No Laughing Matter
Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old? ~Genesis 18:12-13
All of us can have the tendency to become skeptical about things as we get older. This is especially true when something that we are told will happen does not happen. We lose hope and confidence in the source that relayed the promise or assurance to us. In our devotion this morning, Abraham and Sarah receive a visit from the Lord and two angelic beings. This is the fifth and final time God is reminding Abraham that he will be the father of many nations. Sarah hears this conversation while she is in her tent and laughs. The Lord’s response to her was that God’s message is not a laughing matter.
We see the promised MESSAGE.
“And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.” This is the fifth time the Lord has come to Abraham and given him assurance of the promise of a son in his old age. For twenty-four years, Abraham and Sarah have waited for this son. We must remember that God’s Word never fails. When we read the promises of God, we want God’s performance immediately. While there are times when God does meet our need and respond to us quickly, there are many other times when God’s timing is different from ours. Let us remember God’s Word is truth, and He will always do as He said He will.
We see the painful MALADY.
“Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.” In Romans 4, Paul describes Abraham and Sarah’s physical bodies “as good as dead.” Physically speaking, both are well past the age and ability to bear children. Women who were Sarah’s age could not bear children. They are at the place where twenty-four years after the first time the promise was given, it was more of a human impossibility than ever. I think Sarah had quietly given up hope that she would have a child. She did not disrespect her husband and chide him about the long delay, but deep in her heart she probably feels like she would live and die without the privilege of ever having a son. Many times as we wait on the Lord, we can allow a disabling condition or malady to convince us that God cannot do anything with us. We might succumb to the thought, “What’s the use?” It is during these critical moments that we must remain strong in faith.
We see the pessimistic MISTRUST.
As she hears the Lord reassure Abraham again of His promise, Sarah laughs within herself. Her laugh is a skeptical doubtfulness of God’s Word. She is thinking, “Lord, my husband and I are too old and it’s not possible.” However, God purposely comes this final time to them mainly so He could confront Sarah. He knows she has become doubtful and skeptical. She has become hardened to God’s working on her behalf. God asks, “Wherefore did Sarah laugh?” She hears this and becomes fearful! God has made this visit a wakeup call to Sarah to not give up hope and faith in Him. Then, the Lord asks, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” I believe that question had a two-fold purpose. First, to remind them that God can do anything but fail. Second, to address the hardness that was in Sarah’s heart. God has come to change her condition and to remove her contempt. I believe that Sarah had a change in her faith at that moment and believed.
We see the powerful MIRACLE.
“And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him,” Gen. 21:1-2. God does what He said He would do. God is on time; the promised son is born miraculously to this old couple! Can you imagine the talk of the town and among the pagan nations about this great miracle? From Isaac, a nation would arise. Abraham and Sarah experience a powerful miracle of God in their lives.
Will you trust God to do something great in your life? Will you remain strong in faith, not doubting the promises? There’s nothing too hard for the Lord!
Have a strengthened God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Numbers 35-36