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A Word To Women

We often want God to answer our prayers immediately. However, like Sarah, we may have to wait. God’s timing is perfect. Hold on to His promises.

Eve is the mother of all living (Genesis 3:20) while Sarah is a mother of many nations (Genesis 17:16). Sarah waited many years to become a mother. She had only one child, but that child was part of the Messianic line.

Sarah was a very beautiful woman. Born an idolater in Ur of the Chaldees, she married her half-brother, Abraham. It was a long, loving and happy marriage. God directed Abraham to leave Ur, promising to make a great nation of him, to make his name great and to make him a blessing. Hebrews 11:8 records, “By faith Abraham… obeyed; and went out, not knowing whither he went” – a great step of faith and one to which Sarah evidently acquiesced. It was a change from a settled life in an advanced civilisation to a nomadic life in remote and hostile areas. Sarah proved a loyal and supportive wife.
Sarah’s loyalty to her husband was tested. Going down to Egypt to escape famine, Abraham asked her to pretend she was his sister. It was a moment of madness, putting Sarah at great risk when she was brought into Pharaoh’s harem. Abraham had told a half truth, but it was a whole lie. The Christian should never resort to deception. When facing doubts and fears, we need to pray for our faith to be strengthened. The Lord preserved Sarah, but Abraham’s testimony was tarnished.

Abraham was anxious because he remained childless, even though God had repeated the promise of an heir. The Lord had not specifically said that Sarah
would be the mother of Abraham’s child, so she thought her maid could have a child for her. In some ways it was a selfless plan, but in reality it was faithless and foolish. It is folly to pre-empt God. Abraham took Hagar as a secondary wife and she immediately conceived. However instead of joy, Sarah experienced trouble and sorrow. She was despised by Hagar and the son born would prove to be a thorn in the flesh of Abraham’s descendants to this day. It is easy to step out of God’s will. While the Lord is plenteous in mercy to the repentant, yet sinful and faithless actions will bring serious consequences.

Sarah was a woman of faith, but she didn’t believe that she would bare a son to Abraham. When she was ninety and Abraham a hundred years old, God renewed His promise. The chosen seed would be a son of Sarah. Sarah laughed in unbelief – a physical impossibility. Sharply rebuked, she then tried to deny her unbelief. The Lord asked the question, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14) God cannot lie! (Titus 1:2) We often want God to answer our prayers immediately. However, like Sarah, we may have to wait. God’s timing is perfect. Hold on to His promises.

Initial unbelief was transformed to glorious faith, “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” (Hebrews 11:11) Abraham and Sarah both failed at times, but He in whom they placed their faith never failed, and He will not fail us either. When Sarah died, Abraham mourned and wept. She had been a faithful help and companion. Let us endeavour to be true daughters of Sarah!

Olive Maxwell.