HAVING NO MATURITY IN LIFE
If we consider all these matters, deep in our spirit we shall realize that the Holy Spirit’s intention in this chapter is to show that Abraham was not a person matured in life. Although he was old in his physical life, he was not matured in his spiritual life.
As we have seen, God’s purpose is to work Himself into a corporate person that He might have a corporate expression. In order to accomplish this, God created the heavens, the earth, and man with a spirit as his receiving organ (Zech. 12:1). This man was created in God’s image to express Him and with His dominion to represent Him in His authority. In Genesis 3 we see that Satan injected himself into man, and man became fallen. In chapters three through eleven man had at least four falls. After the fourth fall, God came in to call Abraham out of the fallen race and establish him as the father of the called race. God’s intention in making Abraham the father of the called race was to work Himself into that race for the fulfillment of His purpose. Although God did not have the opportunity to work Himself into the created race, the Adamic race, He now had an opportunity to work Himself into the called race, the Abrahamic race. The record from the last half of chapter eleven through the first part of chapter twenty-five shows how much God worked with this person. However, when we come to the end of the record of Abraham’s life, do we see a person who was matured in life and who expressed God in every way? No. Abraham was not yet such a person.
Many Christians appreciate Abraham too much. Although I respect Abraham and I do not belittle him, I must point out that, as the record of Genesis indicates, he was not matured in the divine life. Chapter twenty-four is wonderful, but it is not wonderful with respect to Abraham’s life but with respect to his activity. Abraham did a wonderful thing in choosing a proper wife for his son; yet, immediately after this, he remarried. Genesis 25 does not say, “After Abraham had found a good wife for Isaac, he lived with them in the presence of the Lord for more than thirty years. One day, he called Isaac and Rebekah to him, laid his hands upon them, blessed them, and then went to be with the Lord.” If the record were like this, we would all appreciate it, saying, “Here is a saint who was matured in life.” What is the proof of the maturity in life? It is blessing others. When we are young, we receive blessings from others. But when we are mature, we pass on blessings to others. Although Abraham was old, he did not bless anyone. This proves that he did not have the maturity in life.
MARRYING KETURAH AFTER SARAH DIED • The record in Genesis 25 is not a record of blessing; rather, it is a record of remarriage. Abraham married Keturah after Sarah died. Is remarriage a sign of the maturity in life? Certainly not!
BEGETTING ANOTHER SIX SONS AFTER ISAAC • Abraham’s life may be divided into three sections: the section with Ishmael, the section with Isaac, and the section with the six sons. Ishmael was produced by Abraham’s flesh, and Isaac was produced by God’s grace. What about the six sons? They were produced by even more flesh. After the birth of Ishmael, Abraham’s flesh was dealt with, and grace came in to replace it. But after the birth and growth of Isaac, Abraham’s flesh became active again. In the first section, the section with Ishmael, Abraham’s flesh was onefold, but in the third section, the section with the six sons, his flesh was sixfold, having been intensified six times. While the younger flesh produced one Ishmael, the older flesh produced six sons.
The Bible is honest, telling us that Abraham married Keturah and begat six sons by her. But Abraham knew God’s will. Verse 5 says, “Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac.” Isaac was the unique heir, the heir chosen, designated, and established by God. None of the other sons were reckoned as heirs (v. 6), for they were all sons of the concubine and, like Ishmael, were rejected by God. Abraham had two concubines. The first gave birth to Ishmael, and the second gave birth to six sons. But God did not want any of them. Both before and after the birth of Isaac, Abraham did something which God did not want. How can we say that such a life is mature?
(Abraham—Called by God, Chapter 26, by Witness Lee)