Breaking the Cycle
I don’t know about you, but I never cycle through the same fears and bouts of unbelief over and over and over again! God never has to teach me the same lesson twice. I never make the same stupid and sinful decisions more than once. I never have to feel like I could throw up over the way that I hurt someone again and again. I never burden my husband with having to listen to me recalculate every wrong word I have said, how I said it, who I hurt, what I could have done differently…
You either? Great news! Well, unfortunately Abraham and Sarah are not as holy as us, friend.
From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man's wife.”
Sound familiar? That’s because this is not the first time! Back in Chapter 12 Abraham had Sarah pretend to be his sister so he would not be killed. And even though God clearly showed them grace despite their unbelief here we are again.
As a woman, I would like to put myself in the shoes of Sarah a minute. It takes two to tango you know. Even though it seems to be Abraham’s idea both times to lie to kings in order to protect himself she is going right along with it.
She goes with her husband to an unfamiliar place. A place that makes her husband fear for his own life. Instead of protecting her he asks her to pretend she is his sister (for the second time in their marriage) knowing that she would likely be pursued by another man (again) who would be seeking to make her his wife. We do not have the privilege of seeing their conversation about this, but I am going to assume that this was not an easy, “Yes, great idea dear! Let’s do that again.”
For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
-1 Peter 3:5-6
Sarah is described as a holy woman hope in God, submitted to her husband and did not fear what is frightening. This is a scary situation and I imagine she had to wrestle with how to submit to her husband’s leadership in the midst of her fear.
Also, in Hebrews 11:11 she is listed as being faithful. We just read in Genesis that she was beautiful. I feel sure Abraham was referring to her outward beauty, but that is not what matters to God. She didn't make the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews nor was she called a holy woman in 1st Peter because she was on the cover of Glamour magazine.
Sarah is a person we can look to because she hoped in God and do not fear the things that are frightening! In fact it says anything that is frightening. She did not fear anything that was frightening because her hope was not in her husband, but in the Lord.
I don't know about you but I would much prefer my names listed in God's hall of faith for all of eternity than the picture of my face on a Glamour magazine for one month. You probably do not even know who’s on the cover of that magazine right now. I don’t. That's because it does not matter.
So let's be women who do not cycle through the same fear and unbelief, but hope in God.