Sarah in the Bible: the Mother of Many Nations
Sarah has been one of the most popular names in all of history for girls, and means “princess” in most cultures. This meaning obviously comes from the very first Sarah, who was Abraham’s wife in Genesis of the Bible.
Sarah was not a princess per se, but her role in life and in Biblical history certainly puts her in a position similar to royalty. Sarah started off life as Sarai, which means “contentious”. While Sarah’s life was not a contentious one in most areas, she did have difficulty believing God’s promise that she would have a child, let alone one that would found a nation, since she had been barren all of her life. Sarah waited 90 years before she had a child after God told her that she would. I think many of us have trouble waiting for a few weeks or months for things to pass, so it is understandable from our human perspective how waiting 90 years might grow a little tiresome and lead to disbelief.
After years of waiting, Sarah decided to take things into her own hands and convinced Abraham to sleep with her servant Hagar so that he could have an heir to pass things on to. This action was certainly seen as contentious to God. After 90 years however, Sarah finally became pregnant and gave birth to Isaac, who’s sons founded the twelve tribes of Israel, making Sarah the mother of many nations – a position befitting of the “princess” meaning we know today.
Sarah has been in or close to the top 100 popular names for the last century or so, and was in the top three in 1993.
Sarah’s life gives us an important lesson we can learn from, and it’s one that is common to most of us if not all. We too often want to be in control of everything in our lives and have things happen on our own time table, but reality constantly shows us that this is not only unlikely, it is impossible. There is absolutely no way that you can control all of the events in your life, and the more you try the less likely you will be to find contentment and happiness. There are simply too many variables in life that are beyond our control. Other people’s actions and thoughts are well beyond our ability to control, even when some of us try our best to manipulate them. Nature is beyond our control. A storm could take your home or your life at any time with no warning and absolutely nothing that you can do about it. When you think about it realistically and objectively, there are very, very few things in life that you actually have any kind of control over at all. So why do we try so hard to be control freaks, and what is the answer?
Sarah’s life and story gives a clear picture of the answer. God is ultimately in control of everything. He created it all and he controls it all. He has a reason for everything that He causes or allows to happen, and most importantly He has a timetable that we can’t ever understand. There was a reason that Sarah had to wait 90 years to see the promise fulfilled in her life, but as a human she couldn’t possibly see what that was, so she got impatient and tried to fix things herself. We have to learn to let God be God and stop trying take care of everything ourselves. There is a plan and a purpose for everything, and we can only see a few pieces of a vast puzzle. Learn from the life of Sarah, and let God take care of the big things in your life too, in His time. You do what He asks in the meantime and everything will work out just right in the end.
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