"Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people" (Genesis 25:8).
With the words of our text, Abraham ended a life of faith having walked in such close fellowship with God that "he was called the Friend of God" (James 2:23). But when he died 175 years old, his standing in the world from human perspective might not seem to have warranted his nomadic life of sacrifice and faith. He had sojourned in the land given to him by covenant, but he had not taken possession of it in any real sense. Although he had gained a measure of worldly possessions (Genesis 13:2), he had evidently given up a stable and satisfying life of luxury among his people to follow God into the land of promise. Once there, his nephew,
But yet when Abraham died, Scripture says he died completely satisfied, the literal meaning of the word "full" in our text (the words "of years" added by the translators). He had learned to measure time by eternity; to weigh the value of earthly things by the Spirit. "For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Hebrews 11:10). He had "believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness" (Romans 4:3).
The fullness of Abraham was that of a wealth which death could not touch. The seeming fullness of those who walk by sight, and not by faith, is emptied in death. Men and women of faith carry their fullness with them. When the time comes, may we all die as Abraham died -- full. JDM