Sarah lived one hundred twenty-seven years; this was the length of her life. And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan; and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. Abraham rose up from beside his dead, and said to the Hittites, “I am a stranger and an alien residing among you; give me property among you for a burying place, so that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”
Abraham agreed with Ephron; and Abraham weighed out for Ephron the silver that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weights current among the merchants. So the field of Ephron in Machpelah, which was to the east of Mamre, the field with the cave that was in it and all the trees that were in the field, throughout its whole area, passed to Abraham as a possession in the presence of the Hittites, in the presence of all who went in at the gate of his city. After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah facing Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. The field and the cave that is in it passed from the Hittites into Abraham’s possession as a burying place. Genesis 23:1-4, 16-20
The Bible is a record of people following God as they live their lives by faith. In the book of Genesis, we find Abraham and Sarah, two faithful people, leaving their family’s land and their people as they journey off to follow the promises of God. And along the way, Sarah dies.
The Bible is indeed a record of people following God as they live their lives by faith. As such, it tells tales of life and death. Sarah died.
The story in Genesis chapter 23 goes into great detail about the complex negotiations which occur between Abraham, a foreigner, and Ephron, a local landowner, over the purchase of a burial plot. (There is a cultural “dance” between the two of them that is intriguing.) But I am caused to pause in verse 2…
Sarah died “and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.”
That’s a part of life. In the New Testament, when Lazarus died, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) And when Sarah died, Abraham wept and mourned over the death of his wife. We live our lives as faithful people, following as God leads us. And some days, when along the path we have to say goodbye (for now) to those whom we love, we weep.
Wonderful God, we thank You for the friends and loved ones who join us in our earthly journey, and how they touch us with love beyond measure. And we thank You for how our hearts are touched when these dear ones move on to a heavenly home, and we, for a time, are left behind. Use these tears to wash away the pain of separation, until we meet again in Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.