Genesis 25:1-18 “Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah. Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Asshurites, the Letushites and the Leummites. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah. Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac. But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east. Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
“This is the account of Abraham’s son Ishmael, whom Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham. These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps. Altogether, Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people. His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt, as you go towards Asshur. And they lived in hostility towards all their brothers.”
Now we come to the final sermon on the life of this patriarch. It is my thirtieth study of this remarkable man, and we read in our text an account of the death of the one who is our father and the father of all who believe, Abraham this great man of God. When we gather at a funeral service I often say something like this, “We are here to pay our respects to one who has lived among us and now departed from this life.” Today we are doing the same with the old patriarch. Through studying his life on these thirty occasions I think I’ve got to know him, certainly much better than when I hesitatingly began this series. I’m so glad of the book of Genesis and all it teaches the church of God in these fourteen chapters of the life of the patriarch. You honour me by insisting that I preach the word of God consecutively to you week by week. How much I – most of us all – gain from that.
You might know that Abraham is called the ‘friend of God’ three times in the Bible; in 2 Chronicles, chapter 20 and verse 7 he is referred to as the ‘friend of God.’ In the book of the prophet Isaiah, chapter 41 and verse 8 he is called the ‘friend of God,’ and then in the New Testament in the letter of James, chapter two and verse 23 we are again told that Abraham was the ‘friend of God.’ This threefold repetition is a counterbalance to the way the memory of his falls sticks in our minds. The three references to his being a friend of God are saying that his falls did not destroy God’s love for him – we often think that they do. No. God wants to be known as the God of Abraham, and it is he who refers to this believer as, “My friend.” Dr. Ligon Duncan has a little girl called Sarah and one of her baby sitters from the church is called Joy. The little children in church sing, “I have joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart,” and so little Sarah will say, “Ah, so my friend ‘Joy down in my heart’ is baby-sitting tonight. She calls all her baby sitters her ‘friends.’ One day Ligon and his wife were with her in the mall and little Sarah – aged two and a half – spotted two of the baby sitters in Chic-Fil-A. “There are my friends!” she pointed excitedly. Her ‘friends’ are a young married couple in their mid-twenties, but they quite like being called Sarah’s ‘friends.’ I remember how the father of one of my friends in school played enthusiastically with his son’s friends, and one day one of them rang the doorbell and asked if the father was coming out to play.
God called Abraham his friend; here are two beings, so vastly different from one another, one infinite, eternal, unchangeable and utterly free from sin, full of holiness and love, the Creator of the cosmos. The other is one of us, a fallen son of Adam, marred by sin, inconsistent, weak, a man of like passions to ourselves, whose only hope lay in the promises of God, especially concerning the coming of Christ, God’s Son, and all the God-man achieved. God addresses him as his friend. There was a day when Jesus assured his disciples that he would no longer call them his servants but his friends. The God who made this vast universe is a personal God; he has a loving relationship with those who trust and obey him. They are his friends who do his will. There is a friend of publicans and sinners in the midst of the throne of God.
I should be overwhelmed in wonder at this possibility. My throat should be dry and my voice trembling at its sheer glory, that I can really be a friend of God! The Puritan preacher Theophilus Gale was overwhelmed. He says, “Does God assume such sinners into such a blessed state of friendship with himself? What infinite condescension towards lapsed undone man. What? Is it possible, that the great Jehovah should stoop so low, as to engage in such intimate friendship with his poor creature, that the most glorious, pure, and spotless Being, should be content to mingle with impure, dirty, sinful flesh and blood? Yes, further, that the ever-blessed God should go courting, and beseech his de
formed creature, to enter into a strict bond of friendship with himself? What transcendent condescension is this? Was it ever known for Beauty to court Deformity; that Riches begged friendship of Poverty; that Honour bent the knee to Reproach and Disgrace; that the King beseeched the Criminal to be reconciled to him; that Happiness wooed Misery to be its Spouse? Yet, lo, thus it is in this business of friendship with Christ. The first and supreme Beauty courts the most deformed sinner; the infinitely rich and self-sufficient Being begs his poor nothing-creature to be friends with him; the most Honourable Lord of Glory woos his wretched, reproached, and captive rebel to be not only reconciled to him, but to be his Spouse! O the unparalleled, and admirable Sovereignty of this Divine, condescending Grace! Who would ever have thought, or imagined, that such All-Sufficient, and omnipotent Grace, should have stooped so low, to proud self-conceited, and rebellious sinners? What a wonder of wonders is this, that free-grace should pursue sinners with continued offers, yea, importunate desires of Friendship, when they respond with repeated effrontery, and acts of rebellion? O! How should the friends of Christ admire, and adore the Lengths, Breadths, Depths, and Heights of this Transcendent condescension of God?” That is a Puritan utterly overwhelmed at God being his friend.
It is so important to emphasize that you don’t have to be perfect to be a friend of God. Of course we can grieve our friends by the hurtful things we do, but they remain our friends. Abraham was capable of deceiving, blaming others, loving himself, giving into temptation and turning away from the truth. God still remained his friend. I see myself just like Abraham; I too have heard the same God speaking the same words and I keep trusting his promises throughout my life. Without the grace of God Abraham would have lived and died in Ur a slave to the idols that filled that city. But today I, like him, am a friend of God because the Lord is so compassionate and forgiving, uniting me to his Son. Now before we are told of Abraham’s death and burial we are told what he did in old age.
- ABRAHAM’S LIFE WAS REMARKABLY FRUITFUL.
i] Abraham took Keturah to be his wife. Now Christians differ on exactly when this marriage took place. Some think that he had taken this concubine years earlier while Sarah was still alive. In fact the Geneva Bible of 1560 translates it, “Now Abraham had taken another wife . . .” and then adds a marginal note, “while Sarah was yet alive . . .” She then would be referred to alongside his other concubine, Hagar, in verse six – Keturah and Hagar. In fact Calvin thinks that Abraham’s marriage to Keturah took place at the time when Abraham had put away Hagar. However, I’d always understood this second marriage of Abraham in what I considered to be the natural sense that after Sarah died Abraham lived for another thirty-eight years, and during this time the old patriarch married again; he even had not one or two but at least six sons. The fruitfulness God gave him to beget Isaac was an enduring fruitfulness. Here is the man who once sadly said when he was 99 years of age, about forty years earlier, “I’m too old to have children” (Gen. 17:17). How little we know about the future.
We can write off churches and preachers; we think that they have no future because they aren’t operating in terms of our particular agenda, and yet such congregations start to fill with young couples and children. The crib is rarely empty. We’ve dismissed them too soon. Christ is the head of the church. “I will build my church,” he says. Why may not my future years, my last years, become my most fruitful years as an evangelist? Why not? I was reading this week of a plant called the Chinese Bamboo tree. It’s planted but nothing seems to happen for a long time. It doesn’t come up for five years, but it is still alive and gearing itself for what will happen in half a decade. The first year – nothing. The second year – nothing. The third year – nothing. The fourth year – nothing. Then in the fifth year it grows 30 meters in six weeks. The question is this, “Did it grow 30 meters in six weeks or in five years?” Obviously it took five years, though for most of that time it seemed as if nothing was happening. So it is when a preacher like Dafydd Morgan of 1859 Cardiganshire is reported to have gone to bed like a lamb and risen the next morning like a lion and the work of the gospel seemed suddenly to prosper in an extraordinary way. That could not have happened without all the work he had done there in the years before that harvest time. So he had planted and he had watered for some years; we plant and we water, always planting and always watering, and it is for such servants of his who so occupy themselves planting and watering and abounding in the work of the Lord, that God gives the increase. It will be at his will, at his time and by his action. For that we inquire of the living Lord.
ii] Abraham’s children by Ketura were mainly obscure men and clans. They were not the promised Seed. There is no need to follow their story; they fade from the scene. It is Isaac alone who is the one through whom the Seed of the woman is to come. Remember the opening words of the New Testament? “A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob . . .” (Matt. 1:1&2). So there were eight male descendants of Abraham that we know of, but the Seed of the woman who will bruise the serpent’s head and accomplish our redemption comes through Isaac alone.
What of these other children and the grandchildren mentioned in the first four verses of chapter 25? We can recognize some of them can’t we? Midian. The Midianites were famous traders moving between Gilead and Egypt outside the promised land. One day, hundreds of years later, Jacob’s sons will sell their brother Joseph to some Midianite slave traders who will take him to Egypt where Potiphar will buy him. Again, four hundred years later the Midianites are still around because Moses will marry a Midianite woman, and Moses will be greatly helped by his Midianite father-in-law, Jethro. Yet the Midianites will also exert bad influence over the sons of Abraham, and lead them astray during the exodus years. Through them the children of Israel will start to worship false gods and that brings God’s wrath down upon them. Gideon will defeat them a hundred years later in a remarkable victory, so few of his men – 300 of them – will destroy the might of the Midian army.
Then we are also told something later in Scripture about Abraham’s two grandchildren Sheba and Dedan (v.3). Dedan became the father of a family and then a clan which grew into a little nation, and Jeremiah calls that people, “an object of hissing and cursing” and Jeremiah links them with the Egyptians and Philistines (Jer. 25:18). It doesn’t look good for these people. But Sheba comes off better. Sheba becomes a rich nation and the Queen of Sheba visits King Solomon and brings him gifts, sits at his feet interrogates him and marvels at his wisdom. Yet even she bids him farewell, leaves the promised land and goes back to her people. She is not the seed. Neither her nation nor the Midianites nor the Dedanites were the promised inheritance.
iii] Abraham’s son Isaac received all the inheritance. &ld
quo;Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac” (v.5). Abraham doesn’t make the mistake he made with his six sons that he’d made with Ishmael. He was kind and very generous to them with his gifts but he sent them away to lead their own lives and businesses. Let me just point out to you something very humane about John Calvin’s response to this act of Abraham. Calvin says that this would be a terrible way to treat your sons, to send your own children away. Calvin had no children, just one who lived for a few days. Calvin loved children. He shared a house with his brother who had 8 children. The house was full of children’s voices, and it really hurt Calvin to read of what Abraham did in sending them away. You could guarantee that those children would hate their brother Isaac for the rest of their lives, thought Calvin, but it had to be done because the line of promise was Isaac’s alone. There was to be no confusion and no compromise and no competition about this. Abraham’s action was not that of a foolish father showing favouritism and neglecting others but he did it in obedience to Jehovah, the God who had focused his purposes on Isaac and his line alone. If Abraham’s action had been the bias of a father in neglecting some of his children and favouring others – like King Lear – then Ishmael would have been the favoured child; Abraham “loved him to bits!” as they say in South Wales (and perhaps elsewhere), but Isaac was the recipient of personal promises made by the free and gracious and sovereign purposes of God. Isaac had done nothing in his life to deserve being left everything that Abraham owned. Isaac was a lesser man than Abraham wasn’t he? Jacob was also a lesser man than Abraham. I believe they were, and yet they were trophies of God’s unconditional election and free grace. God chose Jacob, not because he was a better man than Esau but he chose him because he loved him. God chose Isaac not because he was a stronger and more handsome man then Ishmael, with a higher I.Q. Maybe in all those things Ishmael exceeded Isaac, but God still loved Isaac. Weren’t there men you knew when you were in your early twenties who were more handsome and cleverer and stronger than the man you eventually married? Yet, mysteriously, you loved your husband and not them. God’s choice is not based on our deserving or merit but on his love for us in Jesus Christ. Abraham loved Isaac and left everything he had to him. Do you appreciate the wonder of the fact that God has given to us and not to unbelievers an unimaginable inheritance and made us joint heirs with Christ the son of Isaac. We are the richest people in the world! Not one of us deserves such glory. No one merits it. No one earns it. It is his gift to a company you can’t number.
So Abraham gave them gifts and sent them away to buy land and herds somewhere else. He did it while he was still living to make sure that it was done and they didn’t stick around to trouble Isaac. He probably had a great farewell feast and waved them good-bye with many a tear and with steely determination. We are told that “he sent them away from his son Isaac” (v.6). Such a sacrifice Abraham resolved to make, parting from them in order that the line of Isaac and the coming Seed should be preserved and encouraged. “Let goods and kindred go,” sang Luther.
Then notice that little geographical comment that Abraham sent them “to the land of the east” (v.6). You remember that movement in Scripture? Adam and Eve go east of Eden; Cain moved east; the people of Babel under God’s judgment moved east. Eastward was away from God, but Abraham through God’s grace had been brought from the east, from Ur, back into the will of God. So Abraham warned his great servant in the previous chapter that on no account was he to take Isaac back to the east. Isaac belongs here in the centre of God’s will in Canaan, the Promised Land. The others were sent away. They will be ‘outside’, strangers to the covenant and promises, but Isaac is in the will of God and in the inheritance of God. He receives all his father’s possessions.
iv] Abraham’s son Ishmael was not brought back. Ishmael is referred to again (vv.12-18). He was still around; he knew immediately that his father had died. He was there with Isaac, as one of the two principle mourners in Abraham’s funeral. They buried their father together in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre (v.9). The two brothers knew some kind of reconciliation in their grief, but there was still no modification of the declaration of the covenant – in Isaac would the Seed appear. The line did not go through Ishmael only through his brother, and so Ishmael left after the funeral and went off to die outside the Promised Land (vv. 17&18). Yet all the great promises God had made to him came to pass. He became rich and famous; he had twelve sons who were princes and nations (v.16). They continue to this day, the various Arabic people of the Middle East, one of whom is called Hadad (v.15). They lived on the fringes of the Promised Land and so were touched in part by the word of God and the Old Testament ordinances and from time to time they are mentioned in the Scriptures. But it is one thing to be near the covenant of grace; it is another thing to be a recipient of covenant blessings. They were strangers to the covenant and its promises; they could be irritants to the people of God with all their power and fame and they disappear from the story here in chapter 25 and God goes on to deal with Isaac and Jacob and Joseph. Doesn’t that make you say, “Please God don’t let me live on the fringes of the kingdom of God but really enter it and live under its blessing.”
- ABRAHAM’S DEATH WAS A BLESSED DEATH.
We are told these famous and wonderful words; “Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people” (vv.7&8).
i] Abraham lived a very long life, one hundred and seventy-five years. He was 75 years of age when he came to the Promised Land and he lived in it for exactly a century. That figure is quite deliberate, emphasizing the completeness of his life. He had lived in Canaan longer than anywhere else. He had traveled all over it but he owned just a well in the south and the cave where he and his wife were buried. Those two places were the pledge God granted him so assuring him that that land was going to be his and his descendants for ever. I read this week of a tornado in Oklahoma City which picked up a baby and its pram and carried it through the air for a mile before sending it crashing to earth. The three week old baby was killed. A reporter asked the Christian father what he was feeling. “I am thankful I had the privilege of being his father for three weeks,” he replied. 175 years or three weeks? We know not the span of any of our lives, but we know this –
Till the God of love see fit.” (John Ryland, 1753-1825).
Let us live useful lives for our God however long or short they be.
ii] Abraham breathed his last breath. The average respiratory rate for a person at rest is sixteen breaths a minute. That would be 960 an hour, 23 thousand a day. If you live until you are 80 years of age you will tak
e over 672 million breaths. Abraham lived for more than double that and so he breathed almost 1500 million breaths in his life time. The apostle Paul was once preaching in Athens and he spoke to the people of that sophisticated place. They were snared into the worship of idols of wood and stone, running back and fore to this temple and that temple with their offerings and sacrifices. Paul said that God “is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:25). God is not a debtor to us. We are in debt to God for everything, even our breath is in his hands. Inhale . . . exhale . . . inhale . . . exhale . . . We think that 672 million breaths is a huge figure – and it is – but we are using it up by almost a thousand each hour, a thousand less by the end of this service, and the time will come to each of us when there will be ten thousand breaths left, and then a thousand left, and then ten left, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two and then what happened to Abraham will happen to us, we will breathe our very last breath. That will happen to each of us. How solemn, to stop breathing and die. Each breath has been in God’s hands. We have lived and moved and breathed in God and then to this God we will answer, not to nothingness.
iii] Abraham died in a good old age. It was certainly good for Abraham to die in the assurance of the love of his wife Keturah and the strong affection of his family and the admiration of his servants. It was also very good not to hear of any great pain or confusion that he experienced in his last days, but there are better reasons still why his old age was good. As an old man Abraham knew what lay beyond death. He did not die in terror, full of guilt and the memories of the people he’d hurt and the God who had spoken to him who’d been the mighty One whom he’d ignored. Abraham’s hopes were all in the mercy of God and the promises of God. It is a solemn thing to die anyway, to die in the midst of the loving attention and prayers of your family, to die with your minister coming and reading the promises of Scripture to you. How solemn that will be, for even your minister will be overwhelmed with the seriousness of it all. He will be lost for words and for the accompanying appropriate feelings; he will feel too dry. “Lord, where is my compassionate heart when I visit my dying flock?” But to die without God’s grace, without hope, to face, as the best that you can imagine, non-existence! How fearful such a death is, that’s to die in bad old age. But through trusting God and believing his word and doing what Jehovah said, Abraham died in good old age. And you? What will it be? The death of the righteous? Would you die that death? Then you must live the life of the righteous and put all you hopes and trust in Jesus Christ alone, he who conquered death, he who invites us to come to him and he will give us rest, he who promises when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death he will go with us. Abraham died in good old age.
iv] Abraham died full of years. The Hebrew simply says ‘full’, he died full, but many other ancient manuscripts add the words ‘of days,’ ‘full of days.’ It is a phrase that has the connotations of ‘satisfaction.’ Abraham died as a man at peace with himself, at peace with God and at peace with the world. He was contented with all that God had done with him and in him, the long delay before he and Sarah became parents – yes he was at peace with that; the enormous tests God had put him to – “it is well with my soul,” said Abraham. He was content with God’s working in his heart. He had seen Isaac’s household established and the line of the covenant continuing. After all his years of battling with God and seeking to do things his own way now, in the last years of his life, he was finally, completely submissive to the will of God. Abraham didn’t lie back lonely and exhausted, hanging his head and sighing to his family, “Don’t grow old.” He lived to enjoy his last years of life and he was ready to leave it when God called him. Godliness with contentment is great gain in life and in death.
It is a terrible thing to die in a bitter spirit, because things did not work out as you wished, because you had known pain and loss, the death of those dear to you, and all through life he wouldn’t submit to the perfect will of God. You have judged the Lord by feeble sense, and at the end you may die in despair and still defiant towards the God who has loved and blessed you so much. I visited the death bed of one such man, and his wife had some slight connection with this chapel; she had come to our women’s Bible studies. She suddenly asked her atheist husband that I might pray as we stood at his bed in the hospital. “No, no, no,” he cried violently. He did not want to be reminded of a God he had heard of since a child but had dismissed from his life. He was not dying contentedly.
v] Abraham was gathered to his people. What does that affirm? Certainly that Abraham did not cease to be. It denies annihilation, and I will rest on those words. On the strength of these alone I deny annihilation. The words cannot merely mean that he was buried with his ancestors in a family plot. He was not, nor was Moses nor Aaron. Abraham’s family plot was a thousand miles away in Ur of the Chaldees. It cannot mean that, rather it declares that at his death he went on and joined the living family who had predeceased him, and those who would follow him, the household of faith and the people of God. He was gathered by the great Shepherd who gathers every one of his sheep – even the weakest lambs and the most stubborn old rams – into his heavenly home for ever. Those who know and love the Lord in this life will go on knowing and loving him in death and will be known and loved by him. He will lose none of them. Abraham knew his Redeemer lived and he would stand in the latter day upon the earth – his own Seed, the Seed of the woman. Abraham was gathered to Enoch, and to Noah and his family and to Sarah his wife. When David’s child died the king said, “He will not come to me, but I will go to him.” When Stephen was dying he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God . . . Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (Acts 7: 56 & 59). Paul says that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
To what people will you be gathered? The Puritan, Matthew Henry says, “Death gathers us to our people. Those that are our people while we lived, whether the children of God or the children of this world, are the people to whom death will gather us.” Whom will you be joining? The thieves and violent men and women, the blasphemers, the sex-addicts, the foul mouthed people of this world in their anger and greed and lust and hatred of what is pure and good? The men and women who lived for money? Will you be gathered to them, your people? Are you going to live in the company of God haters for ever? Or will you be gathered to God’s people, sinners who have been washed and cleansed, purified and forgiven people who love the God who saved them, who have been transformed from their blame and shame into the image of the Lord Christ? When they see him they shall be like him. So “Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people” (v.8).
- GOD BLESSED ABRAHAM’S SON ISAAC.
We are told that in verse eleven of chapter 25. Until that moment we had heard of God promising to bless him, but it was not until Abraham died that God’s full blessing came upon him and we begin the Isaac story. This vindicates Abraham’s action in sending away his other sons. It had not been the action of a curmudgeon but a man who did what God said. Then God blessed Isaac and none of his other sons. Then Isaac moves his tents and flocks and herds and servants and taking his wife Rebekah he went to live in Beer Lahai Roi. Do you remember where that is? You have to go back to the story of Abraham’s entanglement with Hagar and how he had to dismiss her from his household at Sarah’s insistence. Poor foolish Hagar is utterly alone in this place Beer Lahai Roi, but there God spoke to her and told her that she would have a son and that she should return to Abraham. It is, then, the place that is connected with Isaac’s brother Ishmael and that is where Isaac goes; he makes that place which is so associated with Ishmael and his parents’ folly, his own place. Isaac has inherited the whole land. Every square inch of it, even Beer Lahai Roi – a little collection of thorn bushes and pastures and a well – is not to be Ishmael’s. That too belongs to Isaac alone and his seed.
God says to Christ alone, “You are my Son. Today I have begotten you.” Jesus was God’s only begotten Son. There is none other name under heaven given amongst men whereby we must be saved. He is the one Mediator with God the man Christ Jesus. Forget all the others. Forget all Abraham’s other children. They are nothing. I am nothing. Kiss the Son lest he be angry. Bow before him. Share in his inheritance. All you in Midia and the nations of Sheba and Dedan. You must all kneel before this great Lord. The twelve nations that came from the loins of Ishmael, you too must cry, “O come let us adore him Christ the Lord!” And many of you will come. The Seed of Abraham has promised it, that many will come from east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. Shall we not see in the years that lie ahead that prophecy fulfilled for those people that are now largely in darkness. Cannot we pray that we will see as great a change in the Middle East as we are witnessing in China and have witnessed in Korea? The descendants of Ishmael will become like Isaac the blessed son through faith in Jesus Christ. God blessed Abraham, but he did not cease blessing when Abraham died. He blessed Isaac, and when he died he blessed Jacob, and Joseph and all the covenant line until his Son Jesus Christ appeared and then the blessing did not stop. It had only just began. The nations of the earth were in Jerusalem at the feast of Pentecost and thousands of them turned to Christ, and so it is happening today and yet will happen more and more. Those who have less right then the sons of Keturah and Ishmael to be called sons of Abraham have become and will become his own children by faith in his Son, Jesus Christ. “Abraham our father’ they will say and when they die they go to him.