She stood tall and spoke calmly, “I am Sarah, wife of Abraham, on whom God bestowed great mercy and love. He is the one who named me ‘Sarah’, and it means princess. My husband was my half-brother, which was an accepted thing in our time, and he loved me very much. She smiled as she added, “He told me I was beautiful until the day I died. Abraham was a descendant of Shem, Noah’s son, and he worshiped Noah’s God. I did too. I loved and respected my husband.
“My husband was a gifted man, and with his brother and father, he built up a thriving business and great wealth. Yes, we did live 2000 years before the Messiah, but do not think of us as scrubby cave dwellers who hovered over fires in a cave. Abraham had hundreds of flocks of sheep and goats, and he was a prosperous merchant. We had over 300 men working for us as servants and for protection.”
“The finest wool from our sheep provided beautiful clothing, and we had goods you could not even imagine because of Abraham’s successful trading. We lived in tents, and I decorated them with the most beautiful woven fabrics. We are from Ur, in what you would know as Mesopotamia. It was an advanced civilization, highly educated, and governed by written laws. But many did not believe in God; they worshipped themselves and their own ways.”
“When Abraham heard God’s voice, I trusted and respected his decision to follow God’s call to a new land. I always obeyed my husband because it was our way. Even when he made decisions I did not agree with or understand. I even stood by him when he turned over the good and fertile land to his nephew, Lot, and kept the arid worthless land for himself. I allowed him to take the responsibility into his own hands…except for one time. And when I took matters into my hands, I almost destroyed us all. I truly believed I was doing the right thing, but I created chaos and I know now it was my own willfulness and pride.”
“You see, God told Abraham that he would have a son, and that he would establish a new people through Abraham’s seed. Years went by, and we were well past the age of having a child. I was an old woman when I heard God repeat his promise, and I laughed under my breath.”
“It was ridiculous” she grimaced. “Me having a child? It would be a miracle! “But God heard my murmurings.” she continued. “I was frightened when he came to me and said ‘Why did you laugh?’ I denied it, and was even more afraid when he looked in my face and said, ‘You did laugh.’”
“He was calm and gentle when he said it. He had so much patience for me. But that was nothing! What I did later caused problems that tested the patience of God and everyone else.”
“Time went by …and my faith was weak. I finally decided I needed to do something, and I came up with a scheme that was common in my time. I gave my handmaiden, Hagar, to Adam. She was young, and she could bear our child for us. Abraham was against my plan. He did not want another woman, but I insisted.”
“When I think about it now, I’m horrified. I was desperate to have a child. We had waited a lifetime for me to conceive, and Abraham never blamed me, he was patient, and he loved me. But I mourned each month that passed, and I felt incomplete, like I was defective somehow.” Her eyes filled with tears as she remembered.
“Finally, I was beyond the age of child-bearing and I let go of my sorrow, and then God made that promise!” Her voice rose as she said, “All I could think was that I could not have a child. Of course my scheme backfired! Hagar was very possessive of our child; she became very haughty with me. As time passed, Ishmael was more the child of his birth mother than he was mine. She held it over me, that she was the mother of Abraham’s child. Oh, how I lamented over my foolish meddling.”
“But God was faithful his promise to Abraham and to me. It was a miracle when I, an old woman, conceived Abraham’s child. We named him Isaac and we delighted in our son. Ishmael and Hagar no longer mattered…I thought. I was so wrong,” she said, shaking her head in regret.
“Now Hagar was jealous, and Ishmael made fun of our Isaac and I could not tolerate them in my sight. I wanted them gone! Yes, Ishmael was Abraham’s son, but I detested them both. Again, I took matters into my own hand and made Abraham send them into the desert. I did not care what happened to them. I was afraid for Isaac. “
She bowed her head with sorrow and went on, “I was full of anger and jealousy. I thought I needed to protect the miracle child that God had given me. How could I have been such an old fool? My actions caused discord that would wreak havoc on generation after generation of Abraham’s descendants. Even then, God gave me a rich full life with my loving husband and with my son. In spite of my interference, God still blessed the whole world though Abraham’s seed.”
She stood straight again and spoke with confidence, “Don’t ever think you need to fix God’s plan. His works are always good and in his perfect time. But when we interfere, we just cause chaos.”
Find a Bible study guide for Eve Speaks at The Women Speak page.