Hall of Faith: Sarah, God Made her Laugh

For centuries, the entire purpose for women has been perceived as bearing children.

Even today, not having children is difficult for some women. This is an area in which I’ve

Abraham and Sarah waited years for God’s promise to be fulfilled

personally struggled greatly.

However, imagine living during Biblical times when you don’t have a child. The taunts and jeers from those in your community.

Then God tells your husband that he will be “father of a great nation”.

You can’t help but laugh at such a proclamation, especially since you are well past your own child bearing years.

That is exactly what Sarah {originally known as Sarai} did when God made this proclamation to her husband, Abraham. Sarah is also the first woman listed in the Hall of

Sarah gave her handmaiden to Abraham

Faith.

Then the years pass by and eventually become decades and you still don’t have any children.

Sarai was the daughter of Abram’s father. She and Abram eventually married in their home country of Ur. Sarai means princely or a princess and quarrelsome, while Sarah means chieftainship, pure, happy, and princess of the multitude.

Sarah became so desperate for a child that she sent her handmaiden, Hagar, in to conceive a child with her husband.

Sarah resent Hagar

When Hagar conceived, resentment grew between the two women and we are told that “Sarah dealt hardly with her, and she fled from her face.”

An angel convinced Hagar to return to her mistress. Hagar did provide a son to Abraham, whom she named Ishmael.

More than a decade passed, when Abram came home one day. He explained to his wife that she would now be known as Sarah and he as Abraham. Imagine Sarah’s surprise as her husband shared that the Lord had spoken to him and shared that she would have a son. Here she was almost ninety years old, which was way too old to have a child and his name would be Isaac.

Sarah resented the son Hagar gave to Abraham

A year later three men pay a visit and ask Abraham where Sarah is. When she appears in her tent, the angel promises “Sarah shall have a son”. {Genesis 18} Sarah laughed, but when the angel called her on it she denied laughing, “for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.”

Imagine, discovering you will have a child at the age of ninety. However, that is exactly what happened to Sarah. She gave birth to a son, she named Isaac.

When Isaac was born, Sarah said “God hath

Sarah laughed when the strangers told her she would have a child

made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.”  {Genesis 21:6-7}.

After all these years of yearning, waiting and struggling to come to terms with her barrenness Sarah finally has a son.

Sarah reveled in being a mother and took great delight and joy in him. One can imagine the bragging and glowing that took place.

This eventually led to a showdown with Haggar, who had been rubbing her son in Sarah’s face for years. When Ishmael was caught teasing Isaac, Sarah had Haggar and

The Lord blessed Abraham and Sarah with a son

Ishmael sent away.

Once her son was older, her husband was put to the ultimate test and called upon to sacrifice their only son. Did Abraham tell Sarah before hand or did she suspect what may happen? Did she pray or run after them? Or was she oblivious to everything until after it was over? We do not know how much Sarah knew and her reaction, but we know that Abraham passed the test.

Sarah died at 127 years of age. Abraham “ came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.” He bought the cave of Machpelah, now known as the cave of the Patriarch’s, in which to bury his wife.

Abraham and Sarah were faithful to God

So what can we learn from Sarah?

1. Sarah had to wait for God’s promise

2. Sarah became desperate

3. Sarah reacted rashly and then retaliated in anger

4. Sarah regreted not waiting on God

5. Sarah laughed

6. Sarah conceived when it was humanly impossible

7. Sarah counted God faithful

Sarah walked beside Abraham through a lot of ups and downs and test from God. However, God blessed her and provided her ultimate joy in making her a mother at the age of 90. Yet, the birth and joy of Isaac, made her laugh.

It must have done Sarah’s heart good to see Abraham with their son, Isaac

God showed his mighty power in the birth of Isaac. He also proved that he follow through on his promises. He made Sarah laugh.

Her faithfulness is one reason that she is listed in the Hall of Faith. Hebrews 11:11 tells us, “By faith even Sarah herself received power to conceive seed when she was past age, since she counted him faithful who had promised.” The next verse goes on to explain God’s promises through Isaac, “wherefore also there sprang of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of heaven in multitude, and as the sand, which is by the sea-shore, innumerable.”

How has God made you laugh? What promises has he fulfilled for you?

 

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