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Daily Bible Study
Lesson # Genesis 17:15-16
Study Material - Genesis 17:15-16
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
15 Then God said to Abraham, 'As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 And I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.'
Both Abraham and Sarah received the 'ah' suffix to their respective names. Now Abraham is known as the 'exalted father of multitudes', and Sarah is known as 'princes of multitudes', lady, queen.
The former word for Sarai, 'Saaray', represented a person who was very contentious, violent, ruler. One could just see her as the hard line mistress of her household, with an 'attitude'. She no doubt had a temper and was short with her staff, giving them little if any room for error.
We have seen a great deal of Abram's background and know how he got to be where is today, but Sarai's background hasn't really been covered. What do we know? Sarai was presented to Pharaoh by Abram, many years previous, and presented as Abram's sister. Together both Abram and Sarai conspired to conceal her true relationship with Abram, from Pharaoh. Abram received great wealth in payment for his wife, Sarai. From the description of her name, we know that she was not an easy person to get along with in virtually any situation.
Over the years God withheld pregnancy from her. She had no children. An otherwise proud woman is now humbled in her inability to have children, and in the face of others in her household, servants, who are having children right and left. Abram had over 300 adult men of fighting age under his service. That many men means many more people in each of their respective families, numbering to perhaps a couple of thousand people. You can make your own assumptions as to the number of people in the average household - moms, dads, children under the fighting age (young adults, teens, elementary age, toddlers, infants, boys and girls).
Sarai has no children. She presents her servant girl to Abram in her own bitterness. Dummy Abram jumps at the opportunity.
Where is God in all of this? Making promises, very clear promises to Abram. Sarai was aware of these promises. All married couples have pillow talk of one type or another, wherein they share their closest personal conversations.
The rules of law are clear as well. Marriage is where families come from, not from shacking up, not from making casual convenient arrangements to share the rent, but from the commitment of the marriage vows. God does not promote sin. Any sexual activity outside the bonds of marriage is sin and therefore forbidden. God will not bless it. God has promised Abram a son. Abram knew that it was to come from Sarai, but there were two people in this marriage and Sarai was not positive toward Bible doctrine. Abram had his ups and downs in his spiritual growth. We have already seen his friends with whom he used to study, and the meanings of their names. But as for Sarai, it takes two within a household to work together in doctrine in order to receive the blessings of the household. Sarai's name was going to change, but first she had to change within herself.
Now what has happened? Thirteen years have passed and Ishmael has been a blessing to some extent - Abram loved his son, but Ishmael was a curse in that this child was a slam at the life of Sarai. Sarai was humiliated. She was proud throughout her life. Always taking charge, forcefully, and conniving along with Abram when it was convenient. Now she has lived her life and the one thing that she could not control, was that ovulation which would have permitted her pregnancy. This God superseded and denied her.
This conversation was repeated. Doctrine is learned by repetition. There are no one shot learning experiences in the spiritual life. If a person retains their stubbornness, if a person retains their arrogance, if a person retains their self righteous attitude, if a person retains their negative attitude and refusal to change their own personality into a line that is compatible with true humility, then God will superimpose humility on that person in some fashion. Sometimes that humility will be public and everyone will know of your failure. Everyone will gossip against the 'tough mistress' who thinks her 'you know what' doesn't stink. They are wrong of course but the person who remains staunchly against submitting to Gods authority, is just setting themselves up for embarrassment and misery.
Now both are beyond the age of childbearing. Now God comes and issues a promise to Abraham (you see Abram has recovered in his spiritual life) at the age of 99 years. Sarai now receives her new name, Sarah, or 'Princess of multitudes'. She has changed as well. Perhaps she slowed down in her older life, but the time and embarrassment has taken their toll. She has decided to learn Bible doctrine. Think of all those years of her stubbornness, and of all that lost time where she could have enjoyed life so much more. But as we have already noted in our study, each one of us can be our own worst enemy. Most of our own misery comes from our own thoughts and actions.
Abraham is blessed because of his spiritual growth - 'walk before me, blamelessly'. Likewise Sarah will be blessed because she has transformed her own thinking by learning Bible doctrine. Each of their respective blessings is never dependent on the other person. God treats each person independently. This situation just happened to come together for the both of them at the same time. God knew it. They had to learn it.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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