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The Sending …

“But to the sons of the concubines of Abraham, Abraham gave gifts. And he sent them away from Isaac during his life — eastward, to the land in the east.”

(Genesis 25:6)


Before Abraham sends his sons (those not of Sarah) away, he gives to each gifts — a practice that is remarkably ahead of his time. Many today seek to give a portion of their estate to their children while they are still living — this has tax benefits and gives you control over the disbursements — but Abraham’s purpose is rather different. Isaac will inherit his estate — he will be the one to assume responsibility for this great and wonderful promise that God has given to Abraham in terms of the covenant and the wealth that has been given in the context of the covenant. Upon Abraham’s death, there will be no squabbles over nick-knacks, but all will fall to Isaac.

Yet, Abraham still provides for his other sons. They are his children and this is a fulfillment of the covenant that God made to him at the very time of his calling — I will make you a blessing (Genesis 12:1). Thus, the account of Abraham’s life ends the way it began … with a focus on the nations finding their hope and blessing in the line of Abraham. And Paul writes that we who find our hope in Jesus Christ are counted as children of Abraham and thus heirs to the promise (Galatians 3:29). Again, while we tend to react to the sparkle of gold and wealth; those who are found in Christ have discovered what wealth truly is.

Thus, with their wealth, the descendants of Abraham head to the east and form many of the Arab tribes that will end up coming back to haunt the people of Israel, but that is an account for another day. Now, once all things are settled and each son is provided for and sent off to the east to find his own fortune, Abraham will finally be ready to lay down and rest, shuffling off this mortal coil and joining Sarah in the presence of the Almighty God who called him out of his homeland and would establish his line in Canaan — a God whom he called, “Friend” (James 2:23).

All He Had to Isaac

“And Abraham gave all that was his to Isaac.”

(Genesis 25:5)


As with Ishmael, the other sons of Abraham are not meant for the covenant — the covenant line shall be set through Isaac. And thus Isaac is the inheritor of his father’s estate, but he is also the inheritor of something far more important — a covenant promise. It is for sure that the gifts mentioned in the following verse, given to the other sons, were substantial from an earthly perspective, but from an eternal view, they are like dust. The wealth of the nations will turn to dust but the promises of the Lord will last forever.

Why is it though, that so often we focus on the earthly inheritances that we are offered? When a man with great financial wealth passes away, people immediately begin dreaming of spending money and even professing Christians sometimes are reduced to bickering and fighting over what they perceive as their “fair share.” Yet, had Abraham given all of his earthly wealth and property to his other sons and left Isaac only with the promise of God’s covenant, Isaac’s wealth would have still infinitely surpassed that of his brothers’ and this statement, that all Abraham had was given to Isaac, would have been no less true. For all that Abraham had of any lasting value was the promise of God — all else was just a measure of earthly comfort.

In the west, we labor hard to provide an inheritance for our children, but sadly that inheritance for which we labor is often of no value. That which is of value is a spiritual, Godly inheritance offered in the name of Christ, Jesus. The children who inherit from their parents a knowledge of the Lord and a model of a life lived faithfully before the Lord, but not a penny in wealth, have received far more than the children who are given millions of dollars but nothing of lasting value. Take care in choosing that for which you labor. Set your efforts on things of lasting value, not on things of this earth.

The Inheritance of God

“He chose our inheritance for us — the splendor of Jacob, whom he loves! Selah!”

(Psalm 47:4 {verse 5 in English Translations})


In the immediate sense, the psalmist is clearly thinking about how God is the one who not only brought the people into Canaan, casting out the Canaanites, but also that it is God who set aside the promised land in the first place and that it is God who gave to each tribe of Jacob a portion and an inheritance in the land. The only exception being the Levites, who were scattered as ministers of grace throughout the land and whose inheritance was God himself.

That statement in itself is enough to dig deeply into, but there is more to what is in sight. You see, an inheritance is something that is secured by the Father and then given to the children. Indeed, such is the way that God brought Israel into the land, scattering armies and nations ahead of them by divine might, but that also takes us back to another inheritance that was given — that of the world to Adam and Eve and repeated in a slightly different form in the Great Commission. No longer is Christ’s church bounded by physical and geographic borders, but wherever the Spirit will lead we must go. As the old hymn goes, “In Christ there is no east or west, in him no south or north!”

What is very sad, as you look at ancient Israel, is how far shy of the original boundaries that God set that they came. The original promise given to Abraham included everything bounded by the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates River to the East (Genesis 15:18) — yet Israel never realized those borders because of their unfaithfulness to the inheritance they were given. Yet, are we as Christians any less culpable? Truly, in 2000 years of the church age, should we not have been able to spread the Gospel to every corner of the earth? Yet we have not. There are numerous people groups that have neither heard the Gospel nor have access to the scriptures in their native tongue. How sad it is that we too have failed to take the inheritance that our heavenly Father has secured in his Son and given to us.

May the “selah” — the triumphal lifting of ones voices — be a call to us today, here and now, to refocus our hearts and our lives. Let us not remain complacent, but with missionary zeal, may we fill the earth with the Gospel — for this is the inheritance that God has given to us — to we who are true Israel through faith in Jesus Christ — we for whom God has demonstrated his great love by giving us his son Jesus for our salvation.