Abram and Sarai
Genesis 11:30-32 NIV
Genesis 12:1-9 NIV
Genesis 12:10-20 (In Egypt)
Genesis 13:14-16 ESV
Genesis 15:3 NIV
Genesis 16:15 (Hagar bore a son)
Genesis 17:1-13 (God’s Covenant with Abraham)
Genesis 17:16-17 NIV
Genesis 21:1-3 ESV
A Story of Love Series
Abram and Sarai had a love story that spanned many generations, much tribulation, and a surprise ending. Through it all, God was with Abram and Sarai. God’s love carried them through difficult trials.
We are first introduced to Abram and Sarai in Genesis 11:30-32: “Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive. Terah took his son Abram, his grandson Lot son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, the wife of his son Abram, and together they set out from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to Canaan. But when they came to Harran, they settled there. Terah lived 205 years, and he died in Harran.”
The first mention of Abram and Sarai (whose names are eventually changed to Abraham and Sarah) tell us that they were already married when we meet them and they traveled with Abram’s father Terah to settle in Harran, which today is located in Southern Turkey and Northern Syria.
In Genesis 12:1-9 we learn, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord. Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.”
When Abram was 75 years old and Sarai was 65 years old God directed Abram to leave his father’s household. They left Harran and traveled to a land that God promised him. Today the bulk of that land is located in Israel (https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zf3yb82/revision/6). We have to remember that Sarai believed she would never conceive a child. Abram also believed he would never have an heir. At that time in history having an heir was essential to receiving God’s blessing.
Sarai had lived most of her married life with the pain and anguish of being childless.
Abram loved Sarai, but he, too would have suffered great pain at the thought of never having an heir. While God spoke to Abram in Genesis 12 and promised he would make a great nation of Abram and would make his name great, God did not tell Abram how that would come about. Abram didn’t understand but he had faith in God. He believed the promise God gave him.
We know from scripture that even when we are first introduced to Abram and Sarai they knew she was barren. They had no children and no hope of having children. In Genesis 12:10-20 Abram and Sarai went to Egypt because the famine in the land where he had settled was very severe. While in Egypt Abram was afraid he would be killed because his wife Sarai was very beautiful, so he has her off as his sister. As a result, Sarai was taken to Pharaoh’s palace to live and presumably, Pharaoh accepted her as a wife or a concubine. When God punished Pharaoh and his house (Genesis 12:17-20) the Pharaoh knew Abram had lied. In order to stop God’s punishment, Pharaoh sent Sarai and Abram away allowing them to take with them everything they had acquired.
Even in a foreign land, God blessed Abram and Sarai with great possessions and even forgiveness for deceiving Pharaoh.
The story of love for Abram and Sarai was not the kind of story you would read about in a Hollywood romance. Their love story was wrought with disappointment, confusion, fear, and deception.
But Abram did not give up.
We learn in Genesis 13 that Abram and Sarai settled again in the Promised Land and God renewed His promise to them. In Genesis 13:14-16 God told Abram, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted.”
God continued to make promises that Abram and Sarai could not have understood. How could they have a multitude of offspring with NO offspring?
In Genesis 15:3, Abram said to God, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
Abram had all but given up so even though God had promised an heir, in Genesis 16:15 Sarai’s servant Hagar (who she gave to Abram to have a child) bore Abram a son and he was called Ishmael.
After that, you can imagine that the love story between Abram and Sarai became painful. As a result, Abram gave Sarai permission to do what she wanted with her servant Hagar and she was sent away with her son to live in a distant land. Even then, God blessed Abram and his offspring and Ishmael became the father of a great Arabian nation.
In Genesis 17:1-13, God made a covenant with Abram. His name was changed to Abraham and Sarai became Sarah. In Genesis 17:16-17, God promised, “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.” Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”
And that was exactly what God did! After all the promises and all the waiting and disappointment, Sarah did conceive and bare a son of Abraham.
In Genesis 21:1-3 we learn, “The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised. And Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore him, Isaac.”
And so the promise was complete. Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old. God loved Abraham and Sarah and had a perfect plan all along.
In the end, it’s clear that this story of love was much more than a love story between a man and a woman. It became a lifelong story of love between Abraham, Sarah, and God. And it grew to be a love story between a people and their God.
The story of love that started with Abram and Sarai still continues today!
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Promises
God’s great promise to Abram and Sarai changed history. Has God made a promise to you, or do you want to ask God to give you a promise? Ask the God of love about YOUR promise…listen and write it down.
In God, Deborah
it certainly is: acrazyjourney.com with God