Saturday, February 24, 2007

Genesis 23: The Death of Sarah

I found this chapter interesting so I thought I'd devote a whole blog post to it. So this will be a little shorter than usual (yay!).

So chapter 23 is about Sarah dying, but really it's about Abraham buying a place to bury her. Seriously, the part about her death is maybe two sentences.

Now, I'm not totally sure what to make of Sarah. See, not very many women are mentioned in ancient literature, particularly ancient historical literature. So the fact that Sarah got mentioned as much as she was, I think, is fairly significant. She was a pretty important lady.

On the other hand, what do we know about Sarah as a person? We know that she was barren (at first), pretty, that she talked her husband into doing stupid things, that she didn't believe God's word to her, and that she apparently really had it out for Hagar. Every time the Bible mentions Sarah, the person you see is not exactly the model wife of Proverbs 31, or even the inwardly beautiful woman Peter talks about.

So by the time we get to Sarah's death, all the author can say about his nation's mother is how old she was and how much Abraham spent to bury her.

I guess it just makes me kind of sad.

I'm trying to ask every time, what can we learn about God through this? Well, first off, God seems stuck on using people who aren't very good. That's a comfort to me personally because sometimes I think I'm like Sarah in all the wrong ways. God can work with your raw material, I guess you could say.

That's actually all I can come up with. What do you think we can learn about God from Sarah?

I'm kind of challenged by this chapter, actually. I don't really get the impression that the author meant it as such, but I can't help thinking that we can take a warning from Sarah's life. When you die, what will people have to say about you? If your life is only remembered for the few most significant things you did, what would those be, and what would they say about you?


Quietheart said...

Interesting, Zoe. I think it's interesting, too, that despite all of those bad chracter traits that Sarah possessed, God did choose to use her to begin a great nation. And He was the One who changed her name from Sarai to Sarah (princess). I'm not really sure where I'm going with this...maybe that God can use us despite our struggles and insufficiencies and that He does choose to view us as His children even though we fail. That's definitely not an excuse for continuing in failure, but it is reassuring to me, because I definitely struggle to trust God and stay surrendered to Him. It is so good that He does continue His good work in us even when we are struggling to cooperate! None of that really speaks to this chapter in particular, though...and to be honest, I'm not sure what we learn from God about this chapter by itself. I need to think on that one.

nate said...

Zoe! Thought I would just drop by and say hello... I used to be 'Voronwe' over on the Circle. Found your site through Rem's. :) Come by sometime!