Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sarai's Barrenness and God's Plan

Genesis 16
1 Now Sarai Abram's wife bare him no children: and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar.
2 And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.
3 And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

There is no record in the Bible of Abram ever being with another woman besides Sarai, until her death -- except for what Sarai permitted.

Abram loved Sarai. She was the apple of his eye. He was willing to stay true to her until death even if she never bore him a child. And, yet, Sarai knew that a son is what he wanted more than anything in the world. She felt that she had let him down. She wanted her husband to be happy, even if it meant she had to permit the unspeakable. This is what led her to give Hagar to Abram.

Back then, when a woman couldn't bear children, her maid servant was commissioned by law to be a surrogate. Sarai figured that since society's law permitted this, that this must be how God intended to give Abram a child. However, as the case is many times today, just because it is lawful does not mean it is moral or just. Sarai was desperate, and just like many of us do today, she let her desperation rule her logic.

God had chosen Abram for Sarai's barrenness as much as for his faith. What better way to show His power in a mere human being's life? What better way to be glorified! God knew that Abram would not stray from his wife unless Sarai permitted it.

Sarai had to be disappointed that she had not conceived a child after so long. Maybe she was past her "change in life" as a woman. (My great-grandmother had a child after her "change". I believe they call them "after-babies". She was the same age as my mother). So, her doubt about the promise God made to Abram was justified in her eyes.

In her eyes. Later, in Isaiah we would read:

Isaiah 55
8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Saraih forgot that God can do anything He wants to. Sometimes, though, He makes us wait in order to test our faith.

Read the next part of the story.

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