I love Sarah’s story.
It paints such a picture of God’s love and Christ’ redemption.
How I long to see God move in my life the way He did in Sarah’s.
How I desire a new name… a renewed promise.
Sarah’s story gives us a glimpse into God’s mercy and grace.
Playing catch up?
Read the first 3 installments and then you’ll be all up to date.
Genesis 21: 1Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. #1 God is FAITHFUL!
No matter what you are praying for.
No matter how unlikely the promise may seem.
No matter how long you’ve been waiting.
GOD IS FAITHFUL.
God came through for Sarah.
HE WILL COME THROUGH FOR YOU!
Receive it into your spirit!
Don’t allow the lies of this world, your fears, your insecurities to get in the way of trusting and ultimately seeing your dreams and God’s promises for your life come to pass!
In Hello Eve Part I, II, III we learned that we were created with a divine purpose. Nothing can prevent God from showing up and showing off in your life!
Look at Sarah.
Everything was against her.
Her choices, her faith, her age.
Did any of these things stop God from fulfilling His promise?
Did it happen the way Sarah would have liked? Or when Sarah would have wanted it?
But did it happen?
Dear sister friend, let’s, you and me start believing again! Let’s grab hold of God’s promise once more. Let’s not lose hope. Let’s not forget what He has already done.
Let’s live above reproach.
Genesis 21: 6 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.”7 And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.” #2 CELEBRATE!
When was the last time you took time to celebrate God’s grace? When was the last time you shared your testimony so others can join in on your celebration.
I love verse 6.
Sarah went from laughing from incredulity (Genesis 18:12) to laughing from celebration!
This encourages me to praise.
It reinforces that God will see me through.
It reminds me that He has ALREADY brought me through struggles and hurts. God’s love is so big He doesn’t want me to go back to who, what, where I used to be. I must celebrate that!
I must celebrate the times and seasons when God demonstrated His grace and mercy. I need to create a habit of celebrating even if I haven’t seen the blessing yet.
I really believe that Joel Osteen quote, “If you complain you’ll remain; if you praise you’ll be raised.”
Let’s praise God for what He’s done in our past. Let’s praise God for moving in the unseen. Let’s celebrate the fact that even though we don’t know how or when God does and He’ll reveal it when we are ready to experience it!
I am so grateful for Sarah. I am thankful that her story mattered to God and we can read it today and gain insight and wisdom. We can learn how to improve ourselves to live to our maximum potential.Memory Verse: Romans 8: 38-39
Romans 8: 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
My prayer for you:
Heavenly Father, I pray for every reader today. I pray that you may use these words to encourage, motivate and inspire them. I ask that you may remind them of how you have blessed them in the past. I pray Lord Jesus, that you may remind them of the promises you have in store for them. Please lift their spirits. Please let lose your joy within them that they may praise you for past successes. That they may celebrate your faithfulness. Thank you Jesus for bringing me up out of the mire and setting my feet on solid ground. I pray that I may continue building a strong foundation in you and that through my walk and experiences you may be able to touch and impact someone’s life. Thank you for your goodness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
God has shown up once more to renew the promise! Not only did God renew the promise of making Abram and Sarai the parents of multitudes, (original promise in Genesis 15:5 “He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspringd be.”) God also changes Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah. This is the first time in the bible that God changes someone’s name but it’s not the last. These name changes excite my heart; it shouts of something new! It’s almost as if God wants Abraham and Sarah to see themselves in a new light. To refer to themselves by a new name implies that they have a new identity. They have a new destiny. Maybe what they thought would be the outcome of their lives is no more. Now they have new dreams and renewed hopes to trudge into the unknown future with.
This passage strengthens my faith and makes my heart swell! If God could forgive Sarai’s mistakes and repeat a promise they thought would never come to pass then whose to say he can’t do the same for you and me?!
I hope this thought encourages you as much as it has encouraged me!
Nevertheless, I know the ending to this story. Sarah does not, so it doesn’t surprise me the way she responds to her heavenly visitors and the message they share with Abraham.
Let’s read the passage and discuss the three actions Sarah takes.
Genesis 18: 1-15.
Quick paraphrase, three angels show up at Abraham and Sarah’s. Abraham is very hospitable so he invites them in to rest, wash their feet and eat. He immediately gives word to Sarah and the servants to prepare some yummy goodness to bless their visitors with. The angels get straight to the point, 9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he said. 10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now I just have to point out how interesting it is to me that they asked Abraham about Sarah’s location. A part of me feels like they already knew where she was and they wanted her to overhear that they knew she could hear the conversation.
Why do I think this?
Let me show you with verse 10 “…Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him…”
#1 Sarah eavesdropped.
Tsst tsst tsst. But. Don’t we do this at times? Don’t we try to listen in on God’s conversations with other people looking for some clue, hint or something that will give us the link we think we are missing? Don’t we ever ask our friends or loved ones… “So what did God say to you…?” and we do our best not to add, “about me” at the end of that question. I know I have. And if I don’t it’s only because I don’t want them to think I’m rude.
What she does next convicts my heart even further.
12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
#2 Sarah laughed.
Uuufff. Talk about a spiritual punch in the face! How many times does God lay a promise on our hearts and our reaction is to laugh in his face? Whenever we respond in this manner we are literally saying, “I do not believe that you will keep your promise, God.” I can’t imagine how this grieves our Heavenly Father. He wants so badly to bless us and we prevent the blessings from flowing because of our disbelief and lack of faith.
Sarah’s third action is the kicker. It wasn’t enough for her to eavesdrop and laugh but then she….
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
#3 Sarah lied.
This girl had angst. OK. She reacted out of fear but that doesn’t excuse her for lying! Does that sound judgy? Like I have a right to judge! Seriously, am I the only one who gets freaked out at times and doesn’t know what else to do but lie? When your dreams are so big that they scare you out of your wits isn’t it easier to just lie and say, “Naw, I’m good where I’m at.”? Call me crazy but I completely get Sarah. She was pushing 90 when these angels came to visit. She did not believe her body could handle it but next week we will see how God had other plans.
To close this out, let me say how one of my favorite parts of the entire passage is when the angel responds to Sarah in verse 15… But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
I love this for two reasons:
1. He confronted her. He didn’t let her slide. He told her to her face that he knew she was lying.
2. He doesn’t take the promise back. I’m sure he understood her fear the same way God understands our fears today.
Memory Verse: Proverbs 3:25-26
Proverbs 3:25 You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, 26 for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.
Prayer for you:
Heavenly Father I pray that you may grab hold of every reader. I pray that you may reveal to them the dreams and promises you’ve placed on their hearts. I ask you Lord to remind them of these promises. That no matter what they have done or not done they may be confident that nothing can separate your love from them. Help us to accept your promises with confidence instead of incredulous laughter. Help us to not be afraid of your path for us but strengthen our faith that we may chase after you and your plan with reckless abandon. Thank you Lord because you hear our prayers and move behind the scenes. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Last week I introduced Sarai. I spoke about how her desperation led her to influence her husband to make an unwise choice.
Read Hello Sarai Part I here.
This week I want to explore the aftermath of Sarai’s choices.
Sarai took control of the situation thinking she could force the promise to come to life. She thought that maybe she was not the one God would fulfill the promise through. In Genesis 16:2 Sarai said to Abram, “The LORD has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal.
1. Did she think her servant would be okay with this arrangement?
2. Was she planning on just taking the baby away from the servant girl and raising it as her own?
3. Did she truly believe God would bless this arrangement?
4. Where did her faith go?
Post Abram’s agreeing to sleep with the servant girl, we quickly see the situation spiral out of Sarai’s control.
I want to share two points that I found in this passage.
Verse4 tells us that Abram slept with Sarai’s servant and she became pregnant.
Read her reaction, “when she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.“
So much for Sarai’s plan to create a family with her servant’s child!
As we continue reading Genesis 16 we learn what the servant’s reaction causes. Verse 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me.”
“You are responsible…”? Really Sarai?!?!
Last time I checked whose idea was this?!?! Who came up with this genius plan?
Point #1: Sarai’s plan caused division in her marriage.
She made the choice to suggest and encourage it but instead of taking responsibility for her poor decisions she blames Abram. I’m not saying that he is completely innocent in this, he very well could have said NO! He didn’t have to accept the indecent proposal but he did… womp!
In verse6 Abram responds to Sarai. He put’s it back on her washing his hands of the whole situation. “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar…
Point #2 Sarai’s plan causes unmanageable resentment towards her servant.
I can’t imagine the pain Sarai felt in these moments. I mean, she’s been married for decades and has undoubtedly slept with her husband enough times to conceive. Her servant sleeps with her husband ONE time and immediately becomes pregnant! I’m tempted to excuse her resentment. I feel badly for Sarai. I think I might have responded the same way if I had been in her sandals. This situation reminds me of the quote,
“Hurting people hurt people.”
That’s exactly what happens here. I think Sarai, a normally God fearing woman doesn’t know what to do with her emotions and finds herself treating her poor servant girl horribly.
There is so much to learn from this portion of the story.
Firstly, it reminds me to be introspective. It’s so important to make the time to self evaluate our choices and reactions.
Let’s make sure we take responsibility for our own.
Secondly, I learned that it’s easy to lash out when we don’t get our way. Sarai is totally throwing a temper tantrum here because things did not go as she planned. I can relate. I’ve acted out tantrum style in my adult life… haven’t you?!
I think we benefit from being aware of our emotions and taking control of them before they take control of us.
Let’s not mistreat those around us who are innocent bystanders to our messes. Yea, I know. Easier said than done, but if we learn to control our thoughts we will be able to grab hold of our emotions which stem from our thoughts. I love how much this story is like a telenovela!
I’m excited to say that I will be extending the three week series to a four week Sarai/Sarah series.
Next week I want to explore chapter 18 and see what God says next. I hope you can stop by again next Friday and take a look at Hello Sarai Part III. Memory Verse: Philippians 4:8
Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
My Prayer for you:
Heavenly Father, thank you for your precious word. I believe it is alive and working in us. I pray for all of the readers who are struggling with the guilt or shame of a poor decision. I ask you to help them surrender those emotions to you. Help them accept that even though the choice was bad they are NOT bad. I pray, Father God, that you may minister to someone through Sarai’s story. That we may see and understand the relevance that her experiences then have to our lives today. Help us lean into your word and glean the wisdom you desire for us to gain. Thank you, Lord. I am confident that you will show up and show off in the lives of my readers. I trust that you guide us to reflect on our choices and emotions that we may not blame or hurt the innocent but that we may allow you to turn all of our circumstances into good for your Glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Talk about shaking things up. Sarai must have had it good up to this point. Verse 5 tells us that she follows her husband on this new adventure. They leave their families and comfortable lifestyle to become nomads. They roam and roam, they stop in Egypt get some more riches and get kicked out when the Pharaoh learns that Sarai is actually Abram’s wife and not his sister.
This story is pretty juicy, if you’ve never read it click here.
After leaving Egypt they travel some more and end up finding themselves in the land of Canaan. Now a lot has happened between chapter 12 and chapter 15 including wars and rescue missions.
In chapter 15 God speaks to Abram again. This time he gives Abram an unbelievable promise, “Look at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them… so shall your offspring be.”– verse 5.
What a weird promise to give to a man who is nearing really old age and has not had any children.
At this point in the story I start thinking about Sarai.
Her lack of motherhood.
How much did she suffer?
How insecure was she?
I wonder how incomplete she felt.
Did Abram share God’s promise with her?
I was thinking through this and it occurred to me that they were husband and wife…. marriage made them ONE.
So technically if God gave this promise to Abram then the promise was for Sarai too!
Did she believe it?
Did she get excited?
I picture her daydreaming about that moment when she would get to hold her newborn child, a child she has waited practically forever for.
I imagine her waiting for the confirmation of pregnancy and the first year passes. Then the next and the next until it’s been 10 years and Sarai has yet to feel the squirming of a baby within her womb.
After 10 years of waiting for her dreams to come true I think Sarai became a bit impatient. In verse 2 of Genesis 16 Sarai utters these words, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave…”
I bet there was exhaustion, frustration, disappointment and disillusionment in her tone, maybe even a little bit of resentment and bitterness towards God. I mean He made this grandiose promise and hadn’t followed through.
Haven’t we all been here before?!
There is that one thing that comes to mind. You’ve been praying for and working towards this for years and years and have yet to see the fruit of your faith and efforts.
It’s so typical for us as women to throw our hands up in the air and shout,
“I AM TIRED OF WAITING!!!!”
I know I’ve said it. I know I’ve cried it.
These emotions that lead us to take control.
That moment when the patience has completely dried up and we start making erratic decisions thinking we can play God.
In this very state of desperation Sarai makes a horrible decision. A decision she ends up regretting terribly.
I mean come on!!! It has to be a desperate move to tell your husband to sleep with another woman! The first attempt at surrogacy. And guess what… she took matters into her own hands and everything ended up blowing up in her face big time!!!
Next week I will go into further detail on Sarai’s decision and the repercussion of her poor choice and lack of faith. I hope that we may learn from her experience. Let’s not lose hope! Let’s not forget the ways that God has already come through for us! Let’s hold on tight. He WILL come through! You will see your blessing!!!!
Memory Verse: Psalm 130:5
My Prayer for you:
Heavenly Father, I pray for those readers who are struggling with patience right now. I pray that you may remind them of your past faithfulness. I ask you to give them supernatural hope in this moment that they may not lose faith. That they may hold on tight to your word and your promises. I thank you for all that you have already done and ask you to continue to show up and show off in our lives. I pray that as we experience moments of fainting and doubt that we may not forget the lesson Sarai teaches us. That we may not try to take control where only you can make things work. Thank you for hearing our prayers and for your faithfulness. I am confident that you have good things for each of us and we will see the fulfillment of your promises in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Comment below with your thoughts on Sarai’s choice. I can’t wait to read your feedback!