Genesis 23:19 – After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah east of Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan.
In the opening pages of Genesis, we met the first couple, Adam and Eve, who brought the curse. In Genesis 12, we met Abraham and Sarah, to and through whom God promised covenant. From Genesis 12 up until the death of Sarah in Genesis 23, Abraham and Sarah have been the focus of Genesis.
Their significance in history and Scripture can hardly be overstated as Genesis covers roughly 2,000 years of history in 50 chapters, and this couple’s life and marriage takes centerstage for 20% of the book. Throughout Scripture, Abraham is named hundreds of times, and Sarah dozens of times as their impact echoes throughout human history.
The death of Sarah, leaving Abraham a widower, is a moving scene. They started marriage as unbelievers, God saved them when they were old, and they move to a new nation to reset their entire life and legacy. Their marriage was far from perfect as it included an adulterous polygamy that was her idea, birth of two sons to two women which causes great strife in the family and hostility between the Jews and Arabs who descend from these sons to this very day, Abraham giving his wife away twice only to have God bring her back, and lots of other faults, flaws, and failures.
They are not a perfect marriage by any means, but they are believers in God who are blessed by God. In their story, we see the reality of our humanity on full display, and the hope that God can get us through to the last day of our marriage, which is the most important day. The first day of our marriage is important, but a great wedding day is not the goal as much as a great final day still in love worshipping God together.
If God had not pursued, saved, spoken to, repeatedly delivered, and blessed Abraham and Sarah, what would their marriage have looked like in the end?
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