“See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman…”
We meet a woman named Sarai, who we all know as Sarah, in Genesis 11. She is the childless wife of Abram, who we know as Abraham. Their marriage was rough but because Abraham believed God’s promise regarding his future and Sarah was faithful to honor him, this husband and wife team is one we look to as a shining example of faith in God.
Sarah is dishonored twice by her husband and it is Jesus who comes to her rescue. Her story is a beautiful reminder to us to trust God with our “yes” even when trusting our earthly husband is difficult and painful.
In Genesis 12 God calls Abraham to leave his family and promises to make him “a great nation”. Abraham obeys. He takes his nephew and Sarah and sets out for Canaan. While passing through Canaan the Lord tells Abraham, “To your descendants I will give this land.”
He believed God for this promise but we see evidence a few verses later and also in Chapter 20 that Abraham believed it was God’s promise to him alone, not to Sarah. By the time we get to Chapter 16 Sarah also believes the promise is not for her as she gives her husband a maid to bear a child for him. Eve’s mistake is eating forbidden fruit and giving it to Adam. Sarah’s mistake is doubt which is passed on to Abraham. The world is STILL suffering from the decision Sarah made to give Hagar to Abraham as a mistress. But then, in chapter 18, Jesus steps in…
“Now the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. When he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth…” Genesis 18:1-2
Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “There, in the tent.”
As I was reading Genesis 11-23 to reacquaint myself with Sarah’s story some things stood out to me. Sarah, like Eve, is a character whose decisions are frustrating when we read our Bibles from a place of confidence. But if you come to Scripture from a place of frustration with yourself, doubt with yourself, and in need of encouragement, you will read stories and see humans making decisions just like you and a merciful savior stepping in to save, not just the day, but all of eternity.
Sarah belonged to Abraham and wanted all God had promised to him. But she didn’t believe the promises God made to her husband were hers as well. The Old Testament is filled with men who did not honor marriage as God intended it to be. Genesis 2:24 states, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
If God makes a promise to your husband he’s also making a promise to you. Likewise, the promises God has made to you are also for your husband. You are ONE flesh. What God does for him, he does for you. What God does for you, he does for your husband.
Sarah and Abraham both may have laughed at the Lord’s word to them regarding Isaac, their future son. But they believed him. And at the appointed time, Sarah gave birth to the promised son of Abraham and became the mother of the great nation of Israel. Even if it looks impossible, keep your eyes on The Groom!