Sarah’s Fight

An Example for Mother’s in the 21st Century

Genesis 11 - 21

March 10, 2013 AM (Mother’s Day in Ireland)

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction - A Little Mother’s Day Humour


A.      What a 6 year old thought of Mom being pregnant


1.      For weeks a six-year old lad kept telling his first-class teacher about the baby that was expected at his house.

2.      One day the mother allowed the boy to feel the movements of the unborn child. The six-year old was obviously impressed, but made no more comments. He never said another word about the new baby. Furthermore, he stopped telling his teacher about the soon event.

3.      The teacher after class one day called the boy to her and said, "Tommy, whatever has become of that baby brother or sister you were expecting at home?"

4.      And Tommy burst into tears and confessed, "I think Mommy ate it!"


B.      What a Mother Can teach Their Children


1.      My mother  taught me RELIGION. "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

2.      My  mother taught me LOGIC.  "Because I said so, that's  why."

3.      My mother taught me MORE  LOGIC. "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

4.      My mother taught me about STAMINA. "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

5.      My mother taught me about WEATHER. "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

6.      My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

7.      My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home."

8.      My mother taught me GENETICS. "You're just like your father."

9.      But most of all, my mother taught me LOVE.
"You know that whatever you attempt to do, I'll believe in you, because I love you."


C.      Listen to what some children wrote to their mothers for Mother’s Day.


1.      Angie, 8 years old, wrote: "Dear Mother, I’m going to make dinner for you on Mother’s Day. It’s going to be a surprise. P.S. I hope you like pizza & popcorn."

2.      Robert wrote: "I got you a turtle for Mother’s Day. I hope you like the turtle better than the snake I got you last year."

3.      Eileen wrote: "Dear Mother, I wish Mother’s Day wasn’t always on Sunday. It would be better if it were on Monday so we wouldn’t have to go to school."

4.      And how about this one from Carol? "Dear Mother, Here are two Panadols so you can have a happy Mother’s Day!"


D.     Let’s focus our attention on a great mother in history named Sarah


1.      God wrote so much about this woman of faith, just for you Mom

2.      Because Mom’s in every age need strong, godly role models to learn from

3.      Sarah is a billion times better than anyone Oprah Winfry, or Ellen, or any other 100 TV show hosts ever had on their show!

4.      The Bible says in Titus 2:3-5 “The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

5.      Watch Sarah grow, and mature, and be transformed by the God who loved her, and called her to follow Him!


II.    Background on Sarah (Hebrews 11:11)


A.      She was born in and grew up in Ur of Chaldea, in modern day Iraq


1.      A pagan city that worshipped the Moon, and bulls, and the stars (astrology)

2.      These were the years of Nimrod and his wicked mother Semiramis. Nimrod was the antichrist of his day: a popular world hero who lived his own way, and built the world’s first empire – the Babylonian Empire. He hated God, and even married his mother in order to upset God.


B.      Her parents named her, Sarai – meant “Princess” – as if she were royalty (maybe she was)

C.      She Married a man named Abram (Gen 11:29)


1.      A pagan man – didn’t believe in the God of the Bible. Not at first

2.      But he who was going to be great – at least “he” thought so. His name meant, “Father of a Nation”


D.     But, after many years, Sarai never was able to get pregnant – barren (11:30). Abram was never going to be a father at all!

E.      At 65 years old Sarai gave up on having children – anyone would have

F.      Then, her husband learns of a different God than they had grown up with


1.      His name was, The Lord “Jehovah”

2.      The God of Adam, and Enoch, and Noah

3.      And this Jehovah told Abram that he and Sarai are supposed to leave their families and head South-West


G.      Sarai had to choose to either stay with her husband (11:31), or to stay with her own family


1.      It would mean that she would have to leave most everything they had to follow God’s will

2.      It would mean especially leaving their entire family behind in Ur

3.      But Sarai decided her marriage was worth it (12:4,5)

4.      And she decided that maybe this God was worth following

5.      So they left


H.     And it is HER story from that moment on, that I want to focus on and learn from this morning.


III. Message


A.      Sarah’s Husband (Gen 11:29)


1.      She was married to a Flawed Husband (12:10)


a.       Sometimes backslidden – forgot to pray before reacting to the famine

b.      Sometimes fearful – afraid of the Egyptian culture and people

c.       Sometimes lying and asking her to lie for him

d.      A selfish, self-centred, self-preserving kind of a husband

e.       If you look too closely ladies, you might just notice a few in YOUR man too!


2.      But she loved him, stayed with him – words “I love you” are not as important as the action of “I will stay with you!”

3.      And she submitted to him – followed him – didn’t force him to follow HER

4.      And honoured him – called him “lord” – the boss! The one in charge!

5.      There is not a husband on this planet that deserves that kind of a woman, but there is not a husband on this planet would couldn’t live well without that kind of a woman!


B.      Sarah’s Own Failures (Gen 16:1-6)


1.      She had some flaws herself

2.      Impatient with God’s timing (16:1) – the longer God was taking, the HARDER it was becoming for her to get pregnant!

3.      Was frustrated with God (16:2)


a.       God didn’t make sense to her

b.      Why would God promise them a child, and then NOT give them a child?

c.       In her mind, God wasn’t working things out for good… God was to blame!


4.      Impulsive (16:2-4) – just making up her own mind what they should do to get a child


a.       She Worried and Fretted, and tried to figure everything out before she could “rest” and enjoy a day

b.      And boy did she come up with an idea

c.       Use a surrogate mother – sounds so “sterile” doesn’t it?

d.      But that was no test-tube pregnancy… Sarai brought another woman into her own husband’s life!

e.       You had better be careful of your OWN IDEAS ladies when God isn’t making much sense!

f.        Many a woman has gone and done some STUPID things impulsively just because they were not willing to wait on God and trust in God!!!


5.      Regretful, even Bitter (16:4-6) - Sarai Didn’t handle failure very well


a.       Things didn’t work out like they were supposed to

b.      But all of a sudden, this slave girl is more important than Sarai in that home – she was pregnant with the heir of the Abrahamic wealth and name!

c.       And the idea was for SARAI to get the child, and Hagar to just disappear

d.      Sin doesn’t just disappear – there is always a scar!


6.      Vengeful (16:5,6)


a.       So… Sarai takes out her anger and wrath and bitterness and hurt first on her husband – guilt – blaming him

b.      Then took it out on Hagar – jealous anger

c.       Funny how she never took her anger out on herself… IT WAS HER IDEA!


7.      Evidently, Sarai had a Hard Time Believing God - Didn’t come easily or naturally


a.       She Laughed at God’s promises (Gen 18:9-15)

b.      Got very impatient with God - Had a problem with Impatience (16:1)

c.       These are all signs that a person is not believing the God who wrote that Book!


C.      Sarah’s Faith


1.      Began the day she saw the change in her husband, back in Ur (12:1)


a.       What a wonderful affect a truly converted husband can have on a lost woman!

b.      The same goes the other way as well!

c.       Abram completely turned away from the idolatry and sin of his culture, and decided to follow the God of Adam, and Enoch, and Noah

d.      And that blew her away!


2.      She learned to trust in the God of Abram, not just trust in Abram


a.       Don’t think for a moment that God was just expecting Sarai to just blindly follow her husband, and let HIM have his faith, while she just did the dishes!


3.      She developed Her Own Walk With God


a.       She heard God’s words from Abram – faith cometh by hearing…

b.      She tried to trust and rest in God – for the first ten years – waiting for herself to get miraculously pregnant!

c.       She saw God take protective care of her


4.      Her closeness to God affected her for good


a.       It encouraged her

b.      It protected her when her husband wasn’t protecting her (Gen 12:17-20; 20:18)

c.       God’s work in her life was a blessing just for HER (21:1-7)


5.      This “faith” Sarai now had would grow and grow to the point where God proudly points to this frail, weak, struggling woman with great honour and praise in Hebrews 11:11,12!


D.     Sarah’s Challenge – to Believe God


1.      It is one thing to have faith… It is another thing to actually see it work!


a.       Not just believe IN Him – that he is there in heaven

b.      But Trust Him, and just believe Him enough to stay the course, and rest in His good care! That He will be faithful!


2.      When Abram was 99, and Sarai was 89, the Lord God sent an angel on two different occasions to speak to Abram and remind him once again of that promise that God had made to him 24 years earlier, was still in effect – it had not disappeared!

3.      Abram didn’t say a word when the angel spoke – he just fell on his face in amazement (17:1-3)

4.      Then God does some amazing things


a.       First, God changed Abram’s name from Abram (Father of a Nation) which was already not working out, to even MORE impossible, to AbraHAM, the Father of MANY Nations! (17:4-6)

b.      Then God said, “Let’s go ahead and change your wife’s name too!” (17:15) – changed Sarai’s name


1)     From that proud and spoiled name of Sarai “Princess” – Royalty – born into it

2)     To her new name of Sarah – “Noble Woman” – The Best kind of a Woman – became this way by effort!


c.       Next, God promises to bless HER (17:16) – not just her husband, but HER too!


1)     Give her the miraculous ability to conceive, and carry a child for 9 months in her ancient womb

2)     Give her a child that would bless the world!


5.      But neither Abraham nor Sarah could believe this (17:19; 18:9-15)


a.       Abraham secretly laughed, and questioned the very thought that it was possible

b.      And God heard his “snickering” and said, “And by the way, you will name the baby, LAUGHTER!” That is what Isaac means! (17:19)

c.       And Sarah laughed later (18:9-15)


1)     You see, Sarah had been eavesdropping in the tent next door

2)     Sarah was furiously shaking her head behind the tent wall, “NO WAY!”

3)     And then she blurted out an uncontrollable laugh!

4)     And the angel said out loud, “WHY DID SARAH LAUGH?”

5)     That’s a good question! WHY “DO” people laugh at the word of God? At the promises of God?


E.      Sarah’s Shock (21:1-7)


1.      Sarah discovered the Difference Between Believing God, and Just Expecting Things from God (Gen 21:1-5; Heb 11:11) – it is what Faith Does to a Woman

2.      Sarah actually believed God (21:1). Trusted God to do what he said he would do!

3.      Faith had changed her Attitude – She learns to Laugh and Enjoy her life again (21:6)

4.      Faith changed her weakness into strength – could carry that pregnancy, and then raise that child – A LOT OF WORK!


F.      Sarah’s Determination (21:9-14)


1.      Thank God for women, and especially MOTHER’S who take seriously the need to protect their children and not just let their children be RUINED by the filth of the world around them!

2.      She Knew She Needed to Protect Her Son From Hagar and Ishmael – they were the Internet, the wicked TV channels, the bad friends

3.      Sarah’s fight was against THEM – not her husband, or against anyone else that might have been having a problem with her

4.      God confirmed her efforts – told Abraham to do as Sarah said this time – send Hagar and Ishmael away

5.      It made it so that Isaac could grow up in a godly home atmosphere and that she wouldn’t lose him one day to the world!


IV.  Application – Sarah Learned to Fight the Good Fight


A.     Do you have a Husband like Sarah did?

B.     Do you have some Failures of your own?

C.      How’s YOUR Faith?

D.     I am praying that THIS Mother’s Day…


1.      You would be challenged to Believe God


a.       Not just believe IN Him – that he is there in heaven

b.      But Trust Him, and just believe Him enough to stay the course, and rest in His good care!


2.      That many worn out women would be Shocked and amazed, and pleasantly surprised at how great our God is, and how marvellously he works in our lives, when we let Him!


E.      But, like Sarah, you need some Serious Determination


1.      To Fight for YOUR Quiet Time with God (Psalm 46:10)


a.       Not just your own “Barry’” Moment, but a Bible Moment

b.      Prayer – praying about everything – not set written out prayers, but words from your own heart, asking for your needs, and the needs of your family

c.       Listen to God YOURSELF – don’t count on the spirituality of your husband or church

d.      Learn how to be Holy Spirit filled instead of anger and bitter-filled!


2.      Fight Bitterness, Frustration, and Coldness of Heart towards God

3.      Fight to stay CLOSE to your husband – whatever it costs ladies


a.       Yes, you probably are married to a Flawed Husband – like Sarai

b.      But love him anyway, stay with him

c.       Follow him – don’t force him to follow you

d.      And honour him – call him “lord” – the boss! The one in charge!


4.      Fight and Struggle to Fix YOUR Failures


a.       Impatience!

b.      Frustration

c.       Impulsiveness

d.      Bitterness

e.       Revenge

f.        Unbelief


5.      Fight for Faith


a.       Whatever it costs you in time and effort, learn to trust in the God of Abraham

b.      Sarah believed God (21:1). Trusted God to do what he said he would do!

c.       It will encourage you

d.      It will protect you, even when your husband isn’t protecting her

e.       It will change your Character - God Changes your name

f.        It will change your Attitude – you might just learn to Laugh and Enjoy life again

g.       It will change your weakness into strength – could carry the world and the stress you face day in and day out!


6.      Fight the Battle Behind the Battles (Eph 6:12)


a.       Sarah could have constantly fought her husband

b.      There are too many angry women

c.       But she instead trusted in God, and she fought the Devil

d.      Thank God for women, and especially MOTHER’S who take seriously the need to protect their children and not just let their children be RUINED by the filth of the world around them!

e.       If there is a battle raging in your heart and mind and home right now, it probably is a battle beneath the battle  a battle over your soul!