Have you ever wanted something very badly, but it wasn’t happening?
Do you ever feel God promised you something, but it hasn’t happened? Do you ever get tired on waiting on God’s promises or to fulfill His will in your life so you try and go your own way? At what lengths do you go? Lie? Cheat? Does doubt creep in?
I am guilty. I do not exercise patience. I do not like to wait. Good news~~I am not the first. Bad news, I am probably not the last. There is hope.
Sarah. We find her story in Genesis
Her name is first Sarai. Before she married her husband Abram (later changed to Abraham), he was promised by God to be a great nation. (Gn 12:2). When Abram and Sarai were married, he was at least 75 and Sarai was at least 65. Oh my. Can you imagine? Yet, God made a promise that He was going to keep.
This woman Sarai was blessed with good looks, but that got her into trouble. We read in Genesis 12:10-20 that Abram told his wife Sarai to lie, saying she was his sister. Yes, she was his half-sister, but she was his wife.
A half-lie is a lie.
Why did he want Sarai to lie? He was scared. He doubted God would protect them. Even though God promised to make Abram a great nation, he still doubted. I can only imagine how Sarai felt. Who did she obey? God? Her husband? The internal argument she may have had. Lies never produce good. Yes, Sarai obeyed her husband, but it was wrong. God sent plagues on Pharaoh–because of someone else’s lies! I will confess to lying due to fear, but I don’t feel good about it.
Another way I can relate to Sarai is that when I don’t have faith, then I do things my own way. I believe this is why Sarai told Abram to have relations with her servant girl Hagar. In Genesis 16, Sarai took matters into her own hands. This did not end well for her. What did she expect? She ended up chasing Hagar away due to jealousy because Hagar was pregnant. Did Hagar even have a choice? Even though Hagar teased Sarai, I feel sorry for Hagar. Like Sarai, when I try to do things my own way, it gets thrown back in my face and can cause bigger problems and more hurt.
After their names have changed (Genesis 17) to Abraham and Sarah, they were once again promised a son (Genesis 18). They laughed due to doubt. They were even given a timeline of 1 year. If my husband was 100 and I was 90, I would have doubt. I might laugh thinking it was a joke. I think because they had to wait at least a decade, doubt was there. Disbelief was there. I can relate to doubt and disbelief, wondering if I heard God right when waiting on His perfect timing. In Genesis 18:14, God asked Abraham “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” What do you believe? I believe absolutely not! Nothing is too hard, too big, too much of God. But, when waiting is involved, I start to think that maybe I didn’t hear God right. In Deuteronomy 32:4, it says that “His deeds are perfect.” So, I need to stop trying to take matters into my own hands.
In Genesis 20, we see more deceit. A repeat offense. Abraham lied to Abimelech because he was scared. The same lie he told Pharoh. Sarah went along with it. Same thing, different names, and different consequences. Because of Abraham and Sarah’s lies, the women were barren until God restored them — but only after Abraham prayed. Please tell me I am not alone as a repeat offender? My name hasn’t changed since I got married, but I STILL HAVE TO PRAY FOR FORGIVENESS FOR THE SAME THING AT TIMES.
My favorite part of Sarah’s story–Genesis 21:1–“The Lord kept His word and did for Sarah exactly what He had promised.” I LOVE THIS! It gets me excited. Why? Not because I believe God gives me everything I want, but He keeps His promises. He gave us a rainbow after the Great Flood to prove it! Isaac was born. God kept His end of the bargain even after all that Abraham and Sarah had done wrong — the lies, taking matters into their own hands, laughing at what God said, doubt, and then doing all of that again. God always comes through.
Unfortunately, there is still a part of me that can relate to Sarah. She held a grudge. In Genesis 21, Sarah made Abraham send away Hagar and the son he had with her, Ishmael, because Ishmael was making fun of Isaac. If Sarah would have been patient and waited, there would not have been a grudge and nobody would have been sent packing.
I can’t forget Hagar since she is a part of Abraham and Sarah. I don’t know if she had a choice in her decisions, but I know that I do. I can choose to listen to God, or others.
If I can be obedient to God’s Word and what He tells me, I will avoid a lot of hurt.
What can I take from this? Encouragement and hope. God still loves me and doesn’t give up on me all the times I fail Him. The Bible says in Jeremiah 31:3
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself.”
I am encouraged~~how about you?