Who was Sarah in the Bible? It is so intriguing to learn about the women behind the men who make history. Abraham was the father of many nations, but who was his wife who would be the mother to them? The story of Sarah in the Bible is a very interesting one with some twists and turns. But in the end, we see God’s love and faithfulness weaved into her life. Let us take a look into the Bible to see who this woman named Sarah was and what we can learn from her life.
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Who Was Sarah in the Bible?
Sarah was not only Abraham’s wife, but she was also his half-sister. They shared the same father who was Terah from the Ur of the Chaldeans. She is first introduced in the Bible as Sarai. What we know of her while she was still Sarai was that she was unable to become pregnant and that she was very beautiful. After God changed her name to Sarah, she had given birth to her first child, a son named Isaac, when she was 90 years old.
Meaning of Sarah in the Bible?
The meaning of Sarah’s name in the Bible is “princess/noblewoman/woman of strength.” As one of Israel’s matriarchs, her name change to Sarah indicated a new promise that she would be the mother of many nations. Sarah is simply a different form of the same Hebrew word of her former name, Sarai, with Sarai being the possessive form of Sarah. But just the one change in a letter made a huge difference in her destiny.
5 Facts About Sarah From the Bible?
Here are some interesting facts about Sarah from the Bible that I uncovered during my study.
- Sarah was the only woman in the Bible whose name was changed by God.
- Sarah was 90 years old when she had her only son, Isaac.
- She was not only Abraham’s wife but also his half-sister, whose beauty was admired even by royalty.
- Sarah believed that God would bless her and Abraham as the mother and father of many nations, but she tried to assist God in fulfilling this promise which resulted in unfavorable circumstances.
- Even though Sarah made mistakes, Hebrews 11:11 commends her for having faith that God would keep His promise.
Story of Sarah in the Bible Summary?
Sarah is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 11:29, but with the name Sarai. She is described as Abram’s wife and Terah’s daughter-in-law, although Terah was also her father.
One interesting fact that is shared about her early on is that she was unable to become pregnant and had no children. This seems like a random tidbit to share about someone, especially if you are just introducing them. But it will later serve as important background information as to God’s redemption and faithfulness in her life.
In Genesis 12 the LORD tells Sarah’s husband Abraham (Abram at that time) to leave Haran and settle in Canaan. It was then that the Lord promised Abraham that he will make him into a great nation. A severe famine struck Canaan forcing Abraham and Sarah to go to Egypt.
It was in Egypt when Abraham failed to tell the whole truth about Sarah being his wife for fear of his own life. Sarah’s beauty was noticed by palace officials and she was taken to Pharaoh’s court. But God rescues Sarah by sending plagues on Pharaoh and his household which causes him to realize that Sarah is actually Abraham’s wife. So he sends them both out of the country.
All we hear about Sarah in Genesis 13 is that her family separates from Lot’s family and they settle at a place named Hebron. Fast forward to chapter 16 and we learn about Sarah’s doubts and disobedience.
Because God had not given them an heir yet she decided to convince her husband to sleep with their servant, Hagar. After Hagar becomes pregnant, enmity builds between the two women, and Sarah treats her so harshly that Hagar runs away. Hagar returns after an encounter with God in the wilderness and eventually gives birth to Ishmael.
Genesis 17 is the beginning of the transition from barren to blessed. This is where we see God changing Abram’s name to Abraham and Sarai’s name to Sarah. God tells Abraham that Sarah will become the mother of many nations and kings of nations will be among her descendants. God also shares when Sarah will give birth and what to name the child.
The LORD appears to Abraham once again in Genesis 18 in the form of three men. While Sarah is preparing food for the men, one of them says that about the same time next year Sarah will have a son.
She hears this conversation and laughs to herself thinking how could she and her husband bear children at such an old age. When one of the men questioned Abraham why Sarah laughed, she lied and out of fear denied doing it.
In Genesis 20, we see Abraham again withholding information that Sarah is his wife for fear of his life. She was taken into the courts of King Abimelech, but God protected her and prevented the King from sinning against Him.
The next chapter, Genesis 21, is God’s promise fulfilled. She became pregnant and gave birth to Isaac when she was 90 old and Abraham was 100 years old. But this is not the end of Sarah’s ill-treatment towards her servant Hagar.
When she had seen Ishamel make fun of her son Isaac, she demanded to her husband to get rid of them both from the house. The end of her life is written in Genesis 23 where it shares that she died at the age of 127 years old at a place called Hebron.
What Can We Learn from Sarah in the Bible?
So, what can we learn from the life of Sarah? Here are 5 lessons from Sarah in the Bible that we can apply to our lives.
God is faithful even when we are faithless
All throughout the Bible, we see God as a promise-keeping God. Even when both Sarah and Abraham lacked the faith that God would bless them with a child, He fulfilled His promise to them despite their disobedience. Thankfully, His faithfulness is not determined by ours. Knowing Him as faithful gives us trust and peace that His purposes and promises will always happen.
Our response reveals our character
Because God is all-knowing, when He asks a question, He already knows the answer. So why ask in the first place? The answer reveals who we are and what we believe. When Sarah lied about laughing, it revealed the fear in her heart to expose her true self. How do you respond to different situations in your life? Your response exposes the truth.
Sometimes we will hate the consequences of sin more than the sin itself
Throughout the Bible, we see the command to hate evil. But when our hearts are not right, sometimes we only hate the consequences of sin more than sin itself. After Sarah, in her moment of doubt and desperation, told her husband to sleep with her servant, the consequences of this act of disobedience were too much for her to handle.
Instead of humbly acknowledging her wrong, she blamed her husband and treated her servant and the servant’s son with malice. When we are not repentant of our sins, we are not able to make peace with those who have been affected by our wrongdoings.
God’s timing is very different from ours
Can I get an amen for this? Many times, we know the what, sometimes we know the how, but very few times we will know the when. Trusting in God’s timing is a struggle that many of us go through and surely what Sarah experienced.
She had to wait for so long that it did not seem even physically possible for her to receive what God had promised for her life. But God did appoint a time to bless Sarah and it was not when anyone had thought it would be. If you are still waiting on a promise from God in your life, just remember that it is never too late, and you are never too old to receive and enjoy what He wants to give you.
Nothing is impossible with God
We say we know this, but when we are put in situations where our faith is tested, can we really say then that nothing is impossible with God? At first, Sarah saw her inability to conceive as a blockage to God’s promise.
Then she believed that her age determined whether or not God could still bless her with a son. But God has proven Himself over and over again that nothing is too difficult for Him. He is the all-powerful, Almighty, Creator of the universe. Sarah’s story is a reminder that nothing is impossible with God despite the circumstances that surround us.
Characteristics of Sarah in the Bible
Even though Sarah made some mistakes in her faith journey, it was God’s goodness and faithfulness that took her to a place she could not have even asked for or imagined.
From doubting that God would bless her with a son, to becoming a mother of nations, her life is proof and encouragement that God keeps His promises. Our walk with God will not be perfect, but if we continue to put our trust in Him, then we will see Him make the impossible become possible.
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