Sarah had followed her husband from Ur of the Chaldees (modern day Iraq) to Canaan (later to be Israel) along with his father, brother, and nephew. A long journey because God had called her husband – a man of faith – to this new land. God had promised it would be theirs forever.
Then, walking from one end to the other of this long strip of “promised” land at the Eastern side of the Great Sea, camping in tents, till the pasture ran out, then moving on, making do.
And then a famine, no crops, no water for the animals, and another long journey to Egypt. “Say you are my sister, Sarah,” her husband whispered as they entered the well-watered land.
And of course she did, because she always obeyed him, and after all, wasn’t she his “half” sister? But who knew that Pharoah would desire her and take her. Sarah looked at her husband with pleading eyes as she was led away. “Tell him the truth, husband!” But he was silent.
Sarah was a woman of faith. She prayed to God and rested in the peace He sent as she settled in the kings harem. And then tragedy struck Pharoah’s palace; women began miscarrying babies, infants who were born died, and not one woman could conceive. And God spoke to Pharoah in a dream. “That woman you took is another man’s wife. Return her to him.”
This Pharoah listened to God. He took Sarah and returned her to her husband, along with food, livestock, servents, gold and silver.
“Your God spoke to me, why didn’t you? What’s wrong with you, man? What, you were afraid? Give me a break! You are lucky, I could have defiled her…. and then what would your God have done to me. BE GONE!”
And yes, reader, that happened again with King Abimilech. But this time she was a few weeks pregnant with a promised son. “Tell him you are my sister,” he’d said, and Sarah didn not even look back. She trusted God. She knew this king would not defile her. God would protect that promised seed growing within her – the One by whom the whole world would be blessed, the One who would come to save His people. Hadn’t He promised it?
Sarah remembered a few months earlier, when three strangers had come to their tent. They looked like angels, Sarah thought! She had hid inside, right at the flap of the tent and listened to them. And her laugh of… of what? Joy? distain? unbelief? She knew not which. But the One had said that in a year she would bear a son! Ha! She was 75 and her husband 100.
But it had happened, so Sarah KNEW the Holy One would protect the small speck of humaness in her by the power of His Word.
And the son was born. He was named Isaac, which means “he laughs.” Yes, he was a good, happy baby. But Sarah knew that the Holy One had heard her laugh, and had His own joke with the boy’s name.
LORD, that I might have patience and faith to trust You in my trials, and joy in all Your promises.