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Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Cry of Sarah

Genesis 15:2-4
But Abram said, “O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.”

Genesis 16:1-2
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram agreed to what Sarai said.

Genesis 17:1, 15-21
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.”

God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of many nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
Abraham fell face down; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety? And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing?
Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.”

I know I have shared something in this line before, but permit me to discuss it again. The first scripture shared above gives us insight into how Abram approached God in his request for a child. In Genesis 25:12 we read that Isaac prayed to God on behalf of his wife because she was barren and God answered. But Abram approached God because he didn’t have an heir to take over his estate. Now this is Abraham and Isaac asking God for the same thing with different approaches, and although both of them received answers to their requests, the time of manifestation was different. Immediately Isaac prayed God answered and his wife Rebekah became pregnant and we read that the babies jostled each other within her.
But with Abraham it was not so. He waited another 25years or so before the covenant child finally arrived at the age of 100years. So I am tempted to conclude that Abraham’s request was delayed because his approach was wrong; his wife Sarai was not included in his request before the Lord. Abraham prayed because he wanted an heir, but what about Sarai and the pain and agony of barrenness that she was going through? Shouldn’t that be a cause for concern for Abraham and shouldn't that be a thing worth praying to God for?
Now I am beginning to understand why Peter would say to the husbands that they should be considerate to their wives and treat them with respect as their weaker partner so that nothing will hinder their prayers (1 Peter 3:7). I am beginning to think that probably it was because of the fact that Abraham did not put in his wife into consideration when asking for a child from the Lord that the answer to his prayer was delayed.
So as a man, that big issue you are presenting to God for approval and delivery, do you have the concerns of your wife included in the request sheet. If not I will encourage you to withdraw the request and represent it with your wife’s concerns included in your presentation.
Another issue that made my heart bleed in the marriage story of Abraham and Sarah is found in Genesis 16. In that passage we read that Sarah on coming to terms with the fact that she could not give Abraham the child he longed for, she offered him her maidservant. My deep thought on this is that Sarah was mindful of Abraham’s feeling. She was beginning to feel the hit of not having a child for her husband; she realized how much a child meant to Abraham and how desperately he wanted one and so she put her own feelings on hold. She forgot herself and placed her husband’s feelings as a priority. She accepted the blame and took responsibility for the situation at hand (even though it was not her doing), and thought up a solution even though it was at the expense of her her own joy and peace in marriage. She had to give up her husband in exchange for a child just to make him happy.
And the Bible tells us that Abraham agreed. He agreed without even thinking of the effect that proposal would have on his marriage and the happiness of his wife who he was meant to love and protect. As far as Abraham was concerned, what Sarah felt or didn’t feel didn’t matter as long as that option would likely give him the child he wanted. And still Abraham was a man who loved and feared the Lord; so even men of God are not exempted from these flaws. The fact that you are a pastor in church does not translate to the fact that you love your wife and are considerate with her or treat her with respect.
But if you want speedy answers to those prayers of yours from God then make sure that you put your wife’s perceptive in view as you make your presentation to God. If God delayed Abraham’s prayers for this reason and didn’t excuse his ignorance, then be sure He won’t excuse yours too. And so we see God coming to issue a warning to Abraham in Genesis 17:1 and God said to Abraham, “I am God Almighty, walk before me and be blameless.”
But the Lord in His faithfulness would not allow faithful and selfless Sarah go to her grave barren. Abraham now had a son, so that request had been removed from the presence of God. But there remains the cry of Sarah, the submissive, faithful and selfless wife of Abraham and the stigmatization of barrenness that she carried on her as a woman and wife. And God visited again with a promise to give Abraham a child and this time through Sarah at a good old age of 100 and 90years respectively. And because Abraham now had a child, without much thought for who bore him the child, simple told God not to worry any longer and just bless the child he had from his wife's maidservant. And you wonder again if Abraham had it in mind that his wife was carrying on the stigma of barrenness or was it that he just didn’t care how or what she felt?
But Sarah had proved herself faithful, if Abraham didn’t see it, God saw it and knew that all her efforts must not go unrewarded. And so God brought about for Sarah what He alone could bring about in her life; she had a child for Abraham her husband at the age of 90. And Isaac was no ordinary child; he was the fulfillment of God’s covenant to Abraham and his descendants after him. At that time Sarah was loved again by her husband, her pride and dignity was restored and her joy multiplied and Isaac became a child that Abraham loved to the point of worship. And the true heir to all of Abraham’s estate was birth by the covenant, faithful and selfless wife Sarah.
If as a husband you have read this and thought that truly Abraham was not a model husband, then I want you to search yourself if in your marriage you are doing any better than Abraham did. What priority have you placed on your wife’s feelings and pains? What sacrifices has she made for you that you have allowed to go unnoticed and unappreciated? These are areas that could probably be eating up the peace of your marriage and home. When you sow the seed of happiness and joy in your wife, you can be sure that it will germinate and multiply for you in multiples of what you have sown.
For whatever sacrifices your wife makes in making you happy, even if you don’t acknowledge or reward her, God will reward her irrespective of you like He did for Sarah. But it will be more rewarding for you if you make the effort at putting your wife and her feelings first in your priority list. This is a seed that when you sow, it is bound to germinate for you such that you reap a multiple of what was sown.
May the Lord bless our homes.

2 comments:

  1. Well Aderinsola. A beautiful work you have here. I'm also tempted like you to comment on this.I see little feminism in your write, though i understand what you try to preach. Because,saying that father Abraham was more interested in self might cause some uproar around. When Abraham was asking, he had one wife and also understands, she is the only means God will want to bless him through.Today, we write and talk about sarah Because they was Abraham. I think you should make this write up a book, but not to the detriment of the Men. Praise the women, beautiful! But please dont Rob peter for paul. God bless you. Lawson Okereke

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  2. Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it. When you follow this blog and read some of the previous post you will see that there is a balance in the way marriage issues are approached here. Some women are of the mindset that I make it look like they have to do all the work in marriage. But overall we try to maintain a balance on both ends.

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