By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised (Hebrews 11:11).
Sarah was a remarkable woman. She left her home and moved to a strange land with her husband Abraham. There was a severe famine in the land so they had to go to Egypt. The Bible describes Sarah as being very beautiful which posed a problem for Abraham when they were in Egypt. So, he said to Sarah, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.”
Why did Sarah go along with this plan? Perhaps it was because she believe what her husband told her about the Egyptians. She did it to spare his life. She did it so that it may be well with him. In other words, he put her in a spot. If she didn’t lie and say that she was his sister, he would die. He was basically saying that his life was in her hands. Sarah agreed to lie about her relationship with Abraham. It is true that when the Egyptians saw how beautiful she was, they commended her to Pharaoh and she was taken to his house. Pharaoh treated Abraham well because of Sarah. He managed to get sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels. How must Sarah have felt? She watched her husband fare well at her expense. Still, she said nothing. She remained faithful and loyal to him.
Thankfully, God intervened. He plagued Pharaoh and his household until Pharaoh summoned Abraham and berated him for his deception. “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.” Abraham and Sarah left with everything he had given them. They settled in Canaan. If God had not intervened, Pharaoh would have taken Sarah as his wife. What would have happened then? Would Sarah continued with the charade? Or would she have told the truth believing that it could cost Abraham his life? How many of us would have gone that far to save our husbands? Perhaps deep down, Sarah had faith that God would come through for her before things went too far.
Sarah was barren. What a sad state to be in especially when she longed desparately for a child. Abraham had told her that God was going to bless him with a son so Sarah decided that she would get a surrogate mother. She convinced her Egyptian slave Hagar to be Abraham’s wife and to bear him a child which she, Sarah would raise. The plan didn’t go as well as expected. When she became pregnant Hagar lost respect for Sarah who treated her so harshly that Hagar ran away. God convinced Hagar to return to her mistress which she did.
God promised Abraham that Sarah would have a son. Abraham laughed at the idea because both he and Sarah were well advanced in years. Sarah was ninety. But God insisted that she would conceive and true to His promise, she did. And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. Abraham named him Isaac which means “he laughs”. I believe it alludes to the fact that when God told Abraham that Sarah was going to have child, Abraham fell on his face and laughed(Genesis 17:17). And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age” (Genesis 21:1, 2, 6).
Sarah’s name was changed from Sarai (Princess) to Sarah (noblewoman). She became the mother of nations. God said, “I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her” (Genesis 17:16).
Sarah was noble. She was self-sacrificing. She sacrificed herself for her husband. She put his wellbeing before her own. She longed to give him a child and she finally did–at a time when she least expected it. She not only became the mother of Isaac, but the mother of nations. Sarah was living proof that nothing is impossible with the Lord. He blessed her with Isaac when the time was right and not before. Perhaps Sarah was able to appreciate Isaac more because he was the son she bore both Abraham in his old age and at a time when she was well past the childbearing age.