Abraham’s Family By Keturah
All the days, even of the best and greatest saints, are not remarkable days; some slide on silently; such were these last days of Abraham. Here is an account of Abraham’s children by Keturah, and the disposition, which he made of his estate. After the birth of these sons, he set his house in order, with prudence and justice. He did this while he yet lived. It is wisdom for men to do what they find to do while they live, as far as they can.
In time, Abraham married another woman named Keturah. Keturah gave birth to additional children: Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan. Dedan’s sons were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. Midian’s sons were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All of these were Keturah’s children and grandchildren. In the end, though, Abraham gave everything he owned to Isaac. To the sons of his concubines, Abraham gave gifts while he was still alive. But then he sent them away to the east, far away from what would now be his son Isaac’s household.
Genesis 25:1-6 (VOICE)
Abraham left his material wealth to his family and his spiritual wealth to the whole world, all who would believe on Jesus Christ.
When God renewed Abraham’s natural strength for the begetting of Isaac, He did not take that strength away; and Abraham was able to marry again and have another family.
However, he made a distinction between these six new sons and his son Isaac; for Isaac was God’s choice to carry on the covenant line. Keturah’s sons received gifts, but Isaac received the inheritance and the blessings of the covenant.
All who have trusted Jesus Christ are “as Isaac was, the children of promise” (Gal. 4:28). This means that we have a share in Abraham’s will!
What did he leave us?
To begin with, Abraham left us a clear witness of salvation through faith.
Paul cited his example in Romans 4:1-5, relating it to Abraham’s experience in Genesis 15. Abraham could not have been saved by keeping the Law because the Law had not yet been given. He could not have been saved by the ritual of circumcision because God declared him to be righteous long before Abraham was circumcised. Like everybody else who has ever been saved, Abraham was saved by faith and by faith alone. (See Heb. 11 and Gal. 3.)
But Abraham also leaves us the example of a faithful life.
James used Abraham to illustrate the importance of proving our faith by our works (James 2:14-26). Wherever Abraham went, he pitched his tent and built his altar; and he let the people of the land know that he was a worshiper of the true and living God. When he offered Isaac on the altar, Abraham proved his faith in God and his love for God. Works did not save him, but he proved his faith by his works.
From Abraham, we learn how to walk by faith.
True, he had his occasional lapses of faith; but the general manner of his life evidenced faith in God’s Word. “By faith Abraham… obeyed” (Heb. 11:8).
But “faith in faith” is not the same as faith in God, because it has no foundation. It is building on the sand (Matt. 7:24-27). True faith is our obedient response to the Word of God. God speaks, we hear Him and believe, and we do what He tells us to do.
Abraham and Sarah held on to God’s promises and God rewarded their faith.
Abraham gave the world the gift of the Jewish nation; and it is through the Jews that we have the knowledge of the true God plus the Word of God and the salvation of God (John 4:22).
It is beyond my understanding how anybody could be anti-Semitic when the Jews have given so much to the world and have suffered so much in this world. It is unfortunate that the Jewish people thought their relationship to Abraham saved them (Matt. 3:7-12; John 8:33-59), but they are no different from unsaved Gentiles who think they are going to heaven because their parents or grandparents were Christians (1:11-13).
Finally, because of Abraham, we have a Savior.
In the first verse of the New Testament (Matt. 1:1), Abraham’s name is joined with the names of David and Jesus Christ! God promised Abraham that through him all the world would be blessed (Gen. 12:1-3), and He has kept that promise. The problem is that the church is not telling the whole world that Jesus is indeed “the Savior of the world” (John 4:42). We are keeping the good news to ourselves when we ought to be doing everything we can to let the whole world know.
There can be only one Abraham and Sarah in God’s great plan of redemption, but you and I have our tasks to perform in the will of God (Eph. 2:10). Today, you are writing your obituary and preparing your “last will and testament” as far as your spiritual heritage is concerned. Today you are getting ready for the last stage of life’s journey.
Are you making good preparations?
Are you living by faith?
If you live by faith, then you will, like Abraham, BE OBEDIENT.