Genesis 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, after I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
So, what shall we take from this “physiologically incomprehensible” forecast from the angel visitors? Abraham had been promised to be the Father of Many Nations by God. Here we have the inside view of Sarah as she overheard the conversation of her husband and his heavenly messengers, one of which, I believe was Jesus, but that’s for another day. She laughed within herself, scripture says. As a woman, I can see where she was coming from. Her husband was 99 years old and she was not too far behind, probably 90 or 91, according to historic accounts. The problem here is Sarah’s unwillingness to believe God, hence, the laugh.
The visitors knew that Sarah had laughed and stated (vs 14) “Is there any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
She had been desperately barren for all of her marriage, which had, I’m sure caused much distress in her younger years, but as time went on and (verse 11) “It ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.” She was laughing because it was scientifically “impossible” for her to conceive.
This story takes a sad twist. Because Sarah didn’t believe God, she decided to take matters into her own hands. Do we ever do that? I know I do. She decided to give her handmaid, Hagar, to her husband to have a child for her. God allowed this younger handmaid to have a son, Ishmael, and their fate did not fare well. Jealousy and unkindness came into play and they were banished from their home, causing God to intervene to protect them. As God is not surprised about any of this, it turns out that Ishmael fathered the Arab nation, as it is written, Abraham fathered “Many Nations.”
In Genesis 21:1, God’s promise to Sarah was fulfilled, “And the Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did unto Sarah as he had spoken.”
Whatever happened in Sarah’s spiritual life, I don’t begin to speculate, however, I’m sure she was amazed and delighted in God’s provision for her to have her longed-for child. She bore a son, Isaac. In 21:6, Sarah said, “God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me.”
My take-away from this timeless story is to trust God, no matter how long it takes for His promises to be produced in our lives. When unbelief comes in, rebuke it as temptation to trust your own judgement. And finally, nothing is impossible with God.
Just remember, Sarah laughed.
*Original painting by Veronica Sosa McDonald
Patti McDonald Professional Mom
professionalmom.com *Art by Veronica Sosa McDonald “Mother of Nations”