Parashat Chayei Sarah (The Life of Sarah)
Beresheet (Genesis) 23:1 – 25:8
Haftarah: I Kings 1:1-31
The Word of God is a living Word. I marvel at the fact that as we read it again and again, the Holy Spirit reveals things that enrich not only our understanding of God but also help us grow in God’s grace. As I was preparing to write this week’s commentary, I received a new understanding of a few things that I would like to share.
I wrote previously about the interesting connection we find in this Parashah & Haftarah between Abraham and David, and the phrase that links them: “old, advanced in age”. This phrase “advanced in age” is connected to inheritance that is continued or fulfilled.
In the New Covenant we read of Zachariah and Elisheva (Yochanan (John) the Immerser’s parents) being described as advanced in age:
And yet they had no child, because Elizabeth was infertile, and they were both advanced in years.
As I connect this description of Zachariah and Elisheva to those in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), I am struck by the fact that Yochanan’s role was to declare the coming of the One who would inherit the Kingdom that the Father entrusted to Him.
This brings us to Genesis 24, which tells one of the most beautiful stories of how God purposed Rebecca to be Isaac’s wife (I recommend that you read the entire chapter of Genesis 24!). I find it interesting that Abraham was the one who cared about the continuing the line through which the Seed of Promise would one day come. Abraham knew that God's promise would ultimately be fulfilled through someone in his family, and not a concubine. This specific line was to continue through Isaac and not Ishmael, although Ishmael was technically Abraham’s first born. In terms of the culture, Ishmael was the one who was supposed to inherit Abraham’s place, but God's plan always takes precedence over anything else.
In the Haftarah portion of 1 Kings, we read of Adonijah the son of Haggit, and King David's fourth son, who exalted himself saying he would be king. Yet, we read:
Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and the mighty men who belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.
1 Kings 1:8
The LORD’s anointing was not on Adonijah to become king; it was on Solomon. Nathan came to BatSheva (Bathsheba), the mother of Solomon, and told her about Adonijah's secret plot. He exhorted her to approach King David and remind him that he promised her that Solomon would be king. Nathan also told her that after she goes, he would come and confirm her words. Here is David's response to her after she did as Nathan had instructed her to do:
Then King David responded and said, “Summon Bathsheba to me.” And she came into the king’s presence and stood before the king. Then the king vowed and said, “As the LORD lives, who has redeemed my life from all distress, certainly as I vowed to you by the LORD, the God of Israel, saying, ‘Your son Solomon certainly shall be king after me, and he shall sit on my throne in my place’; I will indeed do so this day.” Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and prostrated herself before the king and said, “May my lord King David live forever.”
1 Kings 1:28-31
Both Abraham and David were wholly committed to God's lineage through which His Seed of Promise - the Messiah - would come! In Matthew 1:1-6 we read:
The record of the genealogy of Yeshua the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, and Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers. Judah fathered Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez fathered Hezron, and Hezron fathered Ram. Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, and Nahshon fathered Salmon. Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, and Obed fathered Jesse. Jesse fathered David the king. David fathered Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.
It is amazing to see that, throughout the Word of God, there are clues regarding the One who will inherit everything from the Father — our Messiah. I love seeing the continuity of God's plan from beginning to end in the Scriptures; may it encourage you in your walk with Him.
Check out previous blogs on this parashah!
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