Daughters of Grace Series: Sarah
Last week we started a study from the Daily Grace Co. called Daughters of Grace. We talked about Eve, her story, her characteristics, and what we can learn from her life. This week we are talking about another influential woman in the Bible: Sarah.
If you would like a link to purchase the study we are reading from, click here. You may also head over to our Facebook Page and watch the live video from 12/7/21 if you would like to just listen to what the book reads and follow along.
I would also recommend you read Genesis chapter 11-23 to read the full story of Abraham and Sarah. It seems like a large amount to read, but Sarah's story is HUGE and has so many parts. I felt like it was important to read the entire story to get a good idea of who Sarah was. I would normally give a brief synopsis of the story but because it is such a long one, I'm going to just jump into the conversation questions.
The conversation questions are actually the same for every woman in the Bible we will be covering. I actually like that the questions are the same because instead of the book prompting you to think about certain things, it leaves everything open to your own understanding and interpretation. Personally, this causes me to think deeper instead of having very surface level answers to a question prompting me to think that way.
What do we learn about God and His character in the life of Sarah?
First and foremost I think that the story of Sarah illustrates that God is faithful. He makes a promise and He keeps it, no matter how long that promise takes to come to fruition. Sarah's story also shows that God has a purpose for us and that His timing is perfect. We may think that we know what is best but we don't! God knows what the big picture will look like and what He has planned for our life. It may take our patience, but God's timing is always perfect. This isn't so much about Sarah, but I think that the entire story of Abraham and Sarah shows how patient God is. He could have gotten so frustrated with Abraham for continuing to wonder when God's plan for his life would come to be, or with Sarah for trying to take matters into her own hands to give Abraham a family. But instead, God continues to reassure Abraham and Sarah that His promise to them will come true. The last thing that I feel like heavily shows about God's character in this story is how much He cares. I don't want to get too much into this character quality because it will start to cut into next week's featured woman (Hagar), but God shows that even the most lowly people in Biblical times were heard, cared about, and had a purpose in His plan.
What character qualities, both negative and positive, do we see illustrated in Sarah's life?
1. Sarah was barren- this isn't really a character quality but it is the very first thing we learn about Sarah in Genesis chapter 11 that will really foreshadow events to come in Sarah's life
2. Beautiful- this is also not a character quality but we know from Genesis chapter 13 that Sarah was very beautiful and Abraham had to take certain precautions that he would not be killed due to Sarah's beauty
3. Proactive/Assertive- Sarah believed in God's promise to Abraham but didn't fully understand how those events would come to be. Because of this, she took matters into her own hands to try to make sure Abraham would have offspring. Even though the role of women was very different during these times, we already are seeing stories of women who were strong in their opinions and ambitions.
4. Sarcastic/Sense of Humor- the Bible says that Sarah laughed when she heard that at her old age she would have a baby. I also feel that the tone she takes on or how the Bible talks about her reveals that she was perhaps a little bit sarcastic when she talks to Abraham or even Hagar.
5. Conniving/catty/jealous- the Bible also says that Sarah began to mistreat Hagar after she would produce offspring to Abraham (even though it was Sarah's idea to give Hagar to her husband). We don't know exactly what this mistreatment entails, but I imagine it to be a sort of jealousy, bitterness, and passive aggressiveness towards Hagar in general. We also know that later, when the birth of Isaac is celebrated, that Sarah reprimands Hagar pretty harshly and wants the focus to be solely on Isaac.
6. Dutiful- Regardless of some of her less desirable character traits and even her misstep of giving Hagar to Abraham for offspring, Sarah was a dutiful wife. She did what she believed was the right thing according to God's plan for Abraham's life and knew that her place of having children would probably not happen. She also dutifully pretended to be Abrahams sister in Egypt (even though she was actually his half sister anyways) and then sticks with him when Abraham leaves Egypt and stays dutiful to him (even though Pharaoh wanted her).
What can I learn from Sarah's story to apply to my own life?
- To trust in God and His timing for your life. There is such a balance between being proactive in your life to do the things God intends for you and also trusting in God to allow His plans to come to fruition.
- Be patient! This goes along with trusting in God's timing but it is such an important theme from Sarah's life that I felt like I should touch on it again.
- Do not dismiss that God can do anything. God may not speak to us or do miracles in the same way He did during Biblical times, but that doesn't mean God cannot and will not do big things in our lives. Let's not forget that God created the entire world in just six days.
- God is a God of forgiveness. Sarah and Abraham messed up throughout their story, yet God forgave them and stayed faithful in what He had promised to Abraham.