Timing is always up to God. And He has the ability to change our name and everything about us ? ⏤ Vol. 1, Ch. 44
The third verse that I listed as a gratitude verse is Genesis 21:1,2. You might question why this verse is my gratitude verse, but when one looks at the context. Wow! Just Wow!
"Then the LORD took note of Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had promised. So Sarah conceived and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time of which God had spoken to him." Genesis 21:1,2
Sarai Personal Name Meaning: Princess
Sarah Personal Name Meaning: Mother of Nations
In Genesis 17:15-16 God changes Sarai's name from Sarai to Sarah. She became something that she was not, at that time.
We find Abram first mentioned in Genesis 11:26 "And Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran."
This is the lineage listed directly after the Tower of Babel fell. You remember the Tower of Babel ? (Genesis 11)
That big 'OOPS' we people made trying to reach heaven by building a tower... communications will never be the same after that little endeavor! Anyway, back to Abram and Sarai.
Abram had three brothers and one of his brothers, Haran, bore a son named Lot. You might remember Lot. Yes, the Sodom and Gomorrah Lot with the wife that turned to salt - but wait. I am jumping ahead of myself.
Haran dies and Lot's grandfather, Terah, takes care of him. Nahor marries. Abram marries Sarai but Sarai couldn't have children. In fact, 'Big Daddy' Terah takes care of them all. They are his tribe. And Terah took his family toward the land of Canaan but he didn't get there. He died in Haran at the age of two hundred and five.
So Terah's family is in Haran just hanging out, building up more in their herd and making more tents and having more servants. This is a pretty easy place to be. Plenty of food, lots of community, nice neighborhoods. And even though Sarai is barren, there are more families around and more children to be involved with. It can be a happy life, Right?
But then, God talks to Abram.
God tells Abram to GO!
Go from your land, your relatives and your families protection.
God doesn't just tell Abram to go. He gives him some motivation to go. Abram was given five things that motivated him to move:
Understand at this time, Abram and Sarai were not young little whippersnappers. Sarai was 65 years old when she began her travels with Abram to Canaan. Abram has just been given a lot of motivation from God. And Sarai is trusting that Abram's got this.
Sarai takes off with her husband away from all the protection of their relatives and begins a journey because Abram has been told He is chosen to be the 'father of many nations.'
Can you imagine how Sarai receives this information? She is 65 years old and has never had a child. Abram (a spry 75 years old) hears that he is going to become a father and have descendants. He packs up his wife, Lot his nephew, all their possessions and servants and they all leave for Canaan. The land where Abe's father Terah was planning to go. Abram gets to Canaan and decides to travel further. So then he travels around some more with all his family, herds, tents and low and behold he gets into some trouble. There comes a very large drought and a famine forces Abe to head out to Egypt.
Abram took his family to Egypt and concocted a pretty sneaky plan. That was a time I am sure Sarai wouldn't ever forget. It was the time he pretty much left her to fend for herself so he didn't get killed! You can read about it in Genesis 12.
But we will fast forward to the end result at that time in history: Because of Abe's actions, Pharaoh kicked Abe and all of his family and possessions out of Egypt.
Abram, who had become more and more wealthy, went back to an altar he built to God. Do you ever find yourself in that position? Making some really bad decisions and flat on your back confused as to how you got where you are, and you just have to get back to the place where you knew better which steps to take?
And Abe finally calls out to God.
There was some strife with Lot's crew workers and Abram's crew workers ⏤ so Abe offers a split of land. And Lot took the plush fertile ground and Abram took the other. But because Abram had listened to God and been righteous in giving Lot his choice of land, God ADDS to His promise.
After this Abram proves to God to be a righteous man and continues making better choices. He has another face-to-face with God in a vision and God:
And that is when we see Sarai implode. She is a woman late in her years. For years after she was already too old to have a child, her husband has been telling her that they will have many descendants. How would you have handled this? I know I would be a little worn out of the 'promises' and ready for some sort of action to take place! And Sarai was pretty fed up with it all. She decides to take matters into her own hands.
[NOOOOOO! You might be like me on the sidelines of the story.
You might have found out, like I have, it is never a good thing to take matters into our own hands after God has shown the way. You might be wanting to Sari's attention as she goes heading off into 'I've got to control this' syndrome! I know every time I read this I find myself jumping up and down in my mind: "Don't take it, Sarai. Don't take control. It never ends well. And God will do what He has planned to do in His timing, for His glory!"]
People often get frustrated with Sarai during this time. I know I do. But, when I look deeper into my heart I tend to find some mercy toward her. She waited so long. God had promised. Was it ever going to happen? I can just imagine her sweeping the floor while muttering under her breath. "I'm not getting any younger, You better hurry up. I cannot have a child. This is not going to happen. Who does Abe think I am? I can't do this."
Hopefully, you too can find some grace to give this woman grabbing at straws to make sense of all of these promises her husband has been given.
Granted, Sarai overstepped. But don't forget, Abram was the one that had the vision face-to-face with God. Sarai was on the outside of that.
Sarai was in a culture and in a day and age where it was completely appropriate for the barren wife of a leader to give her servant to her husband to have children. The children were considered heirs of the leader. And it made sense to Sarai to say in her own mind, "It is time for us to get on with this story."
But making sense to us, isn't really what God is all about. And this particular decision has had tragic disaster for the world throughout the following generations.
Sarai passed her maidservant Hagar to Abram. Hagar had a son. God named him Ishmael. And the beginning of a great division and war was set forth in time and space. You can read about that in Genesis 16. Abram was eighty-six years old when Ishmael was born.
Thirteen years later, God appears to Abram again. This time He changes Abram's name to Abraham: Father of many nations.
This time God gave more explicit direction as to how Abraham was to live and raise his family. He also gave Abraham a new name for his wife, Sarai.
"As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her." Sarah was almost 90 years old.
A year later, she bore Isaac.
Yes, Isaac. The Isaac that is listed in Matthew 1:2 "To Abraham was born Isaac; and to Isaac, Jacob, and to Jacob..."
That's right. The Isaac that is listed in Matthew chapter one. The chapter of Jesus' lineage that includes, Rahab who bore Boaz. The Boaz that Ruth married. Remember them? Yes, those two from the Book of Ruth were the great-grandparents of King David. And great-great-grandparents of King Solomon. And well. Do you see that God was right? Do you see how He fulfilled His promise?
Sarah had children and grandchildren that were Kings. And she and her husband Abraham were the direct lineage for the Messiah. The one and only Jesus Christ who was born of the virgin Mary. The Jesus Christ whose birth we traditionally celebrate in a few weeks. Yes, the entire world knows about Him. And He is praised and adored by millions.
Not in Sarai's timing. But in God's
Oh the times I have taken matters into my own hands. Those times have ended poorly. The consequences of some of my poor choices have left scars and damaged hearts for decades.
I won't go into all of them. They range from not being honest with my dad and telling him what I needed, to jumping into marriage, to momentary bouts with frustration and words that have been unwise.
There is one in particular that I am writing a story about right now. It was a time when like Sarai I was put in a position to control life, the life that was in me. I tried to control it. I tried to make it be more 'sensible.'
Thankfully, God didn't let me.
If you would like to follow the process of my writing that story, drop me an email here:
and I will send you updates.
This passage in Genesis reminds me that God has the ability to give life and to take it. He is able to keep the promises He has made to us. He is not only able, He is willing. It is our job to be His children and trust His timing. Not that we don't do anything. We do. We live lives that proclaim to the world through our actions and deeds our faith in the Great I AM.
May your week be filled with joy as we live step by step into this Christmas season.
And remember drop me an email if you want to be involved in the process of this particular miracle book I am writing. I am praying it will be a book of healing and praise.
Because He is the I AM,
Robyn Rochelle Cox
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"See how great a love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him." 1 John 3:1
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