Sarah Character Bible Study Background and Lessons
Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 1 Cor 10:6
Character’s Name: Sarai/ Sarah
Meaning of Name: Sarai meant “my princess”. Sarah meant “princess”. She was to be not only Abraham’s princess, but the princess of a large race of people.
Her Ancestry and Family Life: Abraham’s half-sister, daughter of his father, Terah, but not his mother.
When and Where She Lived: Apparently she first lived in Ur of the Chaldees and later went with her husband, Abraham, to Canaan.
Place in History:
Special traits: She was barren. Gen. 11:30
Beautiful in appearance Gen. 12:11
Recipient of the promises of God 17:19
Protected by God 20:18
Lack of faith 16:2
Idolatry: 16:2 (We know we have an idol when we are willing to sin in order to get something we want.)
Lied to cover sin 18:15
Apparently submissive to husband: 1 Peter 3:5
Praises God 21:6
Laughs a lot! 21:7
Considered Him faithful who had promised: Heb. 11:11
Fearlessness- 1 Peter 3:6
How She Died: Died at 127 at Kiriath-Arba. No details given of her death.
Lessons from Her Life:
God called Abram to leave country and family to go to a strange place. There was no question that Sarai would follow her husband. If God calls a husband, naturally He is calling the wife, also.
In chapter 12, Abram gives Lot the choice of land. Lot chose the best land but ultimately Abram prospered because of his generosity while Lot suffered for his selfishness. Sometimes our husbands make decisions that don’t make sense to us and that we don’t like. But we need to trust God to lead through our husbands and follow with good attitudes. Sometimes the end result will be prosperity, sometimes it will be poverty, but in either event, God will use those decisions to train us in godliness.
In Gen. 12:17 we see that Abram tries to protect his own skin by the lie (a half truth is a lie) that Sarai was his sister. He didn’t really consider Sarai in this but made a totally selfish decision. But this verse tells us that “because of Sarai” God sent plagues on Pharaoh. God protects us even when our husbands make sinful, incorrect decisions.
In Gen. 16:1, Sarah followed the custom of her culture and suggested that Abram enter into an immoral relationship with her maid. Following sinful cultural ideas does NOT produce good fruit. By him following her suggestion, there was disharmony and jealousy in the home AND the race that gave us the Muslim religion was begun.
Another life lesson from that verse is that God had promised a child! GOD had PROMISED! She was impatient and unbelieving of God’s promises so she took matters into her own hands to try to make things happen. The result was a mess!
Gen. 16:5 Sarah blame-shifted Abraham’s interaction with Hagar. Yes, he could have said no and not had sexual relations with Abraham, but he was just following her suggestion! Before we make suggestions to our husbands, we need to think through clearly, realizing the influence we have on them, count the cost ahead of time, and then make only suggestions that will encourage our husbands to glorify God with their lives.
Gen. 17:15-20 God promised that Sarah would be the mother of Abraham’s child, and that promise came to pass. We must not underestimate God! He can do wondrous and mighty things! It’s a mistake to think that God can’t do things, especially things He has promised to do!
Gen. 20:1-6 God can take care of us even when our husbands fail to.
Gen. 21:1 God ALWAYS keeps His promises, even when they look impossible. Which promises of God look impossible to you?
Gen. 22 God’s dealings with Abraham and Isaac- Sarah is not mentioned at all. God does not involve us in all of His dealings with our husbands and kids. We don’t need to be involved in everything! Sometimes we need to sit back, shut up, and let God work.
Heb. 11 Faith produces great results in our lives! What could and would God do in, for, and through us if we only trusted Him for it?
1 Pet. 3:6 Several times in Sarah’s life she had good reason to be afraid. But this verse intimates that she was not afraid, that she followed fearlessly. Many times in our lives, those who lead us will lead us places we don’t want to go to do things that are hard for us to do, but we need to follow without fear.