Genesis 25:7-8 – These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, 175 years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.
In our day of blended families, we can easily forget that, in the Old Testament, the family dynamics were even more complicated. As if Abraham’s life had not been complicated enough by fathering sons with multiple women, in Genesis 25, there is another shocking plot twist in his life.
With Sarah now dead, and Isaac married to his lovely bride Rebekah, the stage is set for Abraham’s life to come to an end. Before he does, Abraham surprisingly takes another wife (or possibly had taken this wife some years earlier) and apparently, the very old man fathered six more sons before dying at the ripe old age of 175. Abraham left everything to his son Isaac, and his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried their father in the land he had purchased for the burial of Sarah.
Then, we are told of the account of Ishmael’s sons to show that God blessed him as promised, even though he was not the son of the promise or the covenant. The inclusion of some Arab names among the descendants of Ishmael further indicates that he is the father of the Arabs. We then learn that Ishmael died at the age of 137 and his descendants lived in hostility with Isaac’s, a family feud that continues to this day between racial Jews and Arabs.
Despite Abraham’s faults, flaws, and failures, God proves faithful. God had made a series of promises to Abraham that are fulfilled by the end of his life:
- God promised to bless him (12:2)
- God promised the Promised Land he was buried in (12:7) with Sarah (23:19)
- God promised a son through Sarah (15:4)
- God promised that Abraham would live to a good old age (15:15)
- God promised Abraham that nations would come from him (17:5, 17:16)
- God promised Abraham that kings would come from him (17:6, 17:16)
- God promised that salvation and faith would continue into future generations (17:7)
Let this be an encouragement to you that, no matter how far you may stray from God, or how many times you have messed up throughout your life, if God has promised something to you, He WILL fulfill it no matter what!
Is there anything God has promised you that you’ve seen fulfilled and can encourage you for the things you haven’t yet seen fulfilled?
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