Aug 6, 2009, 10:19 AM
Nothing in the immediate future happened after God had confirmed that Sarah would beget a son in her old age. God became silent, totally mute. As time slipped sluggishly by without any major event however, the couple must have been convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that after all it could have been wishful thinking, a pipe dream. To think that God could accomplish this miraculous feat as He predicted, began to exercise the minds of Abraham and Sarah.
It was time to implement plan B. The waiting game had been painful; nothing of God's plan had hatched. How often do we attempt to come into God's rescue? When things don't go the way we expect they would, don't we look for solutions elsewhere and gear up to go it our own way? As it turned out, the couple decided to give God a helping hand. Sarah took the lead.
Whilst God was bidding His time, Sarah was getting all jittery that the whole affair was dragging, and she went into action. Plan B got the approval of Abraham. "The Lord has kept me from having children." She said to her husband. "Go sleep with my maidservant, perhaps I can build a family through her." (Genesis 16:3) There was a problem apparently and Sarah sought ways to remedy it. She asked her husband Abraham to come forward and play an active role in the implementation of the plan. Abraham then slept with Hagar, Sarah's Egyptian maid, and she gave birth to a son they called Ishmael. Was God's promise fulfilled in this engineering feat? Well, for the couple probably; but according to God's plan, He had no hand in this.
The promise God made to Abraham and Sarah was clear. The process God decreed was not to be through a surrogate mother but through Sarah's womb. It was the couple and not any substitute that the plan was to be the authored by. You (Abraham and Sarah) would be blessed with a son and his name would be called Isaac.
There is nothing unusual about having an alternative plan in life but in this instance it was an alternative to God's promise. Nothing can beat God's plan unfortunately. Abraham and Sarah were denying God's ability to make Sarah a mother in spite of her age. "Is anything too hard for the Lord?" No, nothing is too difficult for God to accomplish.
Sarah had put her problem-solving skills into play by resorting to her own method of addressing the issue. Slowness in the fulfilment of God's promise, her impatience and the fact that she wanted to take over control compounded the matter and propelled her into action. Rather than wait, trusting in God's ability to perform what He had promised, she forced the pace and birthed the promise into reality. Based on her own timetable and depending on her own strength - instead of leaning on God's word - she was proud that God's promise had come true. That was the beginning of Sarah's problems.
Hagar once Sarah's maid, became her rival, and there was no peace thereafter. "She despised (looked down, hated) her mistress." (Genesis 16:4) And who does Sarah blame for this? Abraham. "You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering: I put my servant in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me." (verse 5). Sarah started mistreating Hagar until she was obliged to leave. When we operate outside the will of God, we invite only trouble and problems upon ourselves.
We may be all excited and enthused to do the will of God but did we consult with Him in the first instance? Are we working in our own strength or according to God's will? To know and walk in God's will, it is in our interest to consult Him and lean on His word, the Bible. Then shall ". we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)
God took Sarah's dead womb and brought it back to life at ninety years - at a time when she and Abraham had given up on His word. They had said they couldn't wait. Both of them had ruled out the chances of God's divine action ever materialising. In life, if we put God's word first, we can be sure every other thing - our hopes, needs and wishes will be taken care of in a way that would beat our imagination. (Matthew 6:33)
In the dark days of our existence, when we have a burning desire for God to hear us, let us be certain He has not forgotten us. God wants us to know how much we rely on Him for our daily needs so he could get us to a height where we would rely on Him for greater exploits.
time, Isaac, the child of promise was born out of Sarah's womb. Great was her
joy! "Sarah said, 'God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about
this will laugh with me.'(Incidentally that is the meaning of Isaac - laughter)
And she added, 'Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children?
Yet I have borne him a son in his old age." (Genesis 21:6-7) In the