Because she Loved
We get to meet Sarai in Genesis 11:29-30. The first thing the Bible tells us about her is that she was barren and ‘had no child.’ One would assume that they would tell us how beautiful she was and not the fact that she couldn’t have any kids. Her very name means princess in the most endearing form. She must have been much loved and adored by her family. Sarai was married to Abram, who was her brother. They had the same father but not the same mother (Genesis 20:12).
Sarai travelled to Canaan with her husband and her father-in-law Terah. But when Abram was 75 years old, God commanded Abram to leave his father’s house and move to where He would show him. God also spoke a blessing over Abram, saying, ‘…I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed’ (Genesis 12:2-3, KJV). And again, in Genesis 13:16 (KJV) ‘… I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.’ These blessings can also be directly conveyed to her for being Abram’s wife. Also, note Abram’s age and remember that Sarai wasn’t much younger than him.
A great famine broke out in the region, and Abram moved to Egypt to escape from the famine. He asked his wife to tell the Egyptians that she was his sister, for he acknowledged that she was a fair woman and he would be killed for her. And it so happened that Sarai was taken by Pharaoh, which must’ve been very frightening for her. Abram got to live, and he was rewarded for her. Later, we would read that Sarah was taken to by the Abimelech king of Gerar when Abraham was a hundred years old (Genesis 20). However, God saw her and saved her from the hand of these rulers. God protected her and sent great plagues over Egypt. In both instances, the truth prevailed. Sarai was returned to her rightful husband, and they were sent away. Abraham didn’t trust God’s protection, and Sarah loved her husband too much and would have done anything for her husband to live.
God again promised Abram that he would have many children, as many as there are stars in heaven (Genesis 15:5). However, Sarai grew impatient. Most of us can identify with this kind of impatience. But we can sympathise with her, for she was already over childbearing age. Sarai gave her handmaid, Hagar, to Abram so that Sarai could have a child through her. When Hagar fell pregnant, she despised Sarai and grew arrogant about it. We need to remember that children are a great gift from the Lord. Sarai confronted Abram and then dealt harshly with her maidservant, who fled away from the household.
When we rush God’s plans for us, bad things always seem to follow. But even so, God can turn it into something good. In Genesis 17, God made a new covenant with Abram, and He changed Abram’s name to Abraham (father of many nations)- verse 5. God blessed Sarai and gave her a new name too. She shall be called Sarah, and she would bear a son and become the ‘mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her’ (Genesis 17:16, KJV). Where her previous name was just an endearing form, one used for a child, her name changed to a proper woman of nobility and a high rank. Nobody would look down on her for failing to produce a child because God always comes through with His promises.
When Sarah heard from the three strangers who showed up at their tent that she would be pregnant within the foreseeable future, I did not find it strange that she would laugh at that. Her husband, then a hundred years old, and her just a few years younger, would make it medically impossible. But we are dealing with God here, and for Him, nothing is impossible. Maybe God waited so long to bless them with a child so that no man could boast that it was from their own effort but that they would know that that child was from God.
In Genesis 21, Sarah finally bore a son, and they called him Isaac for ‘God hath made me to laugh’ (verse 6). The birth of Isaac must have been a happy day for her to hold that longed-for baby in her arms. Sarah was blessed even more by God to see her son grow up. She died at the ripe old age of 127 years. Her death was a great loss for Abraham, and we see that he wept and mourned for her (Genesis 23:2). Abraham bought a field with a cave of Machpelah (Hebron- meaning friend) from a Hittite for four hundred shekels of silver, and he buried his wife in the cave(Genesis 2315-19).
Sarah, with all her failures, was a true woman of God. She stayed true to her husband and wanted what was best for him, even if sometimes misguided. In 1 Peter 5-6, KJV), we learn about the true women of God. Peter declared, ‘for after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trust in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.’ Do you trust God’s promise to you? Then also love the husband that He gave you. It can sometimes be hard but walking the road with God; anything can be possible.