You might be more familiar with the story of Abraham and Sarah, but these two actually started off as Abram and Sarai. And they did some very significant things as Abram and Sarai.
Many years after the flood, sin and evil crept back into the earth. People began settling across many different parts of the world, and speaking many different languages.
God approached Abram. He wanted him to leave his country, and go to another country. “To the land that I will show you,” God said. So, pretty vague instructions.
Then God says something really interesting.
“In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3).
Let that statement soak in, because it is very important. Through Abram, all the families of the earth will be blessed. There is no way for Abram to understand what this meant at the time. The blessing he is referring to is Jesus, and the grace that will be offered through his sacrifice on the cross. God makes a covenant with Abram, and promising that this blessing will come from him.
So Abram went. He took his wife, Sarai, and his brother’s son, and all their possessions.He didn’t know where God was leading him to go, but he went.
Important things to know about Abram:
- God leads Abram and Sarai to Canaan, and promises to give their offspring the entire country. However, they have no children.
- God keeps telling Abram he will bless the Nations through him.However, Abram and Sarai still have no children.
- Abram and Sarai have been trying to have children. They are getting very, very old and impatient.
- God creates a covenant with Abram, and promises him he will have offspring as numerous as the stars. (Genesis 15:5)
- Abram and Sarai start doubting God’s promise to give them a child, and Sarai makes Abram try to conceive a child with their servant.
- Their servant becomes pregnant with a son.
Waiting for something for a long time will drive anyone a little crazy. God has been promising that a great nation will be blessed through THEIR family. And THEIR family will be given an entire country. But they have been waiting, and waiting. They are getting very old. They want the baby God has been promising.
So they take things into their own hands. Haven’t we all done this in our own lives in different scenarios? We get tired of waiting, so we just take over?
How does God respond to Abram and Sarai doing this? After all, this is the family he has chosen to carry out his family lineage. The family he has promised will be the father of all nations. And they just messed up big time.
Do you think he breaks his promise to them and finds someone else to make a great nation through?
He doesn’t. Surprisingly, he just changes their names.
Abram becomes Abraham, which means “the father of the nations.”
Sarai becomes Sarah, which means “princess.”
I love names with significant meanings, so I just love this. I love that he not only changes their names, but their new names symbolize what God keeps promising them, so they won’t forget this time. I bet God was like “should I give them a forehead stamp that says ‘remember my promise’, or just change their name?” Good call with the name change.
Oh, I almost forgot. Do you know who Abram was a descendant of? That’s right, Noah! (Genesis 11)
Question to think about: Have you ever felt like you had to wait forever on something you thought God was promising you?