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Wednesday, August 3 2011

Sarah's Promise

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).

The Holy Scriptures

"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.

17:3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 17:4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations [see 'Raghead' Racism]. 17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 17:6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. 17:8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God." (Genesis 17:1-8 KJV)

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.

17:17 Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? 17:18 And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!

17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him." (Genesis 17:15-16 KJV)

"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).

Abram and Sarai

"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.

21:6 And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so that all that hear will laugh with me. 21:7 And she said, Who would have said unto Abraham, that Sarah should have given children suck? for I have born him a son in his old age.

21:8 And the child grew, and was weaned: and Abraham made a great feast the same day that Isaac was weaned. 21:9 And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking. 21:10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

21:11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son. 21:12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called. 21:13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.

21:14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

21:15 And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. 21:16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bowshot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept.

21:17 And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said unto her, What aileth thee, Hagar? fear not; for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is. 21:18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make him a great nation.

21:19 And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water; and she went, and filled the bottle with water, and gave the lad drink.

21:20 And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 21:21 And he dwelt in the wilderness of Paran [see Ishmael's Paran]: and his mother took him a wife out of the land of Egypt." (Genesis 21:1-21 KJV)

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.

9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 9:7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 9:8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. 9:9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.

9:10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 9:11 For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger." (Romans 9:1-12 KJV)

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.

25:24 And when her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25:25 And the first came out red, all over like an hairy garment; and they called his name Esau. 25:26 And after that came his brother out, and his hand took hold on Esau's heel; and his name was called Jacob: and Isaac was threescore years old when she bare them.

25:27 And the boys grew: and Esau was a cunning hunter, a man of the field; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling in tents. 25:28 And Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison: but Rebekah loved Jacob.

25:29 And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint: 25:30 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.

25:31 And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.

25:32 And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?

25:33 And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.

25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright." (Genesis 25:21-34 KJV)

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"?
See The First Meeting Of Israel And Esau; also Who Chose Rebekah?


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This Day In History, August 3

8: Roman General Tiberius (Tiberius later became Emperor; he reigned at the time of Christ's Crucifixion; see also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?) defeated the Dalmatians at Bathinus.

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.


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