He realized the importance of a place for successive generations to memorialize their faith
Sarah lived 127 years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. (Genesis 23:1)
On a beautiful hilltop overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains is a tombstone inscribed with the name of my mother-in-law. Her final resting place is in the Georgia National Cemetery, where one day her veteran husband will join her. Our nation has set aside beautiful pieces of land to honor and remember those who serve our country through military service. The military wife and her service alongside her husband are included in this gracious memorial.
Sarah came to the end of her life and there was no place to bury her. Was Abraham to take her body back to Ur? Should he accept the offer of a gift from the inhabitants of the land? What was a sojourner to do?
Abraham strategically negotiated the purchase of ground on which to bury Sarah. Isn’t it remarkable that the first piece of property Abraham owned in the Promised Land was a plot to bury his wife? He realized the importance of a place for successive generations to memorialize their faith. God led them to this land that would one day be theirs.1 Sarah’s grave was in essence a spiritual beachhead for the borders the Lord would expand to become the nation of Israel.
Sarah was buried east of Mamre, a place where some of her happiest memories had taken place. It was here that the Lord promised her she would give birth to a child. It was here the sojourner rested, no longer a stranger.2
Sarah did not know the impact she would have on others. We read of the significance of her death, but it was her life that held the greatest impact. Did you know Sarah is the only woman in Scripture whose lifespan is mentioned? That says to me that God takes note when we live a life devoted to him, and others. The words we say and the deeds we do establish a beachhead of God’s plan and will.
Perhaps one day I will join my mother-in-law on that memorial hill in North Georgia. Until then, it’s the people I bless while I’m alive that will make my life a memorial. You do not know the blessing you are to others. Go out and be a blessing today! God will not forget you!
Our nation does not forget a military wife. Abraham did not forget Sarah. God will not forget you. With this assurance, what courageous actions will you take today?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, thank you for a nation that does not forget the service of a military wife. Most of all, I thank you for being a God who does not forget me. Help me today to be the blessing you’ve called me to be to those I meet. Amen.
1 Bruce Waltke, Genesis: A Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2001), 322.
2 Gerhard von Rad, Genesis: A Commentary. (Philadelphia: Westminister John Knox Press, 1972), 250.