Now Abraham was old, advanced in age; and the LORD had blessed Abraham in every way.
I love that the scripture does not pull its punches. Abraham was old, at least 137 since the previous chapter detailed the death and burial of Sarah at the age of 127 and Abraham was 10 years Sarah’s senior. I once heard a Jeff Foxworthy routine wherein the comedian said that the goal of most people is to one day become an old person. I am not entirely certain I agree, but Abraham had definitely managed to become an old person. For my part, I would much rather that the second part of this verse be true of me.
[The] LORD had blessed Abraham in every way. While the scripture makes no bones about Abraham’s age, it also does not shrink from telling me that Abraham — who had endured wanting to have a child and being unable for decades (some men might see that as a blessing); who had been called to walk away from everything he had ever known and to go to a place that God would show him; who had fought (and won) a war to free his nephew; who had endured turmoil in his own household — was blessed … in every way. Some of his blessings were monetary. Some of his blessings were familial — there is no record of further strife in his household after Hagar is sent away. And some of his blessings — the majority of them, I would wager — were completely intangible and came in the form of a deep and abiding faith among others.
The stop at this verse is because I want to have at least part of this be true of me. I want it to be said of me that God blessed me in every way. And the blessings I crave most are of the intangible variety. Wealth and all of that sort of thing could be nice, but a faith that is worthy of note is much more desirable. God will later — when speaking to Isaiah, I think — refer to Abraham as His friend. That is a blessing that I want. And these are blessings that I know God is only too willing to give. Faith and friendship with Him are blessings He desires to give to all who would seek after them. But Abraham arrived at these blessings by having his faith tested and stretched and slowly molded into something more than it was when it first showed up. Likewise his friendship with God is due to a life marked by walking with God and listening to God and taking his concerns back to God when they spoke. If I really want these blessings, then I need to look at Abraham’s life and see how he got to the place where it could be said of him that the LORD had blessed Abraham in every way.
Father, thank You for the example of Abraham. I know that the blessings You gave to him — an unshakable faith and Your friendship, to be specific — are blessings You want to give to all of Abraham’s children in faith. Please work in my life to produce the kind of faith that Abraham has so that I, too, might be called Your friend.