GOD’S STORY: Part 71 Family roots

Abraham’s family roots

We can all trace out our family trees. It’s an exercise often executed in primary school classrooms to help children build their personal identity. Family is an important part of that.

No less important has family been throughout history, and we see this in the Bible, which traces the genealogy of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story.

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective.

From Genesis 11:29-30

“Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. But Sarai was barren; she had no child.”

Abram (later GOD will change his name to Abraham) and Nahor were brothers, as was Haran. Tarah was their father. It is Terah who will take Abraham and his nephew Lot (fathered by Haran) out of their homeland of Ur. This is a vital step toward the LORD GOD speaking to Abraham years later and promising him the Nations as his inheritance. 

“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.” (Genesis 17:4-7)

More to this later… For now, let us focus upon the wife of Abram, Sarai (later to be named by GOD as Sarah).

Sarai is barren

Sarai was barren. This would be key to reveal the miraculous nature of GOD and the incredible faith of Abraham.

What does GOD reveal in this simple statement, “But Sarai was barren; she had no child”?

The implications of this are huge! 

First, in the Jewish culture of that time like so many others, a woman’s identity was primarily based upon having a spouse and children. Sarai’s sense of worth was very much based upon her maternity — or in this case, the lack of it…

What does GOD teach us through Sarai’s story

Sarai and we are encouraged to rely upon Him, to trust in Him.

Sarai is given a new name: Sarah. 

“Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.” (Genesis 17:15)

Sarah means princess. GOD regards her as a “princess”.

Sarah is given a promise: a child. 

“Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”” (Genesis 18:12)

Sarah laughs at the suggestion she’ll bear a child (and then denies it). 

“But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh!”” (Genesis 18:15)

Sarah’s journey

Wrapped up in “But Sarai was barren” is the huge implication that Sarai’s identity was a challenge to the norm; to society and women in particular, family and children were vital. The challenge to Abraham and to Sarah specifically would be tremendous.

Sarai without child brings

Sarai has such a huge need to give Abraham a child, she gives him her maidservant Hagar to ensure it. Ishmael is the intended consequence of a union between Hagar and Abraham, but the fallout is huge.

Isaac eventually Is born and becomes the descendant of Abraham who will be used of GOD to prepare a Chosen People.

GOD’s Chosen People

The fact that GOD makes a promise to Abraham, but then no child comes forth from Abraham’s union with his wife, seems ironic. GOD will have his hand on His Chosen People — but only through the miraculous birth to an old couple beyond child-bearing years.

GOD honours His promise through the miraculous; this makes that promise all the more powerful, all the more critical as the foundation of the Judeo-Chrstian heritage.

Family roots are important to us, important to GOD

The story of a childless couple receiving a child late in life reveals the miraculous promise of GOD being fulfilled. GOD knows the value and importance of family. So why does He make Sarai and Abram wait? He renames them both as a sign of His promise and yet they must wait. And they fail to wait.

GOD is patient and consistent

But nevertheless, GOD keeps His promise. Sarah does have a child. Abraham is the father of many nations. The family roots are established and family line of the Hebrew nation begins…