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Hayei Sarah(Sarah’s Life)B’resheet(Gen.) 23:1-25:18

Torah Portion: Hayei Sarah (Sarah’s Life)B’resheet(Genesis) 23:1-25:18

Haftorah Reading: I Kings 1:1-31

 

This week we read the Torah portion that contains the death of both Sarah and Avraham. I pray as we study this portion we can learn important lessons concerning our own life as G-d’s children. I pray these lessons will impact all our lives.  I pray the Father of all flesh will speak to you through these words.

 

 

In our opening verse we read an important clue that should speak directly to us. Sarah died at the age of 127 years old. However, in Hebrew this is written in a way that should give us insight into her approach to life. B’resheet 23:1 describes her life in Hebrew this way, “Sarah, 100 years, 27 years and seven years old; these were the years of the life of Sarah.” When read this way the point seems to be that she lived each year to its fullest. Sarah entered into every year, every day and lived it to its fullest. I believe each of us should consider this as we go through this portion and live each day of our lives. How do we live each day? Are we living it to its fullest?

 

In Genesis 24:1 we read about Avraham. It says he was old and well advanced in age. Again the Hebrew gives us a far deeper meaning. In Hebrew it reads, “He entered into the days of his life.” This gives us a deeper understanding of how this man lived. This portion comes right after his wife Sarah’s death. Does this verse mean he had a life free of conflict, trials and disappointments? Would you say his life had been easy sailing? Stop for a moment and think back over Avraham’s life. He left his home, went to a land where he was a stranger. His wife was taken by Avimelech. He was given a promise of being the father of many nations but for years his wife could not conceive. He even prayed for Avimelech’s wife and female servants and they bore children but Sarah remained barren. He watched from a mountain top the destruction of Sodom. He was called by G-d to sacrifice his only son Isaac. He sent away Hagar and his son Ismael. Now here in these verses he has buried his life companion and wife Sarah.

 

So what does the Torah tell us about how he dealt with these challenging times? He entered each day. He embraced each day knowing G-d was with him. His physical body grew old but he continued to enter each day until his days on earth were finished.

 

Avraham never retired from life. He knew not to give up. He lived his life in full faith, held on to his faith. He knew if he stopped entering each day, holding on to G-d’s promises, he would die before his time. What does this say to us? As G-d’s children our challenge during difficulties is to never give up.  G-d’s calling should always encourage us to press on and not just fill our days with things that have no eternal significance.   We enter each day with full faith that G-d still calls us to be what he has created us to be. Until we breathe our last we have more days to enter. We pass on to our children our faith, our hope, our inheritance of G-d’s goodness to His people.

 

My question this week plays into this point. In Genesis 25:5-7 we read about Avraham coming to the time of planning his estate.  He had his son Isaac and other sons by his concubines. What did he do? In these verses we see he gave his sons by the concubines gifts and sent them on their way eastward. These gifts provided them a head start on establishing themselves but they were to live away from the son of promise, Isaac.  He wanted it to be clear that Isaac was his heir.  In my question to you I wanted you to consider what it means to receive a gift or to receive an inheritance. How does either of these impact our lives?

 

A gift is exactly that. It is a present, given without strings attached. The recipient of the gift is free to do whatever they please with the gift. It has no forward looking element. You do not have to work for it or pay back any part of it to the giver. It is yours to do with as you wish.

 

An inheritance however, is almost the opposite. An inheritance has every expectation that the person receiving the inheritance will stay intimately connected with the giver until his death and then that person will use the inheritance to continue the work of the donor. The  person will continue working toward the same values and aspirations as the donor.

 

Now let’s look at Avraham’s estate and how this would apply. The men receiving the gifts were sent away with no further expectations to be fulfilled. Isaac, on the other hand, would receive all that Avraham had with the expectation he would carry on the work of his father.

 

What does this mean to us? G-d gives gifts to all mankind. The sun shines on the just and the unjust, it is a gift. (Matthew 5:45) A farmer receives the rain from heaven no matter if he is a believer or not. An inheritance, on the other hand, while freely given to all who seek after G-d, requires that we come under His authority. We are to live our life differently, have different goals in life and different values than the world. We have become part of the household of G-d. As a result we live our lives according to His will and purpose. We work with all who are of the household  of faith. We are to be about our Father’s business. Our first possession as heirs of the kingdom is “a living hope through the resurrection of Yeshua the Messiah from the dead.” I Peter 1:3.

 

My point in all this is that each of us might understand that we have been made part of a long line of inheritors of G-d’s grace and mercy. We, as inheritors of his kingdom through Yeshua are called every day to live our days, to enter each day as G-d’s children. He holds us safely in His hands. We have a duty to represent our Father to this world. I would encourage you to enter into each day.