Leaving a Legacy

“These are all the years of Abraham’s life that he lived, one hundred and seventy-five years. 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. Then his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, facing Mamre, the field which Abraham purchased from the sons of Heth; there Abraham was buried with Sarah his wife. It came about after the death of Abraham, that God blessed his son Isaac; and Isaac lived by Beer-lahai-roi.”—Genesis 25:7-11(NASB)

Abraham walked with God one-hundred years before walking into eternity. He is remembered as God’s friend (James 2:23) and a man who looked forward to a city whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:10). But what’s most notable about Abraham is that he left a legacy that can be defined as sola fide—justification by faith alone. 

While the narrative of his death seems short in this passage of Scripture, when we look at the passage as a whole, we see the foundation of generational blessings unfold. 

First, Abraham died “satisfied with life.” How do we know this? What does satisfaction look like? It’s revealed in how he lived his life. Years of trusting God, obeying Him, waiting on Him, and believing in His promises—all were witnessed by his children, his relatives, and his friends. Just as our character is known in the circles we travel in, so was Abraham’s. And what was said of him was that he was satisfied with life. That’s something we all want to pass on to future generations. 

We also see unity in Genesis 25:9 (NASB): “Then his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah . . .” For many years, Ishmael had been absent from Abraham’s life after God had instructed Abraham to send him and his mother away. This seems harsh to us, but think how Abraham felt! The bigger picture we need to see is Abraham obeyed and trusted God with the outcome. And true to His nature, God cared for Ishmael and his mother. The fact that Ishmael returned to help bury his father speaks of Abraham’s influence in his son’s early years. No bitterness or resentment is indicated. Abraham’s pervasive union with God flowed down to his children. We see that “a righteous man who walks in his integrity—how blessed are his sons after him” (Proverbs 20:7 NASB).

Finally, we see blessing moving forward. Upon Abraham’s death, his son Isaac was blessed (Genesis 25:11). From one generation to the next, we see how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. 

I pray that when we pass from this world to the next, we’ll pass on to the next generation the foundational satisfaction of living a life united with God, and our testimony will impact the lives of countless others—that our legacy is sola fide.

DIG: What legacy did Abraham leave? 

DISCOVER: What does a life lived in faithfulness lead to? 

DO: How would you define a satisfied life, and would you consider yourself to be satisfied? If not, what does Abraham’s life teach you?

About the Author

Lisa Supp

Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.