We first meet Sarai in Genesis 11:29 and we learn two things about her:
- She is Abram’s wife
- She is barren. So how will it happen that she will become a mother, much more, a mother of nations, an ancestress of kings? We thank Yahweh because nothing is impossible with Him!
Sarai was a very interesting woman, even though her story is a few thousand years old now, she is the picture of a modern day woman.
A woman who had “everything” because she married rich (Genesis 13:2 – Abram was very rich in cattle, silver and gold), her household had over 318 people.
She was very beautiful, so beautiful that her husband lied about who she really was to him when they went to Egypt (Genesis 12:11-13)
But she also had a serious challenge, she was barren, and yet her husband had been told by God that he would be the father of many descendants. We know from Genesis 16:2 that Sarah desired children and that’s how we meet Hagar, the mother of Ishmael. Even though it was her “brilliant” idea that her husband sleeps with Hagar for the sake of procreation (which wasn’t even a guarantee because Hagar could have had a girl), when Hagar fell pregnant, she grew muscles and forgot the pecking order (Genesis 16:4-5) and this made Sarai extremely angry and bitter, so she retaliated and caused Hagar to leave with her unborn child. How many times do we try to help God along in a matter and only end up regretting it? If I were in this position, I would have cried “what was I thinking?” at least a thousand times! And this decision of hers, was going to impact a blameless child who was not even born yet! Fast forward to Genesis 17:15-16, a blessing by the Almighty Himself declares that Sarai will be with child, she will have a son and He also gives her a new name, Sarah. And in Genesis 18:10-14 one of three visitors tells Abraham that by “this time next year, your wife will have a son!” Both Abraham and Sarah cannot believe this because they are both in advanced age, Abraham is a century old and his wife is only 10 years shy of it. They are quite sure that, biologically, it wasn’t going to be possible. Sarah even laughed because it was just simply ludicrous (Genesis 18:15). Finally, in Genesis 20:1-6, our long awaited Isaac arrives, and he brings laughter all round.
- An emotional woman who made emotional decisions – giving Hagar to Abraham out of fear and then blaming Abraham when Hagar was mean to her. She was completely irrational, even calling for God to be the judge between them. She had a sharp tongue (Genesis 16:5)
- She was impatient, faithless and fearful – because of her impatience, she asked her husband to lay with her slave girl.
- Dishonesty wasn’t too far from her – twice she lied about who she was and once even lied about a private thought, God had to call her out. (Genesis 18:15)
- She had no consideration for Ishmael (Genesis 16:6)
Sarah as a mother
- Was very protective of her husband and her son. She gave Hagar to her husband to help him fulfill God’s promise to him, and she sent the same Hagar away when she caught her teasing her son.
- She was a dutiful wife. When the three visitors came by, and her husband requested that she prepare a meal, she did so without complaint.
- She was obedient to her husband, even if it meant lying with her husband.
- She prophesied Isaac’s birth by laughing at the very notion of falling pregnant in her old age.
- She was loyal. She left everything she knew and followed her husband into the unknown.
- She was a blessing to other women – when she left Abimelech’s household, the women’s wombs opened (Genesis 20:18)
- Ultimately, she was a woman of faith. (Hebrews 11:11)
Lessons from Sarah
- Always seek the Lord’s face on all matters lest you end up with a Hagar in your life.
- Don’t ever try to help God in His plans, doing so may result in very serious inconveniences and discomforts.
- God is truly the Father to the fatherless because He stood up for Ishmael when Sarah threw him and his mother out into the wilderness.
- Faith is really the substance of things not seen.