Monday, June 16, 2008

12 Extraordinary Women (Eve and Sarah)

Welcome to our sermon series discussion for the summer. As you probably know, we started a new series a few weeks ago. Eve and Sarah were the first two Biblical characters we spoke about in church. They have simliarities and differences, but I felt there was a common theme running through both of them and that was- we all make mistakes and instead of making excuses for those mistakes, we should own up to them. In the garden with Adam, Eve and the serpent, we find Eve tempted to eat of the fruit by the serpent, and of course, she does. And Adam as well eats of the fruit. Then God walks in and asks where are they??? They are hiding. God questions them and Adam says that the woman gave him the fruit, and Eve blames the serpent. So here were are, probably the earliest record in history of people making excuses for their behavior. It's her fault, it's the serpents fault. I was tricked. It seems to me that these days there is a lot of excuses being made. People explain away their sin as being influenced by someone else, or they claim they are a victim and did not have a choice not to sin. Now I am not on a soapbox decrying all those who sin, because I of course am a fallen, broken and struggling being myself. Saved of course by the grace of God, but sin still invades my peaceful existence. But as we grow in God's love and grace, the more we spiritually mature, the easier it becomes to name and claim our sin and move forward. Many would disagree, but as I grow in my own faith, I begin to see those areas of work that are needed with greater ease these days.

And then there was Sarah (Sarai). The wife of Abram, a covenant made with him by God thrice listing out that his heirs would number in the stars. That is kinda difficult when your wife is barren. Sarai takes matters into her own hands instead of listening and trusting God. She asks her maidservant to provide an heir for them and Hagar has a child by Abram. Again, when we don't trust God and take matters into our own hands, the consequences are disastrous. Sarah becomes jealous, angry and hurt. She dispatches Hagar and the child. And still no child for Sarah. God comes again and speaks to Abraham and promises and heir and Sarah laughs in her heart. A tragic mistake, but does not stop the blessing. She has a child but showed a lack of faith, in the meantime, increased her own suffering with Abraham and their maidservant.

Many of us are rather impatient. Impatience brings stress and anger. I have been praying for a family in our church for 2 1/2 years. We have not seen God's actions to resolve the struggle, and yet I am still praying. I have also seen hundreds if not thousands of prayers answered. Take some time this week to pray for those things close to your heart. Ask for God's blessing and be sure to pray for those you know who are hurting. God will act in His time, not ours.

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