Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Women of Faith - Sarah.

Sarah - God Must be Joking, Right?
"The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people, and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who will bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.'" - Genesis 12:1-3.
Talk about an opening statement. In this passage, God tells Abram to leave his country and go where God tells him - somewhere basically unknown to him. But, who is he to question the Big Man? So, he takes all his stuff, his wife, Sarai, nephew Lot, and all his slaves, and heads out. Abram wasn't a spring chicken here, though. He was 75.
A few verses later, we learn of a famine in the land. (Genesis 12:10) Abram and Sarai go to Egypt to live, because the famine is severe and there's no way they could last where they were. Now, Sarai is a babe. She may be quickly approaching old age (maybe?) but she's still beautiful. Abram realizes this, and decides to save his own hind end. He tells his wife to pretend that she is his sister, because is the Egyptians take a liking to her, they may kill him to get to her if he is her husband. To save himself, he's her "brother." Of course, exactly what he didn't want to happen, happens. Pharaoh sees her, and dang if he doesn't want her. He takes her as a wife, and Abram's treated well, since after all, he is her "brother." Soon though, God starts the smackdown. He inflicts Abram's house with plagues until he confesses that Sarai is actually his wife.
Skipping to Genesis 15, we read of God making a covenant with Abram, telling him that his offspring will be like the number of stars - countless. (Genesis 15:5) This is comical to him, because as of now, he and Sarai have no children, and they're both pretty old.
In Genesis 16, though, Sarai makes a mistake. She doesn't believe that she'll have a son, and so she thinks that the son God promised is one born through her servant, Hagar. She has Abram sleep with her, and she becomes pregnant. Things get messy fast, with Hagar despising Sarai and Sarai in turn mistreating Hagar because she hates her. Hagar fights back by running away to the desert, but eventually comes back and has her son, Ishmael. Abram is 76 at this point.
God makes another covenant with Abram, and changes his name to Abraham, and Sarai's name to Sarah. Sarah hears she'll have a son in her old age, and she laughs, doubting God. However, it's God who has the last laugh, after Sarah becomes pregnant and Isaac is born when Abraham is 100. Sarah eventually came to believe God before Isaac was born, and was even the first woman in the list of the faithful located in Hebews 11 (see Hebrews 11:11.)
Sarah's story seems like a Jerry Springer show, with the headline being "Senior Citizen Gives Birth to Miracle Baby!" Sometimes, doesn't that feel like our own lives though? The world can make us feel like God's call on our life could interest talk show producers. Other headlines that could relate to us could be ones like, "Local Sophomore is Last Virgin in the World!" "He Said No to Steroids!" and other things like that. Sometimes we just don't feel like we can pull off what God wants us to do. There's no way we could start a ministry in church. There isn't a chance that I could sing a special in front of the whole congregation. It's almost comical. But, like Sarah found out, God's promises ring true. They're solid, and come true every time.
Sarah evidently turned her doubts into faith, and look what happened - she not only had a child at an old age, but because an ancestor of Jesus Christ himself! Do you believe that God will come through for you, too?
Here's your NR challenge for this post. I challenge you to be like Sarah after she believed God. Once you put your faith in God, you'll see things like never before. Do you have doubts and worries? Throw them out, and dive wholeheartedly into what God's telling you. He's trying to make you see something, all you have to do is take the time and have the faith to find out.
Are you in?


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