Hebrews – Chapter Eleven XVIII

by Ed Urzi

“By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore” (Hebrews 11:11-12 ESV).

So, here is how Abraham’s wife Sarah responded to God’s announcement from Genesis 18:10: “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son” (ESV)

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

Notice this passage tells us that Sarah “…laughed to herself” (NIV). In other words, Sarah laughed silently as she considered God’s promise to her husband. Thus it appears that Sarah believed no one could hear her- or so she thought…

“Then the LORD said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son'” (Genesis 18:13-14).

While it is sometimes possible to ascertain the thoughts of others by examining their facial expressions, body language, tone of voice, or other subtle clues, our internal thoughts are generally imperceptible. Because of this, it is often possible to say one thing while thinking something very different. But even though we may be able to shield those internal thoughts from others, we can never conceal them from our Creator. God clearly ascertains such things- and He knew exactly what Sarah was thinking when no one else did.

That led God to issue an important reminder: “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” (CEB). Unfortunately, Sarah answered this question in a way that people sometimes do when they are unexpectedly confronted; she decided to lie…

“Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, ‘I did not laugh.’ But he said, ‘Yes, you did laugh'” (Genesis 18:15 NIV).

While it may be possible to fool our friends, our spiritual leaders, our family members, and others, Sarah’s experience reminds us that it is never possible to fool God. Therefore, we would do well to adopt a policy of complete honesty with God, especially since He already knows the truth about our feelings. If we fail to do so, He may call us to account for our lack of sincerity, just as He did with Sarah.