The Death of Abraham

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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[Abraham] died at a ripe old age, having lived a long and satisfying life. He breathed his last and joined his ancestors in death.

Genesis 25:8

I didn't experience the death of someone I knew well until I was in high school, when my favorite English teacher died suddenly of a heart attack. It was a devastating time of loss for me, not to mention for others who loved him, especially his family.

The fact that I didn't experience death in a first-hand way until I was seventeen is unusual. Throughout much of the world today, and throughout all of human history, death is something people face on a regular basis. But in the Western world, with the wonder of medical science, and with the relative peace of the last fifty years, death is something we can delay. Indeed, many of us are uncomfortable with the idea of death, and try to deny it or minimize it.

Yet death is an ordinary part of common life after sin. Abraham's death after a long life reminds us that everyone will die, including you and me. This fact doesn't need to be macabre or scary. It can encourage us to live well in the moment, to delight in the time we have on this earth, and to make our lives count for God's purposes.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Do you ever think about the inevitability of your own death? What difference does the thought that your human life will come to an end make in your life?

PRAYER: Gracious God, as I reflect on the death of Abraham, I'm reminded of the fact that I too will die someday. I do ask you for the gift of a long life, but not merely so that my physical existence might be prolonged. Rather, I ask that my life might be both long and full . . . filled with that which counts for eternity, filled with that which gives you glory.

Dear Lord, may the reminder of my own death fill me, not with fear, but with gratitude for the life you have given me, and with a renewed conviction to live my life to the very fullest. Amen.