Sarai – The Proposal That Bears Fruit
Sarah was originally called “Sarai”, which means “Princess.” When God changed Sarai’s name to “Sarah,” he named her “The Princess” or “Queen,” linking her in co-rulership with her husband Abraham (formerly Abram), the “Father of Many Nations,” and including her in His covenant promise (Genesis 17:15-16).
- In faith that rises above personal limitations; and
- In a submitted spirit that responds biblically to her husband, without becoming depersonalized (1 Peter 3:5-6).
Sarah is also an illustration of the dangers of taking God’s promises into our own hands. Her suggestion that Abraham take her handmade as a wife, in view of Sarah’s barrenness, resulted in the birth of Ishmael – a child who occasioned jealousy and conflict between the two women, eventually between their two sons, and to this day, among their offspring.
Sarai Takes Charge
Shocking as her plan appears, Sarai didn’t come up with this on her own. An Assyrian marriage contract, dating from around 1900 BC, specified “if the wife does not give birth in two years, she will purchase a slave woman for the husband.” Still, no matter how common that solution was in her culture, Sarai was not of that culture. God had set apart Abram and Sarai. His promises were extended to no other man or woman on earth.
Sarai was a slightly bad girl, all right, married to a slightly bad boy who didn’t hesitate to follow her advice, “guided by reason and the voice of Sarai… not of the Lord.”
What Sarai went through to be a mother!
Had Sarai and Abram sought God’s help, surely the Lord would have responded. Instead, they pressed on with a desperate human solution rather than seek divine intervention.
What Lessons Can We Learn From Sarai?
For Those Who Love God, There Are No White Lies
When Abram begged Sarai, “Say you are my sister,” he was asking her to tell a white lie – a supposedly harmless lie meant to serve a useful purpose. But there’s nothing harmless about lying. God doesn’t want us to fib to save our necks or anyone else’s. If even those we love and trust ask us to speak dishonestly – “When so-and-so calls, say “I’m not here” or “Tell our accountant that trip was a business expense” – we can respectfully decline and seek a better solution that meets their needs yet honors God.
What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ’s body we’re all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself.
Ephesians 4:25 (MSG)
Know When It’s Time For A New Wardrobe
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.
Colossians 3:12The Message (MSG)
Trusting In The Lord Is The Best Plan
When our patience runs out, trust often goes along with it. We give up on God ever answering our prayers and start looking for quick fixes. We stop listening to the advice of others and make quick, often regrettable decisions. Sarai displayed many commendable traits, but her take-charge-rather-than-trust-God plan was not one of them. Let’s lift a page from her life and turn it upside down: depending on God rather than seeking easy solutions, and observing wise counsel rather than charging ahead without counting the cost.
Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
Proverbs 3:5Amplified Bible (AMP)
Tempers Are Safest When Tempered
Tempered steel is heated, and then cooled to make the metal become stronger. When our tempers flare, as Sarai’s did with both Hagar and Abram, we can try quenching our anger with cold truth.
What are we really so hot about?
Are we too focused on the weaknesses of others to see our own faults?
Is some deep-seated disappointment from the past interfering with our ability to act fairly now?
Is our anger righteous or sparked by nothing more than pride and envy?
In the heat of the moment, let’s pause long enough for our tempers to cool, knowing we will be stronger for the effort… and won’t send others running for safety.
We’re blasted by anger and swamped by rage,
but who can survive jealousy?
Proverbs 27:4 (MSG)