So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?” Genesis 18:12
God’s promise of a son was long overdue. During the time of Abraham and Sarah a man’s wealth was measured by the amount of livestock owned and children fathered. Many a wife was cast aside or socially alienated if children weren’t brought into the mix. Although it sounds harsh in our world today, sons were more highly honored than daughters as well.
It’s really no surprise then that Sarah was little bitter and skeptical when the visitors arrived that day. The Bible refers to the three as ‘the Lord’. Was this an earthly, temporary manifestation of the trinity? We aren’t sure. What we do know is that God was present and he had a special message of hope for Sarah. Finally, at long last, just one year from now she would bring the promised son into the world.
The promise was really a restatement of a promise given long ago without any sign that it would be fulfilled. Since then Sarah offered up her maid-servant to Abraham and a son was born to this couple. Among other things, the birth of this baby caused conflict in the family (a conflict that goes on today) and reminded Sarah once more that she was the problem. After all, if Abraham had no trouble fathering a son with Hagar, he obviously wasn’t the problem, right?
We may tend to look down on Sarah for scoffing at God. We can talk about how she is showing a lack of faith or trust. We can question her patience. But in reality each of us is guilty at times of laughing at God’s promises for us.
God’s promises DON’T ALWAYS FOLLOW NATURAL LOGIC. Sarah was well past childbearing age. It was a biological impossibility for her to bear children. If we believe God to be who we say He is we also must acknowledge that He is not bound to the laws of nature. He controls nature. Nature does not limit or control God. Sarah made the mistake of believing in the order of nature, rather than believing the promise of God.
God’s promises COME IN HIS TIME NOT OURS. We live in a microwave world. Everything is instant from our potatoes to the way we communicate. As Sovereign God our Father knows best the timeframe for the events of our lives to take place. Waiting for God’s timing is difficult now, but much better for the future.
God’s promises DO NOT ALWAYS RELY ON OUR ABILITY TO BELIEVE OR UNDERSTAND. God told Sarah she would have a son in one year. Sarah laughed in disbelief and later lied to try to cover up that laughter. Even so, one year later she was holding her very own son. Imagine the joy she must have felt just three months after the visit when she felt the stirrings of life inside of her. For the next nine months Sarah carried with her the realization that God is truly God and His promises do come true.
God’s promises ARE NOT DEPENDENT ON ANYTHING WE DO. Later in Genesis (Genesis 21:1) the Bible says that God extended Grace to Sarah. She didn’t deserve to have that baby. Imagine. She laughed in the face of almighty God. God’s promises are based on His ability to fulfill them, not on our worthiness to receive them.
Don’t let time and circumstances allow doubt to creep into your mind. God can do great and mighty things in your life! God’s promises are for you and you don’t have to do or be anything to receive His promises! It may take longer than you think or wish, but in time He will accomplish in you all that He desires as you grow in relationship to Him.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I have to admit to you that I am impatient at times with You. It seems like you have promised me things and it takes much longer for those things to come to pass than I’d like. Thank you for the things you have done in my life and for the fact that you will accomplish all you desire for me. Help me to learn to trust you more and wait for you to work as only you can do. Amen.