Did You Know That Both Sarai & Sarah Mean Princess?
(Continuing to Abraham) As for Sarai, your wife, the covenant applies to her as well. No longer will she be known as Sarai; her new name will be Sarah. She will receive My special blessing, and she will conceive a son by you. With My blessing on her, she will become the founding princess of nations to come. Kings of many peoples will be counted among her children.
The Scriptures tell us that names matter. What we call people and places often describes and defines them in ways other kinds of words do not. People’s names may recall the circumstances of their birth or reflect their character or perhaps depict their destiny. God changes Abram’s name to Abraham to signify that he will become the founding father of many nations. The change in Sarah’s name is a bit more complicated because both “Sarai” and “Sarah” mean “princess.” Still the name “Sarah” becomes her covenant-name, the name by which generations know her. As the wife of Abraham’s youth and old age, Sarah is destined to become the founding princess of many nations, a royal mother to many kings.
Then Abraham fell on his face and erupted into laughter in a moment of private absurdity, as he thought to himself, “Yeah, right! How can a centenarian father a child? Am I supposed to believe that Sarah, my 90-year-old wife, is going to have a baby?”
Genesis 17:15-17 (VOICE)
Matthew Henry’s Commentary says that Sarai meant “my princess,” while Sarah meant “princess of a multitude.” This reflects that Sarah would not only have children but a multitude of people would come from her. This certainly came to pass.
This is the first very clear explanation to Abraham that Sarah was the woman who would give birth to this promised seed.
We must not minimize the place of Sarah in God’s great plan of salvation. Like her husband (and all of us), she had her faults; but also like her husband, she trusted God and accomplished His purposes (Heb. 11:11). She is not only the mother of the Jewish nation (Isa. 51:2) but also a good example for Christian wives to follow (1 Peter 3:1-6). The Christian husband should treat his wife like a princess, because that is what she is in the Lord.
Three different occasions of laughter are associated with Isaac’s birth: Abraham laughed for joy when he heard his wife would give birth to the promised son; Sarah laughed in unbelief when she heard the news (18:9-15); and Sarah laughed for joy when the boy was born (21:6-7). The name Isaac means “he laughs.”
Motherhood should be highly esteemed, and the birth of a baby welcomed with joy. While God does not call all women to marry, or all married women to bear children, He does have a special concern for both mothers and children (Ps. 113:9; 127:3-5; Matt. 19:14). In a selfish society, too many people see motherhood as a barrier and children as a burden. In fact, some people consider children such a burden that they destroy them before they have an opportunity to become a blessing.
The womb of the mother is a holy of holies where God is at work (Ps. 139:13-18). How tragic that we turn that womb into a tomb, that holy of holies into a holocaust.
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