July 8-9: Sarah – Genesis 17:15-18:15
This summer, we are looking to the women of the Bible for encouragement, advice, and examples of living life full with God. In July and August, we’re reading the stories of Eve, Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Miriam, Zipporah, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Proverbs 31 woman, Gomer, Elizabeth, all the Marys, Martha, woman at the well, bleeding woman, adulterous woman, Canaanite woman, Lydia, Eunice, Priscilla, and the Titus 2 woman. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). An example SOAP from our team is below today’s Bible reading. Comments are always welcome on our website for questions, discussion, and accountability.
Sarah – Genesis 17:15-18:15
15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.
The Three Visitors
18 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”
6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”
7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.
9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.
“There, in the tent,” he said.
10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”
Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.”
But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
God | Jess Howell
Genesis 18:12, 14
Many have heard of this story – a couple laughing at the idea that they could become parents at the age of nearly 100. But God had made a promise to Abraham. Up to today’s reading, we focused on Abraham’s relationship with God. Now Sarah would have a chance to interact with the Divine when she denies laughing at the man’s statement that she would have a son (Genesis 18:15). Abraham also laughs at this idea from a previous encounter in Genesis 17:17. This unbelieving “laughter” that both Abraham and Sarah share would forever be remembered through their first born son Isaac, whose name means “he laughs”.
I’ve skimmed this story before, but as it usually goes, I missed some things. Verse 12 states that Sarah “laughed silently to herself”, and yet she was called out for her disbelief! I can’t begin to count the number of instances when I’ve silently held back my faith for something that I wasn’t sure God could do. But Verse 14 puts us back in our place – “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” I truly feel that this statement needs to be painted on every wall in my house for me to reflect on whenever I doubt, whenever I fear, or whenever I am impatient. NOTHING is too hard for Him. I no longer need to hold back, and I just need to have FAITH that God can and will move impossible mountains.
Father God, I’m sorry for laughing at You. I’m sorry I sometimes doubt that You are big enough to deal with MY “stuff”. I see all of the amazing things that You did for Your children in the Bible, and yet I still don’t let it soak in that these same women could be me! Thank You for loving me even when I don’t feel I deserve it. Thank You for loving me when I am taking the wrong path. Thank You for loving me no matter what. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
The Discover One Thing main website follows a reading plan that goes through the entire Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.