Monday, December 04, 2017

A child is born 4: Sarah bears Isaac

Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the time of which God had spoken to him.”

After many years, when Abraham was, according to the Bible, a hundred years old, Sarah finally conceived and bore him a son. Abraham called him Isaac, which was derived from the Hebrew word for laughter. The name is a reminder of Sarah’s reaction when they were told this child’s conception was imminent, which was to laugh, perhaps in delight, perhaps in disbelief – we are not told which. (Genesis 18.9-15) Now Sarah has at last got a real cause for rejoicing. She has the last laugh. A lifetime’s shame at not being able to bear children has ended.

Just a chapter later, however, she nearly loses her precious child. Abraham is told by God to sacrifice their long-awaited child (Genesis 22.1-19). At the last minute, God sends a ram to be offered as a sacrifice instead. Sarah is not mentioned at all in this story. She is not told where Abraham is taking Isaac or for what, and no explanation  is given to her when they return. We are left to imagine for ourselves the conversation that might have taken place when she eventually finds out how close Isaac came to death!

·         What do you think it might have been like to be Isaac? What might have been the positives and negatives of being born to parents who had waited so long for his arrival?

·         How old were your parents when you were born? Do you think this had any impact on the way they felt about you or brought you up?

Pray for those who are going through fertility treatment, waiting and hoping for a child, with no assurance that they will ever become parents.

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