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The Story of Sarah in the Bible – The Woman Who Laughed

By Steph Nickel

The story of Sarah in the Bible is an interesting one.  Sarah actually laughs at one of God’s promises. Steph gleans some lessons for us from the life of Sarah.

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Sarah in the Bible

Often, when we’re familiar with a story, we fail to see how amazing it truly is, how filled with twists and turns. Sarah’s story is like that. And in many ways, she is just like us.

Genesis 11:30 tells us that Sarah (then called Sarai) could not have children.

Perhaps you would love to give birth but are unable to do so. Or, perhaps, there is something else you desperately want, something that society says would give you value, something certain individuals say is evidence that you have found favour with God.

Sarah in the BibleMost of us can relate to Sarah—at least to a certain extent. (And let’s not forget that, in that time, being unable to have children made her the target of mocking and ridicule.)

Dealing With Heartache

Dealing with this heartache was only part of what Sarah went through.

In Genesis 12:10-13, we read, “Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, ‘I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, “This is his wife.” Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake’” (ESV).

Even at this point in the story, Sarah was not a young woman. She must have been incredibly beautiful for her husband to have made this request of her.

I’m certain none of us have found ourselves in this position. However, we’ve all been urged to compromise biblical standards of right and wrong because it seemed the only way out of a difficult situation. And when the person urging us to make the compromise is someone we have a close relationship with, someone like our spouse, we may very well go along with their urging.

Sarah in the BibleSarah’s Frustration

Time passed, and still, Sarah didn’t conceive.

In Genesis 16:1-2, we read, Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said to Abram, ‘Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her’” (ESV).

Have you ever gotten impatient with the Lord and taken things into your own hands? I know I have. I am, by nature, a fixer. Now, I can’t see myself doing what Sarah did in this situation, but trying to work things out on my own, without seeking the Lord’s direction … that’s something I can relate to. I imagine we all can.

steph beth nickel

The Lord Does Not Abandon Us

Thankfully, even when we’re impatient and impetuous, even when we make unwise decisions, the Lord doesn’t abandon us. And He didn’t abandon Sarah.

In Genesis 18:10-12, The Lord said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ‘After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?’” (ESV)

We’re horrified to think that Sarah would actually laugh at the Lord’s promise. But don’t we read His promises and question how these things are ever going to come to pass in our lives. On one level, we may believe them. But do we really?

What Do I Really Believe

My son was given an assignment in Bible College in which he was to write a paper on what Christians believe. Instead of approaching it as expected, he chose, instead, to examine his own life and ask himself the question, “What does my behaviour indicate I believe?”

Are we willing to ask ourselves the same question? I know I wouldn’t always like the answer.

Sarah in the BibleSarah’s was a rocky path, but God continued to be faithful—as He always does.

In Genesis 21:5-7, we read about the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to Abraham and Sarah. “Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, ‘God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh over me.’ And she said, ‘Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age’” (ESV).

Sarah’s Laugh

The community laughed at Sarah and mocked her because she couldn’t bear children. Sarah herself laughed at the absurdity of the Lord’s promise that she would have a child in her old age. But now the Bible speaks of a different kind of laughter.

Has your heart ever overflowed with so much joy you couldn’t keep from laughing? I know mine has.

What an adventure Sarah had!

And what an adventure we have as we go through life!

It’s not always fun. Sometimes (often) things don’t go as planned. Sometimes we do drastic things to make the situation better, but we make it far worse. Sometimes we doubt whether God will—or can—fulfill His promises. Sometimes we mess up big time—repeatedly.

Thankfully, God will fulfill each one of His promises. He is well able to do amazing things in and through us—even after we make a mess of things.

Let’s seek the Lord’s plans and purposes—no matter what our situation.

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Images courtesy of:

Laughing woman –  rawpixel

Baby’s feet – esudroff

Woman in dress – loilamtan

Woman praising – LovetotakePhotos

Read More About Women of Faith:

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Unity Within The Family of God

Brothers and Sisters in Christ – Be Reconciled

God’s Purpose – Reconciliation By Grace

Steph NickelSteph Beth Nickel

Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio.  Read and hear more from Steph Nickel on the contributor’s page or at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.

Stephanie’s show, “Family Life Lessons,” airs from Monday to Friday on HopeStreamRadio.

hopestreamradio podcastYou May Also Enjoy These Podcasts:

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HopeStreamRadio has been a huge blessing to me. Since I moved away from an area that had a lot of good Christian radio I have been looking for a station that I could listen to and be encouraged by. HSR has filled that void and it has also been exciting to be a part of the team that contributes to HSR.

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