Faith like Sarah
Along with reading the Bible in a year, I'm challenging myself to think about what it would be like to sit down with the women I'm reading about. Thinking about sitting down and having coffee with them, or going on a walk with them, or calling them about something that just happened and asking for advice. You see, these women are the ones that walked before us. They walked their walk with God, facing challenges and hardships that we all face today. These women are built in mentors and we are able to read first hand how they walked and acted in their life. What do you think they learned? What would they tell us if they were sitting across the table from us? What are the life lessons we can learn from them? This year, that's my goal - to really dig deep into their stories and to think about what they would tell my sinful, searching self today.
Sarah’s story is one of trust, patience, and faith. What things do you seem to be waiting for? Are things put on hold? Is your trust and patience running thin? No matter how much or how little we believe God’s promises, they are always true.
From the beginning of Sarah’s story, we are hit with the fact that Sarai is unable to have children (Genesis 11). We also know from early on that Sarai is a strikingly beautiful woman (“..you are a very beautiful woman” (vs 12:11) “..everyone noticed Sarai’s beauty” (vs 12:14)). The stage is set: a beautiful, healthy woman, unable to have children. Years pass, knowing that they are unable to conceive a child and yet things start to take an unexpected turn for them.
In Genesis 15, God made a covenant with Abram that he will have a son who will be his heir and Abram, in full faith, believed God. The Lord saw his faith and counted him righteous. Knowing God’s covenant with Abram, Sarai decided to take matters into her own hands (Genesis 16).
According to the custom during that time, if you were unable to conceive a child, you would give your female servant to your husband to produce heirs and then raise them as your own. Sarai followed this custom with her servant, Hagar. Even though she was following the custom by giving Hagar to Abram, she lacked faith in God because of her age and through her point of view, decided this would be God’s approach to provide an heir.
Four years later (Genesis 17), God comes back to Abram, changes his name to Abraham ( which means “father of many”), and promises a son to him by Sarah (God also changed her name from Sarai to Sarah which means “princess”). Abraham laughs in disbelief because of their old age (Abraham was 99 and Sarah was 90). Three visitors also tell Abraham that Sarah will have a son in about a year (Genesis 18). Sarah overhears this conversation and laughs because she knew she was long past the age of having children.
As always, The Lord kept His word and promise. Sarah bore a son and named him Isaac (meaning “he laughs”). She lived to see him grow and died later at the age of 127.
“It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise.” Hebrews 11:11