Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | February 16, 2022

“For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.” – “The last enemy that will be abolished is death.”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis chapter 23.  Here is a link to this Scripture –

I quote only the following verses.

“Now Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years;  these were the years of the life of Sarah.  Sarah died in Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan;  and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.  Then Abraham rose from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, “I am a stranger and a sojourner among you;  give me a burial site among you that I may bury my dead out of my sight.”  The sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him, “Hear us, my lord, you are a mighty prince among us;  bury your dead in the choicest of our graves;  none of us will refuse you his grave for burying your dead.”  So Abraham rose and bowed to the people of the land, the sons of Heth.  And he spoke with them, saying, “If it is your wish for me to bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and approach Ephron the son of Zohar for me, that he may give me the cave of Machpelah which he owns, which is at the end of his field;  for the full price let him give it to me in your presence for a burial site.”  Genesis 23:1-9.  


I thought it was odd that such a big point was made by Abraham to bury his wife, Sarah, at a burial site “out of my sight”.  Twice, he mentions it in verses 4 and 8, so we will meditate on it.    

In any event, we should consider the shortness of our lives so that we may fear God and present to God a heart of wisdom.

“10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
11 Who understands the power of Your anger
And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?
12 So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:10-12.

But, so to speak, God does graciously allow our dead to be out of our sight, so that we do not continually dwell in our grief.  God comforts us and allows us to recover over time and to live out our days in gladness.

“Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting:  to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him;  for this is his reward.  Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor;  this is the gift of God.  For he will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.”  Ecclesiastes 5:18-20.

“Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart;  for God has already approved your works.  Let your clothes be white all the time, and let not oil be lacking on your head.  Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun;  for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.”  Ecclesiastes 5:18-20.

But, there is even much more hope!

Today’s Scripture points us to what Christ has done in abolishing death out of our sight.  

“but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,”  2 Timothy 1:10. 

“For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.  The last enemy that will be abolished is death.”  1 Corinthians 15:25-26. 

“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY.  O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY?  O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;  but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  1 Corinthians 15:54-57. 


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