing With Death – Genesis 23:1-6

Abraham’s wife Sarah dies. How does Abraham deal with death? How should we deal with death? At some time in our life we will have to deal with death. It cannot be avoided forever. As we get older it comes more into our minds. Sarah has been with Abraham for many years. Sarah is a believer and is with God. Abraham has to deal with grief and the loss of his friend for many years. God gives us strength when we need it.

1 – Abraham’s tears (vs. 2)

It is a time of tears for Abraham. The love of his life has gone home. It is not a time of tears for Sarah. She has gone to a better place. It is a place to be happy. See Revelation 14:13. This has to be remembered. For the believer it is a time of joy. For the unbeliever it is not good. Sarah had been living in a tent. She is not living in a tent now!

  • It is Abraham who needs some comfort and strength. Abraham misses his wife. She was beautiful, even in old age. He can’t touch her and see the sparkle in her eyes anymore. We have the ability to cry. It is a gift from God. It is not a sign of weakness.
  • Tears can be lovely. Will people shed a tear for you when you die? Will anyone miss you? The Bible tells of great men who wept. Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah, Paul and Jesus cried. The Bible tells us that Jesus wept. This is a great lesson to us. It is OK to cry. It is spiritual to cry.
  • Tears can remind us what is really important. Abraham is thinking about the good times. You need to love while you still can.
  • This world cannot dry our tears. The Lord can dry our tears. God will wipe away all tears from our eyes. See Revelation 21:4. There will be no more tears. We do not cry like others who have no hope.

2 – Abraham’s testimony (vs. 3-4)

Abraham is surrounded by pagans. He has to conduct himself properly in a time of grief. It can be ugly sometimes. People are looking for someone to blame. When a person is dead it is time for burial. There is nothing you can do for them when they are dead. You need to do all you can do when the person is alive.

  • The temporary nature of our sorrow (vs. 3) – Abraham stood up. It was time to move on. He had mourned and wept before then. There is a time to move on. You don’t mourn for years and years. You need to stand up and move on. You don’t stand still because your father or mother died. That is not what they would have wanted. We don’t honour them by standing still. Some tears are good and some tears are drama. Stand up and move on in your life. A Christian has hope in this life. Those who don’t know Jesus have nothing to hold onto to.
  • The temporary nature of our sojourn (vs. 4) – Abraham was a stranger in this world. This world was not Abraham’s home. Death is a reminder that this world is not our home. We are just passing through. We have a permanent home in Heaven. We are not staying in this world. When a believer dies we will see them again if we believe in Jesus Christ. Death is the time that releases us from the cage and we go back home. There is another grave that is empty in Palestine. Jesus has made it possible for us to live eternally. We will be going through the cemetery to Heaven.

3 – Abraham’s trust (vs. 5-6)

Abraham puts his trust in God. He wants Sarah to be buried in the land of promise rather than her home town. Do you put your trust in God in times of bereavement?

  • God is promising a resurrection and Abraham believed in it. This old body that dies will be raised incorruptible. We will be raised again in honour.
  • God is promising a reunion. At the rapture of the church all believers will be gathered together in the air in celebration.

4 – Principles to deal with death

Here are ten principles:-

  • Learn to accept your grief. This is a problem with some people. Grief is to be your friend and not your enemy. It is part of the healing process. You need to cry.
  • Find comfort in the Scriptures. You need to get close to the Word of God. It is God’s promises that will carry you through.
  • God will fill the void. God never closes a door without opening a window. God will bless your life if you focus on Him. Abraham finds Isaac a wife and then gets married again and has more children. God will always fill the void.
  • Never slip into self condemnation. Don’t think I should have done this or something else. Do it now before it is too late. Abraham does not show self condemnation.
  • Death is never an accident, it is an appointment. See Hebrews 9:27. You won’t be late for this appointment. God sets the appointment. Two people could be in a car accident and one dies and the other lives. For the one who lives it was not their appointed time.
  • Fill your mind with wholesome material. Things other than the Word of God mentioned above.
  • Don’t give up. God will take you when it is your time.
  • Death is not a loss, it is a gain. See Philippians 1:21. Death is promotion day.
  • Rebuke the Devil. Satan wants you miserable.
  • Keep your eyes on Christ. God will bring you through it.

Abraham went on to live for many more years. Abraham’s highest moment in his life was when he breathed his last breath and God took him to a better place. To an inheritance that will never perish. Learn from Abraham how to deal with death.


Categories: Genesis

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