Women Of The Bible
Background: Read - Genesis 11:27-32
This is the first time we hear about Sarah or Sarai as she was known. As we will discover further on in the study God changes Sarai’s name.
Read - Genesis 12:1-5
Sarah with her husband Abraham left their extended family in Haran, never to return again, to travel to a new land that God had chosen for them. They chose to follow God’s will for their lives over the convenience and enjoyment of staying with their kindred.
Read - Genesis 12:10-20
“During his stay in Egypt, Abraham gave evidence that he was not free from human weakness and imperfection. In concealing the fact that Sarah was his wife, he betrayed a distrust of the divine care, a lack of that lofty faith and courage so often and nobly exemplified in his life. Sarah was fair to look upon, and he doubted not that the dusky Egyptians would covet the beautiful stranger, and that in order to secure her, they would not scruple to slay her husband. He reasoned that he was not guilty of falsehood in representing Sarah as his sister, for she was the daughter of his father, though not of his mother. But this concealment of the real relation between them was deception. No deviation from strict integrity can meet God’s approval. Through Abraham’s lack of faith, Sarah was placed in great peril. The king of Egypt, being informed of her beauty, caused her to be taken to his palace, intending to make her his wife. But the Lord, in His great mercy, protected Sarah by sending judgments upon the royal household. By this means the monarch learned the truth in the matter, and, indignant at the deception practiced upon him, he reproved Abraham and restored to him his wife,..” Patriarchs and Prophets, E.G White, p130
From what we have studied so far, Sarah must have been a stunning woman. You wonder what was going through her mind when Abraham asked her to pretend to be his sister and was then taken to the Egyptian King’s household.
Read - Genesis 13:1-2
These verses show us that Sarah lived in a very wealthy household.
Read - Genesis 15:1-5
Here is God’s promise to Abraham that He will provide children through Sarah.
Read - Genesis 16:1-4
“Abraham had accepted without question the promise of a son, but he did not wait for God to fulfil His word in His own time and way. A delay was permitted, to test his faith in the power of God; but he failed to endure the trial. Thinking it impossible that a child should be given her in her old age, Sarah suggested, as a plan by which the divine purpose might be fulfilled, that one of her handmaidens should be taken by Abraham as a secondary wife. Polygamy had become so widespread that it had ceased to be regarded as a sin, but it was no less a violation of the law of God and was fatal to the sacredness and peace of the family relation”. Patriarchs and Prophets, E.G White, p145
Read Genesis 17:1-6
Here God is promising Abraham again that He will provide children through Sarah and make him a great nation.
Read Genesis 17:15-21
This is where Sarah’s name is officially changed from Sarai to Sarah. Sarah is referred to as a ‘mother of nations’ – meaning princess. What an honoured title God gave her. Our reading tells us that Abraham was a bit bewildered by all this as Sarah at the time was 90 years old!
Read Genesis 18:1-15
Here we have a 3rd promise that Sarah would have children. God didn’t give up reminding them of His promise! Sarah though still had her doubts.
Read Genesis 20:1-18
It’s hard to fathom that Abraham again passed Sarah as his sister and the king of Gerar took Sarah at 90 years old! Her beauty must have been astounding for Abraham to repeat this endeavour.
Read Genesis 21:1-10
Finally, God’s promise was fulfilled but it was in His timing.
Read Genesis 23:1-2 & 19
Apart from testing their faith, why do you think God delayed the birth of Isaac for Sarah and Abraham? Are there any characteristics that God was trying to develop in Sarah that we can apply to our own lives?
POWER TEXT - Proverbs 3:5-6
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”