group

'Week 1
 Matriarchs:
 Hope'


Thursday Reflection

3rd December 2020


'one of my favourite women'


Although the focus
of this week is on
the Patriarchs,
we must not forget
that there are women
in the story too.

Sarah,
Abraham's wife,
has a character
all of her own.

She, Rebekah and Rachel
and, coming later,
Ruth,
are not just
afterthoughts in the story.

They are an integral
part of it -
and there are many
other women who
figure as well.

God does not just
work through great men -
a common enough
idea at the time,
and since then too -
but through great
women as well.

Sarah is my one
of my favourite women
in the Bible.

Flawed but faithful,
she is an
inspiration to all.

Right after Eve,
she is the next woman
mentioned by name
in the Bible.

The daughter of a wealthy
Chaldean tribesman
named Terah
she married Abram,
her half-brother
and left her family,
her wealth and position
to follow her crazy husband
to "a land God
would show him."
(1,426 miles),
She willingly obeyed.
She was courageous.

She plays an important role
in the history of salvation,
even though she initially
doubts God's plan for her.

Strange as it might seem
at first sight,
Sarah's most well-known
attribute is her untimely
sense of humour.

Sarah's name means "princess".

In Genesis Sarah's
was first named,
"Sarai," which in Hebrew
means "my lady"
or "my princess."

Then God named her "Sarah,"
a similar Hebrew name
meaning "lady,"
"princess," or
"noblewoman."

The journey to this
new home was
difficult for Sarai.

Searing heat and
famine almost destroyed
their family.
Abram and his entourage
took a detour to pagan Egypt.
It was a risky move
for any nomad.

Sarai's next test was
to lie for Abram
to Pharaoh.

She was beautiful
and Abram willingly
offered Sarai
to the powerful
Egyptian ruler.

He knew Sarai was
beautiful
and he feared
Pharaoh would want her
as his wife
and just take her.

Sarai obeyed Abram;
though she must have been
fearful and hid in
Pharaoh's harem.
She trusted God
even when her husband
didn't protect her.

Sarai, like all of us,
often faltered in her faith.

God promised to make
Abram the
"father of many nations"
(Gen. 17:4)
but she was barren,
a shameful thing to be
in that society.

When God approached
Abraham and Sarah about
giving birth to a son,
both laughed hysterically.

Abraham, "fell on his face
and laughed" while Sarah,
"laughed to herself"
and even tried to deny it.

She should know better
to try to fool God
who said to her,
"No, but you did laugh."

Did that really mean
that she, Sarah,
would give birth
to a son who would
become a father of
this multitude
of descendants?

Sarah waited for an
unfulfilled promise
for decades.

Had God forgotten her?

Abram, her husband
had heard God speak,
but Sarah had to trust
her husband's divine revelations -
but nothing had happened.

So, like most devious,
or desperate, women,
Sarah took the situation
into her own hands
and gave Abram
her maidservant Hagar
to produce a son,
which was customary
in her society.

Sarah grew impatient
and ran ahead of God.

She was 90 years old
when gave birth to a son,
they named him Isaac,
which means "laughter."

Sarah lived to be
127 years old
and her burial is the
first one to be mentioned
in the Bible.

She is buried in the
"Cave of the Patriarchs"
and traditions says
that both Abraham and Sarah
(as well as Isaac and
Rebekah and
Jacob and Leah)
are buried there.

Her tomb is still
venerated today.
It's a beautiful,
peaceful place located
in the heart of the
Old City of Hebron
on the West Bank.

What can we learn
from Sarah's life?

She was courageous
and obedient,
to her husband and God;
but she was impatient,
not willing to wait
on the promises of God.

She was also jealous
and rather vindictive;
when Hagar's son Ishmael
grew to be stronger
and fitter than Isaac,
she made Abraham
send them both away.

Do any of these attributes
resonate with us?
How can we enhance
the good and improve
on the not so good?



Blessings
Maureen