Wednesday, August 3 2011
Abraham and Sarah were known by those names for only the latter part of their lives - after their righteous character had already been made evident over many years (see also What Made Abraham Righteous?). The LORD changed Abram's name to Abraham when he was 99 years old and He changed Sarai's name to Sarah when she was about 90 years old. Nevertheless, those are the names that they are most recognized for in Bible History because the LORD had a purpose and a promise for both of them.
Abram (pronounced in Hebrew awb-rawm) means high father, while Abraham (pronounced in Hebrew awb-raw-hawm) means father of a multitude i.e. a righteous elder was chosen to become the progenitor of numerous nations - of Israel, through Isaac, and of many of the Arab people, through his other wives (e.g. Keturah) or concubines (e.g. Hagar).
"17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD [i.e. Jesus Christ; see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM' and The LORD And The Two Angels] appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. 17:2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
Sarai (pronounced in Hebrew saw-rah-ee) means noble woman, while Sarah (pronounced in Hebrew saw-raw) means princess. As with Abram's name change to Abraham, Sarai's singularly noble name was multiplied in meaning to Sarah.
"17:15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 17:16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
"She shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her"
Exactly as the LORD prophesied in His promise to Sarah, she had the child that she very much wanted. As wonderful as that was, Isaac's birth was just the beginning of a greater purpose and promise, not only to Sarah, but eventually to all people - including the descendants of all of Abraham's other children who then resented, as they still do today, the child through whom the Messiah would eventually be born. There are many ancestral lines from Abraham (i.e. Abraham had many children); there is only one from Sarah (i.e. Sarah had only one child).
"21:1 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 21:2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 21:3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac. 21:4 And Abraham circumcised his son Isaac being eight days old, as God had commanded him [see Circumcision]. 21:5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
Many do not realize the "New Testament" purpose of the promise to Abraham (the Iraq-born "gentile" father of the Israelites and of many "gentile" nations) and to Sarah (the mother of the Abrahamic line to the Messiah). Notice very carefully how the selection process for that single line of the Messiah was made possible when the LORD permitted Sarah's conception and birth of Isaac.
"9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 9:2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 9:5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
Note very carefully that the childlessness, until the LORD made it possible for the Messianic purpose, was repeated with Isaac's wife Rebekah / Rebecca who gave birth to Jacob (who the LORD renamed as Israel) and Esau - with the same purpose of promise that Isaac and Ishmael were born, separately, in the previous generation.
"25:21 And Isaac entreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was entreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
Fact Finder: When did the LORD change Jacob's name to Israel? Was it after his children, who would become the "fathers of Israel," had already been born to Jacob, not "Israel"?
This Day In History, August 3
881: The Battle of Saucourt-en-Vimeu. King Louis III of France defeated Viking invaders (commemorated in the poem Ludwigslied).
1347: Six burghers of the surrounded French city of Calais surrendered to Edward III of England in hopes of ending the siege.
1492: Christopher Columbus sailed from Palos, Spain, on his voyage to the New World.
1527: The first documented postal letter sent from North America was "mailed" from what is today St. John's, Newfoundland.
1546: French printer Etienne Dolet, accused of heresy, blasphemy and sedition, was hanged and burned at the stake for printing reformist literature.
1553: Mary Tudor, the new Queen of England, entered London.
1610: English explorer Henry Hudson discovered a great bay on the north coast of Canada. It was later named after Hudson himself - Hudson's Bay.
1783: An eruption of Mount Asama in Japan killed over 35,000 people.
1797: Jeffrey Amherst died at age 80. Amherst was the army commander who captured what is today Canada for Britain (1758-1760). Leading a force of 14,000 he captured the French fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, in 1758, and when Montreal surrendered to him in 1760 all of Canada fell to the British.
1805: Mohammed Ali became the new ruler of Egypt.
1911: During the First World War, airplanes were used for the first time in a military capacity when Italian planes reconnoitered Turkish lines near Tripoli.
1914: Germany declared war on France, and entered Belgium. Later that night, Britain declared war on Germany after warning the Germans not to enter Belgium Listen also to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1934: Adolf Hitler (who was elected; see also Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) merged the offices of President and Chancellor into the Fuhrer ("the Leader").
1960: Niger became independent from colonial France.
2005: A military coup in Mauritania overthrew the government of President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya while he was in Saudi Arabia for the funeral of King Fahd.