Belief is Hard

Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. He said, “Hurry. Get three cups of our best flour; knead it and make bread.”

Then Abraham ran to the cattle pen and picked out a nice plump calf and gave it to the servant who lost no time getting it ready. Then he got curds and milk, brought them with the calf that had been roasted, set the meal before the men, and stood there under the tree while they ate.

The men said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?”

He said, “In the tent.”

One of them said, “I’m coming back about this time next year. When I arrive, your wife Sarah will have a son.” Sarah was listening at the tent opening, just behind the man.

Abraham and Sarah were old by this time, very old. Sarah was far past the age for having babies. Sarah laughed within herself, “An old woman like me? Get pregnant? With this old man of a husband?”

God said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh saying, ‘Me? Have a baby? An old woman like me?’ Is anything too hard for God? I’ll be back about this time next year and Sarah will have a baby.”

Sarah lied. She said, “I didn’t laugh,” because she was afraid.

But he said, “Yes you did; you laughed.” (Genesis 18:6-15)

One day three men showed up and Abraham invited them to his home. As was customary, he offered them food and drink, and they accepted his hospitality. Abraham asked Sarah to make some bread, while he hurried and selected a calf from his pen, then got a servant to slaughter, butcher and cook it. It was a very time consuming process and so the three visitors were there for several hours before the meal was finally served.

Though Sarah had not joined them in the meal, she was listening to what was going on. Doubt is easier than faith. Even if you’re standing close to God when he tells you what he’s going to do. Sarah was appalled that the visitors knew she had laughed and her first instinct was to lie: it was rude to laugh at guests like that. She was afraid of what they would think, and of how her husband would react.

What did God do in the face of her derisive laugh? Did he berate her, condemn her, strike her down? Take back the promised blessing? No, he simply reminded her that nothing was beyond God’s capabilities. God will bless us even if we can’t believe it.

Send to Kindle

About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm the interim pastor at Quartz Hill Community Church. I have written several books. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
This entry was posted in Bible, Religion, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *