Sarah lived 127 years; And Sarah died at Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. Genesis 23:1-2
It is only right and fair to remember Sarah’s life today. She lived 127 years and survived many hardships. Her struggles were public as many of her triumphs and failures were captured for all of us to read. She was named as an example of one who trusted in Yahweh. Isaiah 51:2 She was mentioned as one whose faith was counted as righteousness. Romans 4:19 She did a lot wrong but, oh, she did a lot right. What can I learn from her?
- She persevered. Abraham loved her but he was anything but a perfect husband. He betrayed her badly when he tricked two kings into believing that she was his sibling, not his wife. A pawn in Abraham’s hands, she was given over to be part of the kings’ harem. It was God who had to step in to guard her chastity. Despite this treachery in her marriage, she appeared to stay emotionally engaged with Abraham until the end.
- She grew in her faith over her long life. Refusing to coast, she ultimately believed God for the birth of the promised child, Isaac, at age 90. In her old age, God renamed her for her faith. When I wonder if God forgets the aged, I remember her story.
- But she was also imperfect. She gave her slave girl to be a concubine to Abraham. Sarah was desperate and caved into doubt instead of faith. Despite this and the catastrophic outcome of the birth of Ishmael, their marriage lasted, and Abraham mourned her death. Forgiveness, not bitterness, triumphed in their marital relationship.
I’m halfway to Sarah’s age. I often fight the urge to coast instead of to engage. I’m aware today that there is so much life to live yet. God’s greatest work in me is ahead of me, not behind me. On a good day, I feel the joy and am in touch with His purpose for my life. On a bad day, I persevere until the battle passes.
No coasting for me. By your grace, I’ll be faithful to the end. Amen