Sunday, June 27, 2021

God’s Timeline – Part 30 Sarah Dies


God’s Timeline – Part 30

Sarah Dies

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith Church | |

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God's Timeline - Part 30 - Sarah Dies

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SERMON INTRODUCTION (2021 A.D. = 5781 Jewish Calendar Year)

 -         Creation Week (Approximately 4000 B.C.)

o   Adam, Eve, and the Fall


-         Cain and Abel

o   Evil Fills the World


-         Noah Did All God Commanded Him

o   The Flood 2400 – 2300 B.C.)

o   God’s Covenant with Noah


-         Noah’s Sons and Ham’s Sin

-         Nations of Noah’s Sons

-         Tower of Babel

-         God calls Abram (2112 B.C.)

o   Abram and Lot part ways

o   Rescue of Lot

-         The Lord’s Covenant with Abram for Isaac

o   Hagar and Ishmael Born (2101 B.C.) Abram 86 years old

o   Sarai and Isaac

-         The Three Visitors

-         Abraham Pleads for Sodom

-         Birth of Isaac (2088 B.C. Abraham 99 years old Sarah 90-Hagar and Ishmael sent away)

-         The Lord tests Abraham (2070-2068 B.C. Isaac 18-20 years old)

-         Sarah Dies 127 years old (2051 B.C. Abraham is 136)




Genesis 23

“Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. 2 She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.


3 Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. [descendants of Heth] He said, 4 “I am a foreigner and stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.”


5 The Hittites replied to Abraham, 6 “Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead.”


7 Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites. 8 He said to them, “If you are willing to let me bury my dead, then listen to me and intercede with Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf 9 so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you.”


10 Ephron the Hittite was sitting among his people and he replied to Abraham in the hearing of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city. 11 “No, my lord,” he said. “Listen to me; I give [should have been sell] you the field, and I give [sell] you the cave that is in it. I give [sell] it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead.”


12 Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13 and he said to Ephron in their hearing, “Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there.”


14 Ephron answered Abraham, 15 “Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels [approximately $4,200 in 2021] of silver, but what is that between you and me? Bury your dead.”


16 Abraham agreed to Ephron’s terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.


17 So Ephron’s field in Machpelah near Mamre—both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field—was deeded 18 to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city. 19 Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.”




a.      I believe there are a few lessons here

                                     i.      We see Abraham’s “test” in the previous chapter (approximately 17 years before Sarah’s death) was a success and the Lord had achieved exactly what He set out too by giving Abraham the test.

1.      To grow Abraham making him spiritually mature


                                  ii.      We also see a picture of the coming resurrection of all


                               iii.      And we see the first and only time a woman’s (Sarah) age, death and burial are recorded. Abraham and Sarah truly are important as the beginning, the new Adam and Eve of sorts.


1.      Abraham is the father of us all – Romans 4:6

2.      Sarah is the mother of us all – 1 Peter 3:6



b.     Without Genesis chapter 23, 22 would remain a mystery

                                     i.      It would not make much sense for the Lord to tell Abraham to do something, then prevent him from doing it.



c.      Reading Genesis chapter 23 may seem uneventful without understanding Abraham’s faith

                                     i.      We read many chapters before Genesis 22 where Abraham had little faith.

                                  ii.      We read as Sarah and Abraham took the promise of the Lord into their own hands, trying to fulfill the promise in the flesh instead of having faith and trusting in the Lord to do what He promised.


                               iii.      This all lead up to the reasoning for what took place in Genesis 22 when God tested Abraham


                                iv.      Now Genesis 23 is needed to complete the picture for us

1.      We need to see that the test worked for Abraham


2.      We need to see that it was different this time for Abraham and his faith

a.      Before the test of Genesis 22, Abraham had faith for a while, then followed his flesh on matters. After the test, we need to see he no longer trusts in himself, rather the Word of God, and he now follows the spirit rather than the flesh.





                                        i.      He still heard from the Lord

                                     ii.      The Lord still gave Abraham promises

                                  iii.      Abraham believed and had faith and trust, but it didn’t last

                                   iv.      Eventually, Abraham would “do” in the flesh instead of hearing the Word of God and doing “it” – in this case, wait on the Lord for Isaac




                                        i.      Hears from the Lord

                                     ii.      Believes in the promises and has faith and trust in the Lord

                                  iii.      Becomes a doer of the Word, walking in the Spirit rather than just a hearer who eventually tires of waiting on the Lord and does in the flesh

                                   iv.      The contrast of these two positions are shown to us before Genesis 22 and after.




                                        i.      Genesis 23 also shows us what is to come

1.      We are to hear from the Lord and have faith and trust in Him and His word

2.      We are to walk in the Spirit being “doers” of His word

3.      We also know, the resurrection is coming!

4.      We can have full confidence in the Lord, His Word, His Spirit, having faith and trust that He WILL do what He says

a.      Not in our timing, but His

b.     Not in our understanding, but His

c.      If He says it, it WILL BE


ILLUSTRATION: Sarah died in the Promise Land. Abraham wants to bury her in land that does not yet belong to him. The Lord promised that one day ALL of this land would be his.

 So, Abraham is showing his NEW FAITH, which was made stronger than ever by the test of God in Genesis 22, by purchasing a plot to bury his beloved wife, not on his current land, but in a place God said would one day be his! FAITH AND TRUST IN THE WORD!!!

 This chapter expresses hope of the resurrection and proclaims the promise of inheritance!

 And we can look at this and know, it is not just the promise given to Abraham that is being expressed in the Word of God here, but the promise of the resurrection of Christ, the promise of our resurrection and the promise of the inheritance that awaits the children of God.

 We, like Abraham, can have the faith and trust in the Word for these things to come.

 In this chapter, we see Abraham’s love for Sarah as he bends down over her sleeping face…and in faith stood up and proclaimed his faith and trust by purchasing the land with a cave for her burial.

 This cave would eventually house Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Leah as well as Sarah.



a.      HOW IS MY FAITH?

                                        i.      You may hear from the Lord

1.      Romans 10:17 - faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.


                                     ii.      You may know what His will is for you in your life

1.      Romans 12:1-2 - I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.


                                  iii.      You may believe

1.      James 2:19 - You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.


                                   iv.      But do you have faith and trust in Him?


                                      v.      Are you following His Spirit?

1.      Galatians 5:16 - But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.


                                   vi.      Are you a “doer” of His Word?

1.      James 1:22 - But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.




                                        i.      You can spend time in prayer 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”; Matthew 1:6 “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”


                                     ii.      You can spend quiet time with the Lord Luke 5:16 “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed”


                                  iii.      You can read / listen to His Word 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”

                                   iv.      You can meditate on His Word Joshua 1:8 “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”


                                      v.      You can study His Word 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”


                                   vi.      You can fellowship and have conversations about the Word with other believers 1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”


                                vii.      You can join Bible Studies Hebrews 10:25 “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”; Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”


                              viii.      Whatever you decide to do, you MUST DO something! John 13:17 “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”; Luke 11:28 “But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”




                                        i.      How do you keep any relationship strong?


                                     ii.      “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” – Matthew 22:36-38

                                  iii.      And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:39


                                   iv.      “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” – 1 John 4:20


                                      v.      “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” – Ephesians 5:33


                                   vi.      Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8


                                vii.      No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” – Matthew 6:24


                              viii.      Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.” – 1 John 2:15


                                    ix.      If you love me, obey my commandments.” – John 14:15


                                       x.      Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” – Psalm 34:14


                                    xi.      “Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” – Psalm 5:12


                                 xii.      “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:12-13




We may have little faith when we first find the Lord. If we put our trust in Him, our faith in what the Word says, if we surrender to Him, walking in the Spirit, the Lord WILL fulfill His promise IN OUR LIVES.


God is going to do what He says, regardless of whether or not we have a relationship with Him.


What Christ offers us is this, to be part of the great reward which IS coming.


If we choose not to partake in the Lord’s substitutional sacrifice for our forgiveness, if we refuse to confess our sin and repent, we will not be counted among those who will receive the promise, rather, we will be weeping and gnashing teeth in wonder why the Lord God won’t open the gates and let us in!


We are all sinful and fall short of God’s Glory.


No one but Jesus Christ Himself kept the commands of Moses.


The Lord promises that anyone who calls on His name will be saved.


Confess, repent and surrender to the Lord putting your faith and trust in Him being doers of the Word.



Next week we will learn about Isaac and Rebekah



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