In Genesis 17 we saw Abraham's reaction to being told that he and Sarah would have a son in their old age. Now we see Sarah's reaction in Genesis 18: 1-15. The story is different. In chapter 17, it is God who speaks to Abraham directly. In chapter 18, three messengers arrive at Abraham and Sarah's campsite. They are welcomed and shown hospitality. Sarah begins to make bread; Abraham has a calf killed and prepared. Conversation ensues over the meal.
Several anomalies occur in the story. The three messengers appear at Abraham's tent. Why didn't Abraham or one of the servants see them coming? How is it that they ask for Sarah by name? Both Abraham and Sarah are addressed by their new names, and yet Sarah doesn't seem to know that she is to have a son. In this version of the story, it is Sarah who laughs, not Abraham. Granted, she is more delicate in her laughter - she doesn't roll on the ground laughing as Abraham did. Finally one of the messengers, the one who promises a son, is identified as "the Lord." Speaking so that Sarah can overhear the promise, he tells Abraham of a son to be born in the next year.
Let's apply a little imagination between chapters 17 and 18. What if, after God speaks to Abraham as recorded in chapter 17, Abraham tells Sarah of her new name and the requirement of circumcision as a sign of the covenant, but doesn't tell her about having a son and naming him Isaac? What if 99-year-old Abraham was afraid to talk to 90-year-old Sarah about having a baby? Then we see the necessity of the visit by the three messengers to reaffirm the message to Abraham and to allow Sarah to hear it herself. Now Sarah can join her faith to Abraham's in the conception of Isaac. Abraham and Sarah both need to believe the promise.
For reflection: When has God been persistent with us in giving the same message over and over until we believe? What is the promise we have the most trouble accepting?
Let us pray. God, you are the Father of promises and the Lord of truth. Help us to recognize, understand and believe the promises you have made to us.
I started this website and blog on May 1, 2012. I am a Catholic who has been in ministry for many years. I first developed what I would call a close relationship with Jesus in the early 1970s. Ever since then I have been praying with people for healing and other needs. It is because I have seen so many of these prayers answered that I am so bold as to offer to pray for you individually through this website and phone line.