Friday, November 4th, 2016
Suffering (Part 39)
Jumping The Gun: Sarai
Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; so she said to Abram, 'The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.'
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Then Sarai said to Abram, 'You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me.'
Genesis 16:1-5 (NIV)
Watching Olympic track and field events, I groaned when the runners made a false start. Because it meant disqualification. Was their biggest moment lost forever, because they rushed the clock and jumped the gun?
Sarai's false start came about more slowly. While God promised Abram abundant heirs (as numerous as the stars in heaven), decades would pass before her conception. During that prolonged waiting period, Sarai jumped ahead with her own false start--resulting in the birth of Ishmael.*
While God didn't disqualify Sarai, many suffered from her rash decision to push in front of God's perfect timing. Nevertheless, these powerful seniors received a miracle in Isaac's birth, setting up a more miraculous Birth: Namely Jesus, Who would follow later.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If you've gotten tired of the waiting, if you think God has forgotten you, if your starring roles don't seem to come, if you're wondering what you should do, then learn from Sarai's biggest mistake and God's even bigger forgiveness.
'Those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary' (Isaiah 40:31).**
But if you hurried and made false stars, precipitous decisions that hurt, so did Sarai and look at her now. She's your spiritual grandmother: a place of honor ordained by God. He will help you get to your place, too, if you stop rushing and learn to wait.
To Be Continued...
* Timeline from the start of Abraham and Sarah's journey (and the promise of God about Abraham being a prolific father) until Isaac's birth. http://www.harpscrossing.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Timeline-From-Abram-to-Exodus.pdf
** Verses about waiting on God: http://www.openbible.info/topics/waiting_on_god
** More Verses about waiting on God: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Waiting-On-God
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.