The Mother of a Nation
By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.
Hebrews 11:11 (ESV)
For context, read Genesis 17 - 18:1-15
After Hagar’s awesome encounter with the angel of the LORD in the desert, she returned to Abram and Sarai and gave birth to her son, Ishmael. Up until this point, it appears that Abram assumed that Ishmael was the heir of the covenant, the child promised to him.
But 13 years later, Abram had another encounter with the LORD. The LORD instituted the covenant of the circumcision, changed their names to Abraham and Sarah, and revealed that it would be Sarah, not Hagar, who would bear the son promised by God. Abraham laughed at the thought of Sarah getting pregnant at such an old age! He also pleaded with the LORD to bless Ishmael, which the LORD granted. Ishmael was not forgotten, but he was also not the heir of the covenant. After all they had done to take matters into their own hands, it would be God working on their behalf and God’s plan, not their own, coming to fruition. Sarah would be the “mother of nations” after all.
But this wasn’t the last personal encounter Abraham would have with the LORD. In Genesis 18, it says that “the LORD” appeared to Abraham near the trees of Mamre. It goes on to describe how Abraham saw three men and showed them hospitality by preparing a meal for them. While they ate, the men conversed with Abraham and revealed more details of God’s plan which Sarah overheard while she was eavesdropping at the door of the tent.
One of the men said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah, your wife will have a son.” What was Sarah’s reaction? She laughed. And when confronted by the LORD about her laughter, she lied. Both Abraham and Sarah’s reaction to the news that Sarah would become pregnant was laughter and incredulity. They just could not believe that what the LORD was saying would really happen. Yahweh reminded them, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?”
To their credit, Abraham and Sarah obeyed God even when they couldn’t fully grasp how God would bless them as He said he would. God was faithful to His promise and Sarah gave birth to their son when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90. Right on time. They named him “Isaac” which means “he laughs”. An appropriate name for a child whose parents first laughed in disbelief and then laughed in joy at his arrival.
Despite all of Sarah’s shortcomings and sins, she is listed in the Hebrews “Hall of Faith” as one “who considered Him faithful.” The WORD about women in the story of Sarah is that we need to obey, wait, and trust that He who promised is faithful. He does not need our help fulfilling His promises.
Is there anything in your life that you need to stop trying to control and let God work out?
PrayLord, we know that nothing is too difficult for you! Thank You for Your faithfulness even in our doubt. Amen.