Isaac: 18. Abraham Dead and Isaac Blessed: Genesis 25:7-11

From: Isaac By: William Kelly
Genesis 25:7‑11  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
We have seen the death of Sarah followed by the call of the bride. It was no longer to be “our mother,” free as she was, but the type of the church, the Lamb's wife. The dead and risen Heir of all things has a spouse called out from the world and brought into that which figures the heavenlies. The mystery or secret is great, says the apostle, “but I speak as to Christ, and as to the church,” its two parts. Though the grace and the glory were intrinsically His only, yet are we called all the more to rejoice; for we delight that the worth is His alone, and this gives all our security to God's glory.
Now we have another weighty and honored link of the past removed.
“And these [are the] days of the years of Abraham's life which he lived, a hundred years and seventy years and five years. And Abraham expired and died in a good old age, an old man and full, and was gathered to his people. And Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in Ephron's field, son of Zohar the Hittite, which [is] before Mamre, the field which Abraham bought of the sons of Heth: there was buried Abraham, and Sarah his wife. And it came to pass after Abraham's death that God blessed Isaac his son; and Isaac dwelt at Beerlahai-roi” (vers. 7-11).
Here it is the depositary of promise who departs this life. For many years what had there been of divine moment to record? He was given, comparatively long before, a great place in sending his servant, honored and trusted in the highest degree, to call and conduct the God-appointed bride for his son. And the son was not only in a new standing since the day of Moriah but exclusively associated with the heavenly land. Promise now, like covenant before, fades away before the brighter light of the mystery and its special relationship. The progenitors of many nations who had Abraham as their father as to the flesh were born, owned, given suitable gifts, and while he lived sent away, that Isaac might abide the undisputed heir of all that he had. Now in a good old age Abraham too must expire and die. The new things were to receive their honor without a rival.
Little is said of Abraham's funeral, save to mark the link with Sarah's grave, of which the Holy Spirit made so much in chap. 23. It had its just place for loving remembrance. Faith looks onward to the true hope for “the elders” also. It is the resurrection from out of the dead, which will be the portion of all the righteous departed. Groundless is the unbelief which imagined them in gloom, insensibility, or any other lack, unworthy of His grace Who watched in love over their feeble pilgrimage for His name here below. The love of Him Who in due time became flesh and died for their sins and ascended on high in resurrection life was no transient thing but eternal. Still their resurrection at His coming, so as to be not only with Him but like Him where He is, will be a blessed accession for them as well as for Him to God's praise; and for this they wait in assured hope and full of glory.
As things were, there could be no spiritual sympathy between Isaac and the others who boasted to be of Abraham's seed. But it is here told us that “Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah,” in the field Abraham had purchased of Ephron, where Sarah lay already. The son of the bondmaid was in no way forbidden thus to honor his parent. “Cast out” he must be and was in presence of the child of promise; yet fleshly relationship has its place, and the son of the free in no way disputes it, but is gracious. The feelings of the two before God may have been as widely different as spirit and flesh, by which they were respectively characterized; but there at least around the grave they were together in the sorrow of bereavement, and in loving memory of him who was gathered to his people, “the friend of God.”
The conclusion of the statement here vouchsafed is that after this God blessed Isaac, the son of the deceased patriarch; and that he dwelt at Beer-lahai-roi, the well of the living one that seeth me. Thus Isaac left alone (of the fellow-heirs before him of the same promise) has this marked distinction—God blessing him: a precious reality in a world of curse through sin; and this not in the general form which was extended to those that sprang from Abraham, but as the heir. But there is the remarkable fact noted that he dwelt at the spot first designated by a fountain of water in the wilderness, where Hagar was found of Jehovah's angel, who told her of Ishmael's birth and singular destiny. Indeed He is a God that sees, as surely as He lives. But how different the path which awaited Ishmael and Isaac Here Jehovah heard Hagar's affliction; here God blessed Isaac, already blessed on a still higher plane and with better blessings in hope.