“The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as he had promised.”
The Lord chose Sarah as well. There is a lot of focus in Scripture about God’s choosing of Abraham to be the father of nations, the one through whom all families on earth shall be blessed, that through Abraham’s line of descendants, Jesus Christ would be born. And all of that is key. I’m not arguing anything against that focus.
But what God is impressing on my heart today is that He also specifically chose Sarah. “And God said to Abraham, ‘As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall become nations; kings of peoples shall come from her” (Genesis 17:15-16).
The significance I see in God’s choosing of her is that He did so fully knowing her doubts and missteps. Because this statement is made after Sarah took matters into her own hands to make sure God’s promise to Abraham would be fulfilled. God had said, years before, He would make of her husband a great nation. But nothing appeared to be happening. They were both pretty old, well past childbearing years for her in particular, so she did what seemed to make the most sense to move things along – she gave Abraham her servant, to have a child through her. And he did.
Fast forward almost 15 years, and God makes this statement about Sarah. That He will bless her. That through her, He would establish His covenant with Abraham’s offspring. He didn’t choose Hagar – though He saw her, spoke with her, and provided for her in faithfulness. He chose Sarah, and He would fulfill His promises (to Abraham and to her) in His perfect timing.
God was not swayed away from His choosing of her. Not even when she doubted. Not even when she gave into the felt need to take over because she didn’t see God acting. He still loved her. He still committed to blessing her, because He had chosen her as one who was His. The mother of nations, of kings. The one from whom would ultimately come the Messiah.
What beautiful comfort, what hope, we can find in this. The Lord will fulfill His promises to us. He chooses us, even knowing our doubts, our sins, our weaknesses and failures. In Christ, He establishes His covenant to us and commits Himself to these words: “They shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me” (Jeremiah 32:38-40).
God initiated and establishes a covenant with us, that when we surrender to Christ and believe in His sacrifice that saves us, He commits to the hard work of purifying our heart, cleansing us from all unrighteousness and perfecting our faith, and will never cease from doing good to us. We walk in the faithfulness and goodness of our Lord, always. He will not forsake His covenant and will never – never – fail to fulfill His every promise in perfect timing and perfect love.
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely,
and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24
“But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his’”
2 Timothy 2:19a
“You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.”