Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Genesis 25:7-8 (NIV)
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.
Genesis 25:7-8 (MSG)
Abraham lived 175 years. Then he took his final breath. He died happy at a ripe old age, full of years, and was buried with his family.
“The days of Abraham’s life were a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and he died at a good old age, an old man who was satisfied [with life]; and he was gathered to his people [who had preceded him in death].” -AMPLIFIED
In Genesis 25 we find Abraham has come to the end of his life. This friend of God lived to be 175 years old. Abraham’s long life in and of itself was a blessing from God. For God had said, right before the flood, “Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with humans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”” -Genesis 6:3 (NIV)
Abraham was able to witness the marriage of his son Isaac; as well as the birth of his grandson’s Jacob and Esau. In fact, we are told that he married once again after the death of Sarah and had many other sons. “Abraham had taken another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.” -Genesis 25:1-2 (NIV)
God had indeed blessed Abraham’s obedience and willingness to step out of his comfort zone. Abraham was indeed a man of faith. “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” -Hebrews 11:8-10 (NIV)
We must assume that there is more to Genesis 25:8, “and he was gathered to his people”; than just the fact that Abraham was buried with his family. We know that the only person buried in the tomb that Abraham had purchased, was Sarah. We must assume that Abraham and his sons knew and realized there was an Eternity waiting for them. In Hebrews 11 we can take note of the fact that Abraham was, “looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Abraham had an understanding that this life was just a part of what God has in store for people; eternity is waiting on the other side.
“HE WAS GATHERED TO HIS PEOPLE-What a lovely synonym for death! To DIE is to rejoin our people; to pass into a world where the great clan is gathering, welcoming with shouts each new-comer through the shadows. Where are your people? I trust they are God’s people; and if so, those that bear your name, standing on the other shore, are more numerous than the handful gathered around you here; many whom you have never known, but who know you; many whom you have loved and lost awhile; many who without you cannot be made perfect in their happiness. There they are, rank on rank, company on company, regiment on regiment, watching for your coming. Be sure you do not disappoint them! But remember, if your people are God’s people, you cannot be gathered to them unless first in faith and love you are gathered to Him.” -F.B. Meyer
Imagine the joy that Abraham felt to be welcomed into the very presence of his Friend, Adonai; stepping from this life into Eternal life! “..and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be sorrow and anguish, or crying, or pain; for the former order of things has passed away.” –Revelation 21:4 (AM)
Father God, I thank you for your promise of Eternity. Throughout your Word I find reference of Eternity over and over again. You have given me hope to hold on to in those times of difficulty and pain in my life. You remind me that one day I too will be gathered to my people and this fills my heart with hope. I am so looking forward to that day that I will stand in your presence and look upon your face; together forever! I can hardly wait!