Saturday, March 4, 2017

Sarah, Why You Gotta Be so Rude? Don't You Know its God's Word? (Genesis 18:10-15)

One of them said, ‘I’m coming back about this time next year. When I arrive, your wife Sarah will have a son.’ Sarah was listening at the tent opening, just behind the man. Abraham and Sarah were only by this time, very old. Sarah was far past the age for having babies. Sarah laughed within herself, ‘An old woman like me? Get pregnant? With this old man of a husband?’ God said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh saying, ‘Me? Have a baby? An old woman like me?’ Is anything too hard for God? I’ll be back about this time next year and Sarah will have a baby.’ Sarah lied. She said, ‘I didn’t laugh,’ because she was afraid. But he said, ‘Yes, you did; you laughed.’”
(Genesis 18:10-15, The Message)

It was the hottest part of the day, nobody travel at that time. But three strangers showed up at the tent of Abraham and Sarah beneath the oaks of Mamre (Genesis 1:1). Abraham must have recognized them as angels – the manifestation of God, “God appeared to Abraham” – for he run out to meet them and bowed down before them. Abraham insisted that they stop awhile and rest in the cooler shade of the oak trees and wash their feet. He called Sarah to prepare bread for the visitors while he selected the best calf to slaughter and cook for his honorary guests. This is MEH… Middle-East hospitality!

When they had eaten, the visitors made an astonishing announcement: within a year, Sarah would give birth to “a son.” So specific. Male. One year. A son. But behind the visitors, someone was laughing. Sarcastic laugh? Laugh of unbelief? Laugh with a touch of mockery? Maybe all of it. It was an old woman’s laugh – Sarah’s. That was rude.

As if the visitors were pissed off, one of them asked, “Why did you laugh?” Surely they understood why she laughed. The thought of a 90-year-old woman giving birth was ridiculous. Rude, yes; but understandable (I wonder if Abraham ever smile when he heard this news too, or might learned his lesson in chapter 18?). But the visitors, the angels, the messengers were serious. God was serious. God thinks higher than us… He always uses the foolish and the weak things of the world to shame the wise and the strong. Sarah would soon see that nothing is too hard – or too ridiculous – for God. The question that the visitor asked Abraham and Sarah that day is the same question that the Holy Spirit is asking us now: Is anything too hard for God? Actually, it’s a statement: Nothing is impossible to God.


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