Milk and Honey Magazine article highlighting Sarah, the Genesis character from the Bible! Women in the Bible are precious!

Bible Spotlight: Who Was Sarah?

M&H Staff

Whether you’re trying something new, enduring the grind of the everyday, or facing something you never imagined would come your way, life can be overwhelming and sometimes even scary. When that happens, how do you live brave? How do you learn to become a woman of courage? Who do you turn to as examples or mentors?

The new Women of Courage devotional by Mary Carver highlights women of the Bible who have been there, trusted God, and seen His faithfulness! Here's a taste of the devotional, breaking down the strength of Sarah, a Bible character from the Book of Genesis!


Meet Sarah!

Abraham and Sarah believed in God. How could they not, when He spoke directly to Abraham? Perhaps that intimacy of conversation is what emboldened them to speak so freely with and about the Lord, outright questioning His proclamation that they would have a baby. Both times God promised Sarah would have a baby, a son whose descendants would fill the earth, she doubted. She knew her body was “worn out and old,” and the thought of it creating and nurturing a baby was simply too much for her to comprehend.

Even with the benefit of Scripture and hindsight that we have today, it is difficult for us to understand why God kept Sarah barren for so long, only to bless her with a baby in her nineties. A pregnancy in the prime of her childbearing years would not have been unusual; no disbelief would have needed to be suspended in that case. It would simply have been life as normal. 

But to believe a promise for decades, in the face of devastating infertility? That was not normal. And to have a baby when her hair was gray and her skin was wrinkled, when her body was not equipped to conceive or feed a baby? Definitely unusual! Without the Lord and His mysterious ways, Sarah and Abraham might not have learned the invaluable lessons of trust and hope. 

The Lord said, “I will certainly come back to you in about a year’s time, and your wife Sarah will have a son!” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him.

Abraham and Sarah were old and getting on in years. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. So she laughed to herself: “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I have delight?”

But the Lord asked Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Can I really have a baby when I’m old?’ Is anything impossible for the Lord? At the appointed time I will come back to you, and in about a year she will have a son.”

Sarah denied it. “I did not laugh,” she said, because she was afraid.

But he replied, “No, you did laugh.” (Genesis 18: 10-15)

When Sarah heard that she was going to have a child, she laughed. She probably didn’t mean to; it was likely a reaction to the preposterous thought that after all these years, after everything they’d gone through, after all the disappointment, she would finally have a baby. Hope is a dangerous thing, after all. It makes you vulnerable as you dare to believe the impossible, as you accept that you may see the blessings you’ve been promised. 

Sarah was almost 90 years old, and she had likely let her hope for a child die over and over again throughout her life. But when the Lord came to visit Abraham and told him Sarah would have a child within the year, Sarah had permission to hope again. Her situation was hard. Both she and her husband were old and worn out. Yet, once again, she clung to hope and the promise God had made to Abraham. As dangerous as it was, her hope was worth it. And in the end, God was right. The lineage that came from Abraham and Sarah grew into a small people group that would eventually give way to the Messiah, who would bring in far more people into the family through his work on the cross.   

What are you hoping for today? What is that thing that you’re too afraid to even name, that wish or dream or desire you’ve buried so deep that you scarcely even remember it (at least during the day)? Perhaps it’s the thing that keeps you awake at night or sneaks into your dreams. Perhaps it pops up when you hear that song or smell that flower or see that road sign. What hope feels most dangerous to your heart and mind, to your faith in a good God and loving Father?

Dare to hope that God will answer you according to his good purposes. Breathe out nervous laughter if you must, but breathe in certainty that God loves you. Rest in the knowledge that God answers your prayers every time, and that his response to them is always good. Dare to believe that God hears your cries and feels your pain today, just as He heard the cries of a weary world before sending His Son to fulfill every promise. Dare to trust that His plan is the best one, better than you can even imagine. Dare to hope, against all evidence and doubts and what seems to be true. Dare to hope that God is who He says He is, that He’ll do what He says He’ll do. Dare to hope like Sarah.

Order the new Women of Courage devotional by Mary Carver to read about more women Bible characters!