Your wife Sarah shall bear you a son. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him. (Gen 17:19)
Prepare to Listen. Light the 1st purple candle and be still and silent for however long it takes. Pray: Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually.
Prayerfully Read Genesis 18:9-15
9They said to him, ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ And he said, ‘There, in the tent.’ 10Then one said, ‘I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. 11Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ‘After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?’ 13The LORD said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, and say, “Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?” 14Is anything too wonderful for the LORD? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.’ 15But Sarah denied, saying, ‘I did not laugh’; for she was afraid. He said, ‘Oh yes, you did laugh.’
Sarah laughed. Who wouldn’t? She was old and incapable of bearing a child. Even Abraham laughed in disbelief when God told him that Sarah would conceive (17:16ff). Did Abraham ever tell Sarah what God promised them? If not, this was the first time she heard about it. We can’t fault her for laughing in disbelief. We’d laugh too.
Despite her laugh, God revealed a great truth. It’s the same truth Mary learned when she wondered how a virgin could conceive. The angel said, “nothing will be impossible with God” (Lk 1:37). Sarah heard it as a question from God: “Is anything too wonderful [i.e., impossible] for the LORD?” It’s a question we too must consider and answer. And, as Brueggemann notes, “how it is answered determines everything else.”  If we believe some things are too hard for God, then our God is too small and we’ll refuse to believe God’s radical freedom to be God as God chooses to be God. If we answer, ‘nothing is impossible for God,’ it means we’ve accepted God’s freedom to be God and rejected our attempts to act as god; we’ll accept that the world and all that is in it belongs to God and no other. We’ll fully entrust ourselves to be God, whatever that involves.
Sarah’s story is left unresolved. She denies laughing and the LORD said, ‘Oh yes, you did laugh.’ Did she believe then? We don’t know. We do know that her laugh of disbelief didn’t stop the LORD from keeping the promise. Sarah gave birth to a son, Jesus’ ancestor.
How will you answer the LORD’s question today? Your answer is in how you live.
Respond in Prayer
Almighty Lord, help me grow in believing that you are free to be God as you choose to be God so that I live in complete trust in you. Amen.
Live Obediently. Reflect on your answer to God’s question.
 Brueggemann, Walter. Genesis. Atlanta, GA: John Knox Press. 1982, p. 159.
Leave a Reply.
Reading my Bible has been central in my life since I received my first Bible at 8 years of age. My decades of reading, studying and teaching the Bible gives my devotions a unique and enriching perspective. Reflecting on Jesus' family tree enriched my understanding of Jesus and the salvation he offers.