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Gen. 25:1-18 - Remembering Abraham - Part 1
Since we have been dealing with Abraham for so long, and this chapter is the end of his life, I think it’s only right we spend a little time this morning on his life and what we have learned from him. So, let's dig into the text beginning in vs. 1.
“Abraham had taken another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Ashurites, the Letushites and the Leummites.
The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanok, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.”
We will see in vs. 6 that her sons are referred to as “the sons of the concubine.” And when you go to 1 Chron. 1:32, as it's giving the chronology of some of these things, it also there mentions Keturah as a concubine.
These sons that Abraham had by Keturah, they are not important in terms of the plan of Redemption as Genesis is seeking to unfold, the only reason they are mentioned is because they are the offspring of Abraham.
So they are mentioned, but then we’re going to see they quickly drop off the scene never to be heard from again because they do not figure into the direct line of the Messiah that the O.T. is unfolding.
Then, in vs. 5-6 - “Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.”
He gave his other sons some token gifts, but he gave ALL to Isaac. Abraham is very careful as he’s setting his house in order before he dies. He’s really making it clear that there’s a difference between Isaac and all the other sons he had.
In review of the past weeks, Isaac is going to be the son of the promise, and being the son of the promise, this is the one through whom the covenant is going to be realized.
Vs. 7-11 - “Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. His sons
Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephronson of Zohar the Hittite, the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.”
Couple of phrases in vs. 8 that we miss in English a bit. This “full of years” does not refer to the idea that Abraham was old chronologically, but in the Hebrew this means that he lived a very full life, a very rich life, a satisfied life, a life full of years.
Then we’ve got: “gathered to his people.” This does not mean that he was buried with his people. The idea in the Hebrew here is that he is gathered into that spiritual realm with those who have died in the faith.
Think Noah, think Enoch, the sons of Seth... What’s being spoken of here, as in Luke 16:19-31, is that he’s gathered to what we call: The realm of the dead. The realm of the dead is a temporary dwelling place prior to the completion of Christ’s victory at the cross.
We sometimes ask the question: “Did Jesus go to hell before the ascension?” NO, He did not!! Hell is a permanent place. This realm of the dead is what we call in the O.T. Sheol, and in the N.T. it’s called Hades. Hades isn’t talking about hell, its the realm of the dead where those who died PRIOR to the cross went.
If you read Luke 16 you’ll discover there that this area was divided into 2 temporary places. There was a place of blessing and a place of judgment. The place of blessing was called: Abraham’s bosom.” The place of judgment was more like a prison.
Look at a couple passages: Eph. 4:8-10 - “This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”
(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)”
1 Peter 3:18-22 - “ For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. After being made alive, he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— to those who were disobedient long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”
Here we discover that when Christ, prior to the ascension, before He rose from the dead, He went down to this temporary dwelling place to announce His victory over sin and then to take all those O.T. Saints who were there into the heavenly real with Him.
The rest of the people will eventually find their place in the future judgment and permanent hell - Rev. 20:11-15 - “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hadeswere thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”
Not trying to theologically complicate things, but many people think Jesus descended into hell, and we often wonder what happened to the O.T. saints who were saved by faith prior to the cross. Well, there’s the answer.
Join us next week as we continue our study of Abraham. Blessings to you all.