We hear about how God used Abraham to establish the nation of Israel through whom the Messiah would come, and we hear how Abraham’s faith helped accomplish this. We also hear about Abraham’s faults, and how God accomplished His will through Abraham in spite of them. But do you know that God used Sarah in the same way? She also was used to establish the nation of Israel, and her faith was also instrumental in achieving this. And like Abraham, God accomplished His will through Sarah in spite of her faults.
Here is a brief overview of her life. To learn more about her read Genesis 16 and 21.
Today’s New International Version
Genesis 17:15-16 – Sarah is a woman who was unable to have children. Yet God promises to give her a son and that she will become the mother of nations. Notice how God says “I will bless her…”.
15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
Genesis 21:1-3 – Sarah gives birth to Isaac through whom the nation of Israel will come, and through Israel the Messiah. Notice how it says “and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised”.
1 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 21:8-12 – It was through Isaac, Sarah’s son that the nation of Israel would be established. God uses Sarah to ensure that it is through her son, and not through Abraham’s other son that this happens. Although Sarah’s attitude isn’t perfect, God still uses her to accomplish this purpose.
8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”
11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your servant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.
Hebrews 11:11 –Sarah is used as an example of faith. Notice how the author of Hebrews says “because she considered him faithful who had made the promise”.
11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.
And even though Sarah had faults, such as abusing Hagar, we find God working to redeem the effects of her mistakes. Because Sarah abuses her Hagar runs away, yet God meets Hagar while she is running away. After Hagar’s experience with God she has this to say, something that continues to inspire people to this day that God sees them in their time of need.
Genesis 16:13 – 13 She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
Through it all, whether through her faith or her faults, God uses Sarah’s life to accomplish His will in bringing about the nation of Israel, and through Israel, the Messiah. And in the end, because she believed, she is used as an example of faith.
Sarah’s life is an example of what faith can accomplish, in spite of human faults. It shows how God uses us to accomplish great things, in spite of the mistakes we make.