Abraham, Sarah, & Isaac • Devotion #4: Abraham’s Response
Joshua Combs | Lead Pastor
Genesis 17:19 says, “…Sarah your wife shall bear you a son.”
God brings to Abraham what is probably the strangest news the Father of Faith could possibly imagine. God says of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, “I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her” (Genesis 17:16). God explains to Abraham, who is 100 years old, that his 90-year-old wife, Sarah, will be giving birth to a son next year. God leaves no room for doubt or questions: Abraham will be the father, Sarah will be the mother, and the child, Isaac, will be the son of promise, with whom God will fulfill His covenantal relationship with Abraham.
Sadly, Abraham’s reaction is less than what we might expect or imagine from this great saint. He outright laughs at God. His human mind is unable to imagine fathering a child at 100, but the audacity of God to suggest that Sarah will give birth just seems comical. Abraham may have not been laughing at God, so much as he was laughing at Sarah. Ironically, that is exactly what God had planned, announced, and would accomplish. Sarah would give birth. The scorn she felt as a childless woman would be removed.
This announcement is the first time God would reveal to Abraham that his wife, Sarah, would be the mother of the promised child. Abraham and Sarah had sought other means of providing an heir, but that was not God’s plan or His design. God was honoring marriage. The holiness of one man and one woman for life was and still is God’s design. Abraham broke that covenant. He violated the sanctity of His marriage with Sarah. But God honored their marriage by choosing to miraculously bless this aging couple with a child. What Abraham did was culturally acceptable, but is never honored by the Lord. First Peter 3:7 states, “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
God warns husbands not to dishonor their wives because the consequences are that God refuses to accept our prayers. Do not laugh at God. Do not laugh at your wife. As God did in Genesis chapter 17 and confirms in Hebrews 13:4, “Let marriage be held in honor among all…”