Abraham and Sarah Genesis 15-18
The story of Abraham and Sarah is a powerful testimony of faith and patience. There are other principles I will discuss later. God made Abraham the father of many nations. A concept at that time that Abraham couldn’t imagine, especially since he didn’t have an heir to pass things on to. God showed him the stars and told him there are too many to count and this is how many you will have. He gave him a clear description of what was to come to pass. God told him he would have a son. At this time, they were very old and thought this just wouldn’t happen. But God declared it would. Now this is the first test of faith. Abraham believed but Sarah doubted this would happen. She blamed God that he didn’t enable her to bear a child for her husband. During this time, it was a disgrace not to be able to have a child and you could imagine the ridicule she endured by the other women in the land. How could she be a good wife and not bear a child for her husband was probably a question that replayed over and over in her mind? Her patience will be tested. When we are tested, it is a time to be still and let God be God. However, Sarah couldn’t wait because she was too busy thinking she was too old and laughed when she heard God say she would bear a child. When we start to do God’s work, we mess things up. As Sarah couldn’t be patient and let God’s time come to pass, she gave Hagar (her servant) to lay with Abraham. She wanted a child so bad she did the unthinkable and didn’t take time to evaluate the consequences of such an action. All Sarah wanted was a child by any means necessary. Now that Hagar has become pregnant, she gets full of herself and mistreats Sarah. Hagar is probably rubbing it in pretty good that she is pregnant with Abraham’s first child. I could only imagine how badly she treated Sarah. Sarah was beginning to feel resentment that this was occurring and now there is nothing she can do about. She gets upset and wants to banish Hagar away. She blames Abraham. But wait, was it not Sarah’s idea for this act to take place. We must assume that Sarah didn’t want to blame herself, and wanted to place the blame on someone else as most of us do. During this time the act of having relations outside of the marital unit was not a sin at this time. We must realize that sexual desire and deviancy has always been around, although now it is a sin for such acts to occur. There is another lesson that is around today, every male is circumcised. This was a sign of obedience from Abraham to God. God told him to do something and he followed God’s instruction. We could all learn a lesson from Abraham on being faithful and obedient to God’s instruction. Also, that whatever God declares will come to pass. We must be patient. Sarah was 90 when she finally gave birth to her son. Wow!! What joy she must have felt at that time. You think about the group of adults 65+ and their worries are preparing for grandkids and unfortunately death. But these are things we all must go through and learn the lessons God places in front of us. I can relate very well to how Sarah feels to a point. I had my son’s out of wedlock and even felt unhappiness towards their father’s because they weren’t as I thought they should be. I have learned that when a person shows you who they are, believe them. I had to learn to be patient and obedient to God’s will and not interfere in his plan. I married a wonderful, God fearing man 5 years ago. I am unable to have children due to a hysterectomy. You think of things that happened in the past that could have been avoided. This is a part of adolescent thinking and not thinking long term. Now my husband is an only child and has no kids of his own. I feel like Sarah, I want to give my husband the blessing of having a child. I know I can’t change the past or my health, but I know I have to be careful and not birth an Ishmael. God’s time is delicately orchestrated and not to be rushed. We must be patient no matter how long it is. Sarah didn’t want to wait on God and even laughed when she heard him say it. I know God is in control and my husband accepts my children as his own. I must wait to see what God has in store for us. I think about the different ages in the book and admit now that I am 37 my thoughts are very different from when I was in my early 20’s. During my 20’s I wasn’t looking towards the future or planning like I am now. I took the ability and blessing of having a child for granted. Now I see it was all part of his plan to learn through trials. We must trust him fully in all things. I am pretty sure Hagar took it for granted and that is why she showed out like she did to Sarah. We must learn not to listen to the people of the world and what they think and follow God. Sarah had to learn this the hard way as well. This would have been a time for her to be like if I had of just waited on God, the doubt, disgrace, and disbelief she was feeling. Her servant had a child by her husband. Having contempt, jealousy, envy, and discord with someone is detrimental to our inner spirit. These were her feelings toward Hagar. We must let negative feelings go if we want to continue to grow as the body of Christ. If not, this world will continue to “birth Ishmael’s”. What I mean by that is rushing things that God has said will come to pass before its intended time. “We” get in the mix of God’s plan. Faith, Patience, Obedience are major factors in the body of Christ. If we are to do his work, his way, we must become good stewards of those factors. Abraham is an example of how this is done. Sarah and Hagar are examples of doing the opposite. We see this in the world today and in so many relationships. We can even have a struggle within ourselves with those opposite ways of thinking. We want to please the world and God. But we can’t. It’s a very narrow path and we must decide here and now to please God. The world will bring you down as you see how the relationship between Sarah and Hagar became. Sarah let the world influence her sound judgment and allow her not to be obedient to God’s word. She pushed her husband in that way as well. Now our ordinance is to keep the marriage bed pure. We must follow the principles of God as stated in the Bible and not allow the world to cloud our judgment. Just remember your “test” becomes your “testimony” and a setback is only a setup for the greatest comeback!! Sit back, be still and let God be God!!