Jump Start # 3334
Genesis 25:8 “Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people.”
Our verse today could well be used as Abraham’s obituary. He breathed his last. He died. He died in a ripe old age. But most telling, he was satisfied with life. We measure life in many different ways. The most common is by one’s age. The listing of the age of a person is very common in the obituaries of today. But simply living to a certain age doesn’t tell us much about the person. Life is more than just how long you live it. Methuselah is the oldest man in the Bible. He was the grandfather of Noah. There is a good indication that he died in the year of the flood. Did he die in the flood? But that’s about all we know about someone who lived over 900 years.
There is something about being satisfied with life. Let’s explore that:
First, there are many things in life that we become dissatisfied with. We get weary of wrong. Trouble, crime, corruption weighs heavily upon the hearts of God’s people. Wars. Plagues. Disasters. Turmoil. Every generation deals with those things. Most of those things are out of our hands and beyond anything we can do about them.
Yet, it is because of those very things that some are dissatisfied. They become bitter and grumpy towards the world. Things are out of place and that has gotten their mood, heart and attitude out of place. The misery of the world has crept into their hearts and they wish and long for a different world. The good ole’ days, they remind us, were so different than things are today.
Abraham’s world was a mess. Pagan idolatry. He obediently followed God’s command to go to a place he did not know. Out of his comfort zone. The wrath of God fell upon Sodom during Abraham’s days. Two entire cities were leveled because of their sin. So much that could have made Abraham bitter and angry. Much to complain about. Yet, the text tells us that he died “satisfied with life.”
Second, there are always those who are looking for external pleasures to bring satisfaction to them. If only we traveled more. If only we had gotten a bigger house. If only I had retired sooner. If only I had saved more money during my working years. If only…and the words, “If only,” are the sounds of regret. And, one of the biggest reasons why some are never satisfied is because of regret. I should have gone back to school. I should have not listened to my friends. I should have started a business. I should have followed by dreams. And, as one looks back over the years, what could have been and what is often are not the same. It’s those regrets that keep some from being satisfied.
Third, being satisfied is being content. When eating, we stop when we are satisfied. We’ve had enough. Contentment is a state of the mind. It comes from within. One can be content who has never traveled far. One can be content living in the same house for decades. One can be content with their job. One can be content worshipping in the same congregation all of their life.
When a person is not content, or satisfied, then changes begin. Not content with my house, I’ll move. Not content in the marriage, one leaves. Not content with the congregation, one starts looking elsewhere. And, what happens so often is that, the new thing the person finds, soon gets old and once again they are not content.
Abraham was satisfied with life. There is much to think about that expression.