Posted by: genelnicholsblog | January 16, 2013

promises, promises

Her name meant “My Princess,” and sometimes she could act just like one … a spoiled rotten one!  I am talking about Sarai, Abraham’s wife.  Scripture repeatedly refers to her beauty, even at the age of 65, but she also exhibited temperamental traits of jealousy and unreasonable behavior.  She threw the occasional tantrum.  Some have called her manipulative; she certainly could be a nag.  Sarai, whose name was changed to Sarah at the age of 90, not long before she gave birth to her first child, was many things; one thing is certain – she was the matriarch of the great Hebrew nation.  Sarah had her faults, but Scripture commends her on more than one occasion.  Peter wrote about her as the example of a faithful and excellent wife.  The book of Hebrews names her in the Hall of Faith chapter.  She gave birth to one child and started Hebrew history.

I like Sarah.  She has her faults, but I like her.  And one aspect of her life has been of great encouragement for me – Sarah wanted one thing more than anything in this world … a child.  But Sarah was barren, and time was not on her side.

Genesis 11:30
But Sarai was barren; she had no child.

Sarah was consumed with having a child.  Almost every outburst (tantrum) of hers recorded in Scripture was connected to this very personal struggle.  In ancient times, a woman who could not have children was considered under punishment from God !  Finally Sarah really blew it by talking her husband Abraham into fathering a child with her housemaid.

I know you are confused – what could possibly be of great encouragement for me through this awful situation? Well, it is based on these verses in Genesis 15:

And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”  Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.”  He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  (v. 3-5  NIV)

So God had promised Sarah’s husband an heir and innumerable descendants.  Every indication is that Sarah was devoted to her husband … and her God.  Yet she could still not rest in this promise that came directly from God to her husband!  And the promise was reiterated by God to Abraham several more times!

Why couldn’t Sarah just believe?  Why can’t I just believe?  Why can’t you ?

We have the promises directly from God in His Word to us … and like Sarah, we still cannot stop ourselves from taking matters into our own hands.

Sarah really messed up.  I have, too.  But God has never turned His back.  He has never walked away.  Sarah gave birth at the spry age of 89 (Abraham was just short of 100!) … the promised heir finally arrived … after Sarah made a mess of things. We will all mess up again-guaranteed.  But if we can keep our eyes on the promises in our reach from our Bibles, maybe our mess-ups will be fewer, our trust stronger.

Did I mention Sarah made the Book of Hebrews Hall of Faith?  Yesterday ended at midnight.



  1. I also loved Sarahs story and I have loved every scripture reading since I started on Jan 1, 2013. I’m praying I will remain consistant in my reading. Jobs story was so inspiring and brought me such compassion that one man could suffer all that he went through and to see the Lord redeem him was so wonderful. God Bless you.


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