When Abraham died, he was buried where he had laid Sarah to rest after living a full life. Yet as I read about his passing in Genesis 25, the really interesting aspect is how his sons Ishmael and Isaac buried him together. Families are brought together in such times…
7 Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. 8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. 9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, 10 the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
The last time we heard from Ishmael he was living in the Desert of Paran in Genesis 21. Abraham had sent him and his mother Hagar away and God promised Abraham to bless Ishmael. It is always interesting how the death of a loved one brings people together.
Ishmael, who as a teen mocked baby Isaac when he was born, was now shoulder to shoulder with Isaac burying their father. No mention of mocking. No mention of tension. Two brothers burying their father. Honouring his memory.
This isn’t about Islam and Judaism – at this time, there is no reason to believe that Ishmael worshiped any other God other than the God of Abraham and Isaac. Their faith paths are not divided in these verses. This wasn’t a religious conflict. It was two brothers separated coming back together.
I have seen this in my own family. Water runs under bridges. Bridges need to be built or rebuilt. No matter what happened before, fault is mutual and reconciliation likewise.
Ephesians 2 speaks to the work of Jesus in breaking down the walls of hostility and the barriers between people as, in Christ, we are one people in unity. Jesus is our shalom. He is our peace.
Have any broken family relationships?
Don’t wait for the burial.
In Jesus’ name, mend the fence.
Jesus already removed the barrier.