Our devotional series based on the book Climbing with Abraham by David Ramos continues. Last week, we concluded the story of God's call to Abraham to sacrifice his son, learning that sometimes God calls us to do difficult things, but that God won't leave us to handle things on our own: God will provide if we have enough faith to trust God.
Week 24: Read Genesis 23:1-2 (Love and Honor - Part 1)
"After years of struggle, joy, unrest, and finally motherhood, Sarah passes away. She is one of the most respected women of the Old Testament, and it's easy to see why. She continued to rely on God even in the most difficult circumstances: barrenness, being put in another man's house twice, following her husband even when the direction he chose was odd or flat out wrong. But she continued diligently and prayerfully. She was by no means perfect; her battles with Hagar and laughter in the face of God prove that point. But she was a woman fully devoted to God, faults and all. And for that we honor her as Abraham did.
Abraham lost his lifelong best friend. For years they were tied together by the promises of God - together, holding one another accountable, and helping each other through the periods of doubt. Without Sarah, Abraham would never have become the man we know as the patriarch of Israel. He knew that, which is why he mourned her so deeply.
It's his love that sets up the scene for the rest of this chapter. Abraham's desire to honor Sarah and keep his promises to her is what prompts him to enter the conversation he has in the proceeding verses. He wages to secure land on her behalf in order to give her a proper burial, and in doing so, plants the seeds of ownership which will fulfill future promises.
Together Abraham and Sarah made incredible mistakes - lying, cheating, disbelief, anger, and so much more. Yet, together they also had Isaac, and followed God for decades, and built the foundations of what would become the great people of Israel. Abraham served Sarah, and she him, and out of that service birthed a love and respect that enabled them to become the best versions of themselves."
Whether married or not, we are called to protect and honor others in our lives in much the same way. We all need people in our lives to laugh with, pray with, share with, and even, perhaps, get into trouble with (on occasion!). Most importantly, we need people to help us grow in our faith and help keep us accountable.
Takeaway from today's lesson: Marriage, family, and close relationships with others can be a tool for helping us fulfill the promises of God. We do not need to live our faith alone.
Prayer: God, thank you that you created us to create relationships with others. Bring others into our lives to help us on this journey of life - and help us be a source of strength and inspiration for others. Help me do it well. Amen.