Friday, 31 January 2014
Tuesday, 14 January 2014
Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”
And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year."
That day, every man in Abraham's household, including Ishmael, was circumcised.
Later, three men visited Abraham and told him that this time next year, Sarah would have a son. Sarah was eavesdropping on their conversation, and couldn't help but laugh. She just couldn't believe it.
Soon Sarah started being sick every morning and whenever she was hungry. One of the young ladies she was talking to, said
"That's weird. I only ever get sick like that when I'm pregnant. I knew she was on her way when I started feeling nauseous all the time, and couldn't keep down my breakfast."
She smiled and kissed the top of her baby daughter's head.
Sarah stopped what she was doing. Could it be true? Could she finally be pregnant? It couldn't be possible, surely. She tried to shrug it off. But when she felt a sharp kick against her belly one morning, she knew that God had kept his promise. She was going to have a baby!
Sarah rushed to find Abraham and tell him the good news.
Soon she gave birth to a son who they called Isaac.
Sarah could not believe that finally, after so many years of barrenness, God had blessed her with a child of her own. He had kept his promise! She couldn't understand why He had made them wait for such a long time, but at last, their beautiful son was here.
Sarah cradled her newborn in her arms.
She said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” She added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
Abraham watched his wife and son together and thanked God for his faithfulness. He had never felt more proud.
Monday, 6 January 2014
promised to Abraham (at the time known as Abram) that one day his descendants
would be as numerous as the stars in the sky.
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 offspring be.”
Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.(Genesis 15:5-6)
But Abram's wife Sarai had not heard from God. She had to take her husband's word for it that the unseen creator would perform a miracle and bless them with a child in their old age.
Why should Sarai believe this crazy promise that her husband told her about? Would you? I must admit that if I were in her position then I wouldn't be in a hurry to decorate the nursery either.
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 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. May the Lord judge between you and me.” (Genesis 16:1-5)
Sometimes it's hard for us to trust God, especially if we have been given prophetic words that seem unlikely or are taking too long to be fulfilled. Manipulating people or situations can often seem like an easy answer, but can have unhappy consequences.
Sarai bitterly regretted her decision to let her husband sleep with Hagar. I'm sure that every time she saw their son Ishmael, she was reminded of her mistake. It would have been hard not to feel bitter, and ask God angrily why she still hadn't conceived.
God sent three messengers to remind Abraham (God had changed his name) of his promise. Sarai's name was also changed to Sarah.
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 Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
God had not given up on his promise, despite Abraham and Sarah's sin. At the right time (according to the Lord, not people) Sarah finally conceived their longed-for son.
Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” 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.”
I can only imagine how ecstatic Abraham and Sarah were! God had not forgotten them after all.
I can't really blame Sarah for what she did. Sometimes having faith is really hard. But it would've been so much easier for her if she had trusted God and waited for his perfect timing.