Abraham and Sarah, the dangerous journey from faith to frustration

Genesis Trust the Lord and wait upon Him.

Lessons in life from Abraham and Sarah

I. The Promise from God. (Given to them at advanced age)

Genesis 12:1-5 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife… (65 years old)

Genesis 13:15-16 For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.

II. The Patience needed.

(No timetable given, expected to remain faithful)

Genesis 15:2-6 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

In all of this we notice the testimony of Sarah, that she was faithful, obedient, and loyal. She followed Abraham when God directed them to leave the land of their birth. She was obedient to him when he feared for his life among the Egyptians. She was loyal to him, trusting his trust in God.
Note the testimony given to her –

1 Peter 3:6 Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

III. The Pressure to succeed.

Genesis 16:1b Now Sarai Abram’s wife bare him no children…..

IV. The Proposition of works. Genesis 16

Genesis 16:1b-5 ….and she had an handmaid, an Egyptian, whose name was Hagar. And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. And Sarai Abram’s wife took Hagar her maid the Egyptian, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife.

Sarah had become skeptical, impatient, waiting upon the Lord frustrated her and she replaced God’s plan with her own. She followed the custom of the culture and was not at fault as far as the world was concerned, but she rebelled against the plan of God and the Word of God.
Sarah became manipulative and took the role of leader in the family. Abraham submitted to her and they sinned against God.

V. The Problem of losing faith in God.

They should have sought the counsel of God instead of taking things upon themselves. God had answered them in the past when they sought His leadership. Because of their actions, Sarah became suspicious, jealous, accusative, harsh. She set a series of events in motion with long lasting effects.

A. The accusations of mistreatment.

Genesis 16:4-6 And he went in unto Hagar, and she conceived: and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her eyes. And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the LORD judge between me and thee. But Abram said unto Sarai, Behold, thy maid is in thy hand; do to her as it pleaseth thee. And when Sarai dealt hardly with her, she fled from her face.

1. From God “The Lord hath restrained me from bearing…”
2. From Hagar “…I was despised in her eyes…”
3. From Abraham. “…My wrong be upon thee…”

a. He should have kept her from this folly in the first place.
b. He should now discipline Hagar for her disrespect of Sarah.

B. The anxiety of Abraham.

1. He realized that they had done wrong.
2. He rejected taking responsibility for discipline in the family.
3. He requested that God change His plan to accept Ishmael as the heir.

Genesis 17:15-18 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her. Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

VII. The Plan of God fulfilled.

Genesis 21:1-7 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him. And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him. And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

We learn from Sarah that we should not lose faith in the plan of God for our lives. Take warning when we notice that we are changing from faith to frustration, from ministry of the Word to manipulation of those around us. We need to trust Him and keep on serving Him day by day. Do not try to do the right thing the wrong way! Remember the words of Jesus when we begin to think God will not accomplish His purpose in us –

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

About sjbjburke

I am an evangelist that enjoys Bible study and I look forward to posting outlines and receiving helpful comments. My wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in 2010 and we enjoy serving the Lord together.
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