God Promises Sarah a Son by Tony Nester

God Promises Sarah a Son
Tony Nester
Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7

When God called Abraham to leave his home in Haran and journey to the promised land of Canaan God promised Abraham that he would become the patriarch of a great and numerous family. This was a precious hope for Abraham and Sarah because they were old in years and had produced no children. Surely one of the reasons why Abraham and Sarah made that journey was their hope that their long years of childlessness would come to an end. They wanted a family of their own.

Once in the Promised Land they hoped for the child that God had promised them. But the years passed by and Sarah did not conceive. It was a painful disappointment.

Dr. Clovis Chappel once told about a custom from his Sunday School days called the Christmas Tree Entertainment. It was held in a small town and everyone attended. The Tree was decorated with candles and loaded with presents. Santa Claus made an appearance and began handing out presents to those whose names had been put on the tree. There was a young, mentally challenged, hired hand there from somebody's farm. His name had not been called and he was looking very disappointed. Then Santa Claus took down the largest box on the tree and called his name. The boys face was filled with excitement as he reached for the box. But then, when he opened it, his face changed to a look of despair. The box was empty. Somebody had played him for the fool and tricked the most underprivileged person in the town.

It's a sad story. But life often turns up empty boxes. We get our hopes up only to have them disappointed, sometimes in cruel ways. It was like that for Abraham and Sarah. God had promised them children, many of them. But month after month Sarah did not conceive and God's promise seemed like an empty box.

Genesis 18 tells the story of God renewing His promise to give Abraham and Sarah a child. It comes long after Abraham and Sarah have quite given up hope. They've settled into their disappointment with God. They have been living with a broken dream. And when God renews His promise, Sarah can only laugh.

(Genesis 18:1-15 NRSV) The LORD appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. {2} He looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. {3} He said, ''My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. {4} Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. {5} Let me bring a little bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on--since you have come to your servant.'' So they said, ''Do as you have said.'' {6} And Abraham hastened into the tent to Sarah, and said, ''Make ready quickly three measures of choice flour, knead it, and make cakes.'' {7} Abraham ran to the herd, and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to the servant, who hasten ...

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