Daily Devotion | Day 317
“And God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall come from her’” (Genesis 17:15-16, NKJV).
In the Bible you will find many women of exemplary faith, each special in her own right. To name a few: Rahab, Deborah, Ruth, Naomi, Esther, Abigail, Hannah, Anna, Mary, and Elizabeth. But of these great women, only one stands as the ‘mother’ of believers (Jews and Gentiles alike). Her name is Sarah. She was the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac.
In this teaching series, we will examine Sarah’s special place within the nation of believers and draw some lessons from her life. We will start by looking at God’s promises concerning Sarah which made her the mother of the believing nation. By “believing nation” I am referring to all of Israel, i.e. the community of all who believe in Christ whether Jew or Gentile.
Before we delve into today’s passage, let us first look at what God told Abraham in the opening verses of Genesis 17. We want to juxtapose that with today’s passage. This will enable us to observe more clearly what God is saying to us about Sarah. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and said to him, “I have made you a father of many nations” (Genesis 17:5). In the next verse, God continued, “I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you” (v. 6).
Now let us see what God (addressing Abraham) said about Sarah. In verse 15, He changed Sarai’s name to Sarah. Then He added, “And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her” (v. 16).
Comparing what God said about Abraham with what He said about Sarah, you will notice that they are almost identical. Abraham would be the father of many nations and Sarah would be the mother of nations. Kings would come from Abraham and kings would come from Sarah as well. This makes sense.
When God chose Abraham, He chose his wife also, so that the two (as a couple) would be the father and mother of nations and kings. These “nations” and “kings” refer to multitudes of peoples from different nations who would have one thing in common: faith in Christ. This is why in heaven Jesus is praised for having redeemed us “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Revelation 5:8-10; see also 7:9-12). Because of their common faith in Christ, these redeemed peoples are the offspring both of Abraham and of Sarah.
God chose Abraham to be the father of believers (Romans 4:16). But for Abraham to be the legitimate father of believers, it was necessary that he become a believer himself. That is, it was imperative for him to have faith in Christ. To this end, God “preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand” (Galatians 3:8). We could, based on this text, say that Abraham was ‘the first Christian.’ He and his wife, Sarah, were the first believers. Therefore, subsequent believers would trace their line to Abraham (as their father in the faith) and to Sarah (as their mother in the faith).
We, believers, are a line of kings and priests. And Sarah is the mother of us all.
God willing, we will continue this message tomorrow. Till then, remain ‘in Sarah’: remain in faith. Amen.
For further study: 1 Peter 2:9-10 and Romans 4:9-25