We’re concluding our two week study of Sarah today. If this is your first visit to the T2 Women, we’d love for you to join us next week as we study the life of Rebekah in our Women in the Word online Bible study. You’ll find all you need to know right here! Now on to a final word about Sarah.
What comes to your mind when you think about Sarah? Is it the fact that she went along with her husband’s lies? Or do you remember how she took matters into her own hands and helped God along with His plan? What a mess that created which is still affecting our world to this day. Maybe you think of her mistreatment of Hagar and how she demanded the banishment of Ishmael? Or how about her laughter when she overheard the Lord tell Abraham that she would conceive and bear a son? That was surely an expression of unbelief if ever there was one! Or what about her denial of her laughter? Yes, Sarah definitely made some poor choices and experienced failures. Not unlike the rest of us I might add. But Sarah’s life is not defined by those failures. What would the Lord have us to remember about Sarah?
Without a doubt the Lord desires we remember the submissiveness of Sarah. “For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord,…” (1 Peter 3:5-6a). We may not call our husbands lord as Sarah did hers but we are to honor and respect and submit to our husbands just as Sarah did. The Lord has lifted Sarah as an example for all women in all generations.
But Sarah wasn’t only commended for her submission. She was also commended for her faith. Yes, the woman who laughed when she heard the Lord tell Abraham that by that time next year she would have a son is found in the Hall of Faith. “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). How did Sarah move from unbelief to faith? Let’s take a few minutes and return back to that fateful day when Sarah laughed.
“They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.” Genesis 18:9-15
Look at the Lord’s response to Sarah’s laughter. Notice that the Lord spoke to Abraham. First, He asked why she laughed. He knew! Then He asked a question, a pointed question – “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” For whose benefit was the second question? For Abraham’s or for Sarah’s? Look back at verse 9 where the “men” asked where Sarah was. She was within earshot and any woman within earshot would probably be listening! I wonder if the whole conversation was for the benefit of Sarah – to move her from unbelief to faith… Could it be that Sarah’s heart changed from unbelief to belief when the words “is anything too hard for the Lord?’ cut deep within? I believe that could be a real possibility for that is exactly what happened to me. Like Sarah, I was given a promise. My marriage was headed toward divorce but the Lord spoke to me clearly through His Word that that would not be the case. I held on to that promise yet there were a few times when my focus shifted from the promise to the improbability. One day I went before the Lord concerning the hardness of heart that I saw and stated my disbelief by pointing out that restoration was impossible with such a hardness of heart. These were the Lord’s words to me, words much like the words that He spoke to Sarah: “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). Those words weren’t whispered. They were shouted! And I’m here to say that just like with Abraham and Sarah, the Lord fulfilled His promise and restored our marriage. What about you? Has the Lord spoken a promise into your situation? Are you struggling to believe? Hold on. There is nothing too hard for Him! And when you are clinging on for dear life and doubt is filling your heart, remember these words from the gospel of Mark : “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (9:24)
How will you remember Sarah? Here’s how I’ll remember her:
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