Chapter 23 is a sad chapter. Abraham’s wife and life-long companion, Sarah, died. The majority of the chapter is the dialogue between Abraham and the sons of Heth concerning a burial place. However, if we slow down and place our focus on this sad aspect of Abraham’s journey, I think we can get a glimpse into the humanity of this revered hero.
Too often when we read the Bible we think of those people as super heroes. The Hebrew Bible is filled with many men and women who are cast as super spirituals. But when we stop to think about it, they were just humans. Did they have some amazing things happen in their lives? Of course! Walking around a den of lions without being eaten alive would be amazing. But we raise these people up to such heights (and deservedly so) that we forget that there were just that, people. Here Abraham’s wife, his wife of many, many years, died. Can you imagine the hurt, the heartache at losing your partner? I know I can’t. I love my wife more than anything or anyone, and life would seem not worth living without her. But sometimes in life we experience grief and heartache. Abraham mourned for her. But then his life went on. Did he ever forget her? No, I don’t see how anyone who had spent that much time with another human being couldn’t be affected. So in life, grieve when you need to. Miss those who have gone on before us. But take heart, there will be a happy reunion to those who know Christ. And Abraham, though not stated in this chapter, would look forward with joy to the day he would be reunited with his wife, Sarah.