Bible Reading Blog

Bible Reading Blog

“Satisfied With Life”

Categories: Congregational Bible Reading


“Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.” (Genesis 25.8)

By our standards Abraham was an old man. But if you read the genealogies from Genesis 11, he was just getting started. So how can the scriptures say he was “an old man and full of years”? The meaning is somewhat lost in translation. The NASB does well to translate this as Abraham was “an old man and satisfied with life.” According to the JPS Torah Commentary on Genesis, “Such a summation of a life is found with no other personality in biblical literature. The phrase describes not his longevity, which is otherwise mentioned, but the quality of his earthly existence.”

In other words, Abraham died and was “satisfied” with the quality of his life. Why was he satisfied? At the time of his death, Abraham had been materially blessed by God (Genesis 13.2; 24.1); but more importantly he had been enriched and settled by the promises by God. It gave him identity, purpose, and direction at every turn.

We must understand that Abraham’s satisfaction was not in his efforts but in the surety of God. He found peace at the end because God had providentially provided for him as he walked in obedience. So, death was simply the next door God was opening for him to walk through. Compare that to his grandson, Jacob who bemoaned that his days were few and difficult compared to his predecessors (Genesis 47.9).

Abraham’s trust and obedience is the fundamental pattern for our faith. Like Abraham, we will not be perfect in our decisions, but we can be perfect in our determination to go where God leads. When we sin or fail or botch up something again, we can decide to move forward, learning from it all, and beginning again and again and again.

Every day I get the opportunity to start new; every day I can begin again. Maybe I missed it yesterday. Maybe I got too busy, or I got sucked into Facebook or politics or news, or I just didn’t want to play with my kids. But yesterday is not what defines my life. It is my efforts today—to do what I know is right and take advantage of the opportunities provided by God—that define my future and give me peace. Abraham didn’t live perfectly, but He followed God by faith, and he died satisfied. Let us settle our hearts on God’s promises and move forward in hope of better things to come. Let us be satisfied with life, through trust in a faithful God.

“[Abraham] died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar… as it is, [he] desired a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called [his] God, for he has prepared for [him] a city.” (Hebrews 11.13-16)