“She believed that God would keep His promise.” – Hebrews 11:11
Hebrews 11 context for lessons on faith from Sarah.
Genesis 11-12, 15, 17-18 God directs Abraham and Sarah. God gives them promise and new names.
Sarai – princess, contentious, a princess of the Ur of the Chaldees, Babylonia, Saudi Arabia “born free” Persian Princess
She’s a beautiful, strong-willed, determined woman of privilege and power. “And sure enough, when Abram arrived in Egypt, everyone spoke of Sarai’s beauty. When the palace officials saw her, they sang her praises to Pharaoh,” – Genesis 12:14-15
God gives new names to few people. God says, “This is how I see you.”
Sarah – feminine of Captain Commander “to rule” Isaiah translated the word as “queen”. “It has been observed that among ancient Jews there was a sort of translation that ‘the Hebrew letter yod signifies the creative power of God in nature, while the letter hay symbolizes the state of grace – that state into which Sarah had entered after receiving the covenanted promises.”
God gives new names, signifying His gracious purpose and promise on their lives.
She was a middle-aged princess, who had not yet been able to give
birth to a child, that chose to leave her life of privilege and travel with her
husband out to a not-yet-named location, at God’s direction. This is faith.
What have we learned about Sarah?
- She believed that God would keep His promise. God will bring life where it seems impossible.
- She lived in difficult situations.
- She believed that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.
- She was not perfect.
- She chose to rely on God, completely trusting God.
- She received what God had promised her.
- She allowed God to turn her weakness into strength.
- She chose to see the God-given potential in her husband and children.
- She earned a good reputation.
- She died still believing what God had promised her.
- She had not yet received all that had been promised, but she saw it all from a distance and welcomed it.
- She was an immigrant who looked forward to calling Heaven her home.
- She was too good for this world.
- She is now among the crowd of witnesses to our life of faith.
What have we learned about God?
- God gave her purpose and promise.
- God protected her from the Egyptian Pharaoh and the Philistine King.
- God made her the mother of nations, Jesus Christ our Savior, and of “all that believe”.
- God was faithful to fulfill His promise to her.
- God is not ashamed to be called her God, for He has prepared a city for her (and all believers).
What should we do?
(each one requires God’s strength and is easier with the help of other believers)
- Believe that God will fulfill His promises.
- Choose to rely on God, trusting Him completely.
- Be faithful through difficult circumstances.
- Allow God to turn our weaknesses into strengths.
- Choose to see the God-given potential in the people God has put in our lives.