Lesson 10: "Sarah's Most Embarrassing Moment" Genesis 18:1-15
"So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought…" Genesis 18:12
To this point, there is no record that God spoke to Sarah, only to Abraham. How easy do you think it has been for Sarah?
Consider what she has gone through. She left the security of Ur, then the security of Haran to leave family behind to come to Canaan. She went to Egypt to escape famine and ended up in Pharaoh's harem. Lot moves to Sodom. She tries to make the promise of a son for Abraham come true by offering Hagar, and that effort ends in serious trouble for the household. And finds out it was not in God's plan. All of this apparently without direct conversations with God. Is it any wonder she might be skeptical of promises of children in her old age?
But, God was not insensitive to Sarah's thoughts and feelings. Abraham needed to meet El Shaddai, to glimpse the power of God. God was about to do that for Sarah.
No choice but to wait
In chapter 17, God made himself known as El Shaddai, and Romans 4 tells us Abraham grasped the meaning of that name. And the changed names of Abraham and Sarah were reminders of the promise. But when would it happen? Didn't Sarah need to believe too?
One day, three men came to visit Abraham. One of them was Jehovah (v. 10). Abraham's reaction was typical of Middle Eastern hospitality. He bowed, politely addressed them, said it would be a favor if he could serve them, washed their feet, prepared a lavish meal, stood by like a servant.
But God was not here to simply enjoy Abraham's hospitality. He is there for a reason.
Eavesdropping can be embarrassing
Following the meal, the Lord asked where Sarah was. He knew, of course. Then, he states again the promise of a son (v. 10, see Rom. 9:7-9). God knew Sarah was listening. The promise was stated out loud for her benefit.
Her reaction? Like Abraham's in 17:17. But, she thinks and laughs to herself (v. 12)
Now, the reason for the Lord's visit becomes clear. The Lord immediately asks Abraham, again out loud, 'Why did Sarah laugh?' God is teaching Sarah too that he is El Shaddai, the God who performs miracles. He knew her innermost thoughts.
For a similar incident, see doubting Thomas, in John 20:25,27
A greater miracle, and greater faith
Sarah tried to cover up her disbelief (v. 15), but eventually that spark of faith grew into flame. See Heb. 11:11
#1) Husbands and wives are not always at the same place in their spiritual growth
God is the same God today as He was in Abraham's day
Supernatural events and prayer are frequently associated in Scripture