A life lived for God will be a life abundantly blessed by God.

Genesis 25 records the end of Abraham’s life and shows two the contrasting lives of his sons, Ishmael and Isaac.

The Enriched Christian Life (verses 1-11)

Many people struggle with the fact that Abraham had concubines, but the Bible still calls him righteous. Modern readers have to remember not to read our context back into Genesis. Abraham didn’t have the Bible! The patriarchs lived by the spoken Word of God. He was not condemned for this mistake.

Righteous people persevere well because they win more battles than they lose. Abraham showed seven simple spiritual virtues at the end of his life:

  1. He maintained his testimony among those he had failed. The Christian life includes times of failure, often witnessed by those who know us best, but failure doesn’t define the Christian’s life.
  2. He knew God’s promises and invested there (verse 5). Abraham gave all he had to his son of promise, Isaac, trusting God’s promise to bring a spiritual blessing through his offspring.
  3. He was prepared for death and had no regrets (verse 8). Abraham welcomed his time to go because he was eager to see his Lord.
  4. He was satisfied with his Creator (verse 8).
  5. He had hope, which became his reality (verse 8). Abraham had the joyful expectation of seeing his wife and other loved ones who had died in faith again. God calls relationships “good” on earth, and he certainly allows reunions in Heaven. Saints will see each other again, and have the hope of the resurrection.
  6. He had a unifying influence among those he left behind (verse 9).
  7. His progeny continued to enjoy the presence of God (verse 11). Isaac lived at Beer-lahai-roi, which means “the well of the Living One who sees me.”
The Life of Missed Opportunity (verses 12-18)

Ishmael lived a long life and fathered 12 princes, just as prophesied by God in Genesis 17:20. He was a man of faith too, but he walked away from God and lived in “defiance.” 2 Peter 1:11 and 1 John 2:26-28 warn believers that unfaithful Christians do not have the same grand entrance into Heaven as faithful saints. We should aspire to have an abundant entrance that will glorify our Savior!

The Life of Sustained Blessing (verses 19-34)

Isaac’s life continues to be blessed by God as he walks with Him. Isaac showed virtue by enduring well as a son, watching his father and serving the Lord with him. He guarded himself from the worldly distraction that wealth can bring. He waited patiently for a wife, then twenty more years for children. Both Isaac and Rebekah prayed to God instead of finding their own solution as Abram and Sarai had (Gen. 16).

And yet, these parents made mistakes by showing favoritism between their sons. Instead of loving impartially, they encouraged contention and disunity in their family because of this wrong choice. Both Esau and Jacob did wrong as well. Esau did not value spiritual things; and Jacob immaturely tried to get a good thing in the wrong way.

Application Points

  • If your time came to die, do you have any regrets that would surface? If they are past events, do what you can to make them right, and give them over to God’s forgiveness. If they are present habits, judge those for what they are and remove them from your life – so you can face your Lord unashamed!
  • Isaac continued to enjoy God’s presence because he had watched his father enjoy it. Who have you influenced that will continue to enjoy God’s presence after you are gone? If you can’t name anyone, the next question might be – do you live in the joy of God’s presence?
  • Jacob and Esau serve as a warning to parents of the serious consequences that wrong choices, in this case favoritism, can bring about in the lives of children. If you have children, do you love them impartially? Is there another parenting habit that could bring negative consequences into their lives? Pray that God would give you wisdom as you raise the souls He’s entrusted to your care!

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • Psalm 107:9 – A soul satisfied in its Creator.
  • 1 Timothy 6:6 – Contentment.
  • Psalm 133 – Unity comes from the top down and is blessed by God for eternal purposes.
A Hymn to Encourage: “Rejoice, the Lord is King!”

Rejoice, the Lord is King:
Your Lord and King adore!
Rejoice, give thanks and sing,
And triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Jesus, the Savior, reigns,
The God of truth and love;
When He has purged our stains,
He took his seat above;
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

His kingdom cannot fail,
He rules o'er earth and heav'n;
The keys of death and hell
Are to our Jesus giv'n:
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Rejoice in glorious hope!
Our Lord and judge shall come
And take His servants up
To their eternal home:
Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice!
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!