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Lessons from The Life of Sarah in The Bible
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Lessons from The Life of Sarah in The Bible

Sarah is one of the most influential women in the Bible. As the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac, she plays a pivotal role in the story of God’s people. Though her life was not without faults and failures, there is much we can learn from studying the life of Sarah. In this blog post, we will examine key events and lessons from Sarah’s life, as recorded in the book of Genesis.

Introduction

Sarah lived during a major transitional period for the people of God. God called Abraham out of pagan idolatry in Ur to follow Him by faith. As Abraham’s wife, Sarah was brought along on this journey. Though Abraham is usually given top billing, Sarah played a hugely significant part as well.

Here are some key lessons we can take away from Sarah’s life:

  • The importance of trusting God’s promises
  • Learning to wait on God’s timing
  • Overcoming disappointment and barrenness
  • The peace of submission to God’s will
  • The value of hospitality and caring for others
  • Leaving a godly legacy for future generations

As we study Sarah’s life, it’s important we do so with humility and compassion. She was far from perfect and struggled to trust God at times. Yet He used her mightily despite her flaws. May her life inspire us to greater faith and obedience!

Lessons from the life of sarah in the bible

Sarah’s Background

Sarah’s birth name was Sarai. She was born in Ur of the Chaldeans, likely in what is now modern-day Iraq (Genesis 11:31). Though the Bible does not give us many details about her family and early life, we know that she was related to Abraham (Genesis 20:12).

At some point Sarai married Abram (later called Abraham) and became his wife. When God first called Abram to leave his homeland and follow Him by faith, Sarai came along. She left behind everything familiar and comfortable to accompany her husband on God’s appointed mission. This took tremendous courage and commitment on her part.

God’s Promises to Abram and Sarai

In Genesis 12, God makes some incredible promises to Abram:

“Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3)

This was a tall order for an elderly couple with no children! Yet Abram believed God and set out in faith. Sarai must have trusted God as well, as she left her homeland to follow her husband.

Years passed, but Sarai remained barren. How would God’s promises be fulfilled if they had no children?

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In Genesis 15, God makes another covenant with Abram, promising him offspring as numerous as the stars (Genesis 15:4-5). Genesis 16 records that Sarai became impatient waiting on God’s timing. She gave her servant Hagar to Abram in hopes of building a family through her. This only led to painful consequences, as Hagar eventually despised Sarai after becoming pregnant (Genesis 16:4-5).

Yet God’s purposes cannot be thwarted by man’s schemes! Thirteen years after His initial promise, God appears again to Abram:

“Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations…I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.” (Genesis 17:4, 6-7)

As a sign of His covenant, God changes Abram’s name to Abraham (meaning “father of many”) and Sarai’s name to Sarah (meaning “princess”). He promises that Sarah will bear Abraham a son, through whom God will establish His everlasting covenant (Genesis 17:15-19).

What an incredible gift after years of waiting! God mercifully renews His promise to bless the nations through this elderly, barren woman.

Sarah’s Reaction to the Promise of a Son

When three visitors come to Abraham and Sarah, they prophecy that Sarah will have a son within a year’s time (Genesis 18:10). Sarah overhears this and laughs to herself:

So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” (Genesis 18:12)

Given her advanced age and decades of barrenness, Sarah understandably responds with skepticism. The promise of a son seems improbable, even impossible.

When confronted by God about her laughter, Sarah initially denies it out of fear:

The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. (Genesis 18:13-15a)

Thankfully, God is gracious and merciful. He does not rebuke or discipline Sarah for her doubt. He simply reiterates His promise, despite her unbelief.

One year later, the Lord fulfilled His word and Sarah bore Abraham a son in his old age (Genesis 21:1-2). They named him Isaac, meaning “he laughs.” What a testament to God’s faithfulness! Even when we respond with doubt, He remains true to His word.

Sarah’s Peaceful Submission to God’s Will

One of the most poignant episodes in Sarah’s life comes in Genesis 22. God tests Abraham’s faith by commanding him to sacrifice Isaac on Mount Moriah. Abraham obeys God’sdifficult directive. At the last moment, the Angel of the Lord stops him and says:

“Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” (Genesis 22:12)

Isaac is spared but notice who is absent and silent through this entire narrative – Sarah. Nowhere do we read that she resisted, begged for her son, or accused Abraham of madness. Sarah had finally learned that Isaac belonged not to her, but to God. His purposes would stand, even when they surpassed her understanding.

Sarah’s peace speaks volumes. She surrendered Isaac completely to the Lord’s will, trusting God to remain faithful. For those of us who struggle to let go of our “Isaacs,” Sarah provides an inspiring example of submission.

The Value of Hospitality and Caring for Others

Hospitality is a lost art in many cultures today. Yet in the ancient world, caring for visitors was crucial. As nomads traveling in the desert, Abraham and Sarah relied on the kindness of strangers for survival.

Sarah understood this well. In Genesis 18, Abraham welcomes three mysterious visitors, who turn out to be the Lord and two angels. Abraham and Sarah provide generously for their guests, despite the extreme heat:

Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. (Genesis 18:6-8a)

The guests even inquire specifically after Sarah, and she is listening from inside the tent as they prophesy Isaac’s birth (Genesis 18:9-10). Sarah and Abraham’s hospitality paved the way for this miraculous pronouncement.

Likewise, we should look for opportunities to serve others. As Hebrews 13:2 reminds us:

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

We may encounter angels or even the Lord Himself when we care for others.

Sarah’s Complicated Legacy

No study of Sarah would be complete without acknowledging her mistakes. Though greatly used by God, she was far from perfect. We must not put Bible heroes on unrealistically high pedestals.

Sarah’s impatience led her to give Hagar to Abraham in an effort to “help God out.” When Hagar conceived Ishmael, Sarah responded harshly, eventually having her dismissed from the household (Genesis 16:6, 21:10). Sarah also oscillated between faith and doubt when promised a child in her old age.

However, the Bible still commends Sarah for her faith:

By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. (Hebrews 11:11)

Despite her faults, God entrusted Sarah with bearing His chosen son through whom the Messiah would one day come. Her motherhood in old age foreshadowed Mary’s miraculous virginal conception of Jesus.

Sarah is far from perfect, yet God uses her mightily. This gives hope to all of us. Our weaknesses and failures do not have to disqualify us from God’s purposes. When we submit our lives to Him in faith, He can use us in remarkable ways.

Conclusion

The life of Sarah provides many valuable lessons for believers today. Let’s have faith like Abraham and Sarah to step out and follow God’s calling, even when we don’t know exactly where it will lead. May we learn patience and trust as we wait for God’s promises to be fulfilled in His perfect timing.

Rather than giving way to doubt, anxiety or impatience, let’s find peace in God’s sovereignty like Sarah did with Isaac. Our children and loved ones ultimately belong to the Lord – may we surrender them fully to His will.

In a world focused on self-fulfillment, let us practice self-giving hospitality like Sarah, looking out for the needs of strangers we encounter. And when we inevitably stumble, may we take heart that our imperfections need not disqualify us from God’s purposes. Sarah’s life inspires us still today.

Through the legacy of faith embodied by Sarah and Abraham, God raised up a nation to be a blessing to all peoples of the earth. This nation brought forth the Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom all God’s covenant promises find their fulfillment. May the story of Sarah spur us on to greater faithfulness until Christ returns to fully establish God’s eternal kingdom!

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.