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KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 The Faith of Sarah

Theological question: Sarah appears in Hebrews 11 as an example of faith. Could her "faith" have been in her willingness to have sexual relations with Abraham, even after Ishmael was already born to Hagar, and her and Abraham's extra 10 years of age?


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Jimmy H

 2010/4/10 23:46Profile
mguldner
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Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re: The Faith of Sarah

I don't believe so, We see that after the whole Ishmael and Hagar thing God establishes the Covenant of Circumcision, and in this is the promise again of Sarah giving him a son. Her faith was in God to give her a son as He has established and promised with Abraham in the Covenant of Circumcision.


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Matthew Guldner

 2010/4/10 23:55Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

Yes, her faith was in that, but her faith was demonstrated in her willingness, even at her old age, to have relations with her husband. No?


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Jimmy H

 2010/4/11 0:08Profile
mguldner
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Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re:

I suppose that would be considered a fruit of her faith? I wouldn't say that particular thing would be a great focal point, older people in their old age are still quite capable of relations with each other as man and wife. Also considering the fact that man lived a great longer Abraham living to 175 and Sarah to live to be 127. She had faith in the fact that God could open her womb at an old age and give her a son, as far as relations being an element of that faith I probably wouldn't say so, culturally wives submitted to their husbands and Abraham was quite capable of relations at the conception of Isaac. (Infact he had 6 other off spring with another wife of his. She was faithful in fulfilling her wifely duties but her faith in a son from the Lord was in the fact that He promised she would bring forth one for Abraham.


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Matthew Guldner

 2010/4/11 0:19Profile









 Re: The Faith of Sarah


Hi KJ,

The verse says, in Heb 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself [u]received strength to conceive[/u] seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.


Our actions, as the verse says, and which could, for instance, be applied to Noah building the ark just as easily, are a sign that we have believed what God has said to us.

As another poster has pointed out, Abraham had other children apart from Ishmael, by other women. He was not breaking any of God's laws through these sexual relations, and it is unlikely he ever stopped having them with Sara. I don't see what point you are making, actually, in mentioning Hagar, who did not replace Sara as Abram's wife, but was added to the number he already supported (with their children). Hagar, was special as a surrogate for Sara - Abram's ONLY wife.

I always find the biblical references to physiology utterly fascinating, as our generation seems to think it has the corner on such knowledge. Thus, the phrase 'received strength' is interesting, because of the differences between male and female reproductive physiology. Perhaps, like Hannah, Sara had a fickle appetite, or a hormonal insufficiency, which affected her fertility. Perhaps her great beauty made her rather aware of her physical image, and she resisted putting on an extra 15 pounds in weight, which may have made all the difference to her power to conceive. Also, it is possible for a woman to resist conception at a psychological level which affects her neurochemistry - in which case, 'received strength' could, possibly, mean [i]strength of mind[/i].

There is no doubt, also, that before God had spoken to him, both Abram and Sara were idol worshippers (Joshua 24:14), and infertility is a common problem for women turning to God from idolatry. It accounts for some of our modern day infertility as well.

Thus, it was necessary for Sara to believe God's word to her in her own heart. This is what God was after from her, and once she did, He honoured her with Isaac.

It is, also, extremely common when a woman has not conceived after many years of marriage, to assume that it will never happen, and to adopt a lifestyle, and a mindset, which are not conducive to conception. Who would ever know how many fertilised ovae had failed to settle in their wombs? In that we (modern science), still do not 'know' what sparks off a labour, it is fair to say that this is one miracle of creation, which God has kept firmly and completely, in His own counsel.

Remember Rachel - 'Give me children or I die'? This was a very similar scenario. Another very beautiful woman whose heart was not towards God. (Genesis 31:34, Genesis 18:15)

 2010/4/12 11:20
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: The Faith of Sarah

KingJimmy on 2010/4/11 1:46:51 wrote:
"Theological question: Sarah appears in Hebrews 11 as an example of faith. Could her "faith" have been in her willingness to have sexual relations with Abraham, even after Ishmael was already born to Hagar, and her and Abraham's extra 10 years of age?"

Jimmy
I don't want to be indiscrete here but I wonder if this is a young man's question? Why would Sarah not have been 'willing'?

She was the instigator of Abram's relationship with Hagar and such relationships would have been quite common in that era. So I can't see that she would have withheld conjugal relations with Abram on that score.

...and this is why I say I wonder if it is a young man's question... old age is not quite the marital wilderness that this question seems to suggest. ;-)


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Ron Bailey

 2010/7/29 14:18Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

My only thought as to why Sarah would not have been willing is because she was reall really unusually old? I mean, almost pre-historic. So :-)

Perhaps you can solve the riddle then? Exactly what was Sarah's demonstration of faith in regard to Abraham and the birth of the promised child?


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Jimmy H

 2010/7/29 14:25Profile
sojourner7
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Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: SEED

I believe Sarah understood the principle
of seed. All life brings with seed.
Faith is a seed. The Word (promise) of
GOD is a seed. The seed brings forth
new life!!


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Martin G. Smith

 2010/7/29 14:35Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

KingJimmy on 2010/7/29 16:25:51 writes...

My only thought as to why Sarah would not have been willing is because she was reall really unusually old? I mean, almost pre-historic. So :-)

We had a news item here just a couple of days ago. A marriage between a 97 year old man and a 87 year old woman. I think it's that easy living over there that has weakened the stock! ;-)

Here's another example of the generosity of the scripture...

"And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:" Heb 11:32 NKJV

Do you remember Barak? and not a mention for Deborah!

"By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised." Heb 11:11 NKJV

I presume that after her reaction of unbelief she came to faith and believed that she would bear a child.


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Ron Bailey

 2010/7/29 16:13Profile
KingJimmy
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Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re:

LOL. Well Ron, the only other thing that makes me think that their coming together was an act of faith on Sarah's part is the bleek picture that the Scriptures portray concerning Sarah. Being barren and having a womb that was considered "dead" would have undoubtedly sappped Sarah of hope, and thus, perhaps shut down her drive. Thus, in faith she "hoped against hope" and had relations with Abraham, believing Issac would be born as the Lord had said.

So far, to me, that seems to be the only tangible theory as to how Sarah is considered part of the "hall of fame of faith." Unless somebody else has some other idea?


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Jimmy H

 2010/7/29 16:22Profile





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