I grew up playing sports. Being the youngest of four with two older brothers, you can bet that we had some fierce competitions. I love to win, but more importantly, I love playing the game. It’s never fun to lose, but its like pouring salt in the wound when your team loses and you didn’t even get to play in the game OR you were benched during the game. I took myself out of the game by my actions or attitude, but most of the time, it was both.
This whole series revolves around the scripture in Hebrews 12:1 – 3, where the writer of Hebrews is encouraging us to run the race of life with endurance and every week we have been taking lessons from the lives of those who have gone before us, so that we can be encouraged to continue running the race of life. In our ride along with Sarah, she would tell us – God’s not done with you.
We first meet Sarah, who is called Sarai in the book of Genesis chapter 11, verses 29 and 30. Sarai has little to no value by the world’s standard. The biggest thing a wife brought to the table was the ability to bear children, especially males to carry on the father’s line. More so, one of God’s first commandments to Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:28 is “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it.”
Simply put, Abram wanted to have kids; the world expected Sarai to have kids, and God said to have kids and lots of them, but Sarai was unable. For the majority of Abraham and Sarah’s story, we find Sarah barren, in the margins, and mostly forgotten.
In Genesis 12 - Abram is called by the Lord to move from the place of his birth to the land of Canaan. God tells Abram “To your offspring I will give this land…”
In the second half of Genesis 12, there is a famine in the land and Abram and Sarai travel to Egypt. Before they arrive in Egypt, Abram tells Sarai, “You are really beautiful and the Egyptians will want to kill me so they can have you, so when we get there tell them you are my sister.” Sarai does what is asked of her and so, Pharaoh takes Sarai as his wife. Abram is blessed with sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys and camels, God sends a plague (A little foreshadowing), Pharaoh gives Sarai back to Abram and sends them on their way.
Genesis 13 and 14 Lot, Abram and Sarai’s nephew, separates from them because their riches and flocks are too great for the land to support them. After some time, Lot was taken captive in the middle of the war, so Abram takes 318 of his trained men to go rescue Lot. We read this and cheer on Abram for his warrior mentality and for rescuing Lot, but we fail to realize that Abram left Sarai, his wife, all alone. The estranged male nephew has more family value than the barren wife. In Genesis 15, God enters into a covenant with Abram; promising him as many children as the stars in the sky.