Hello and welcome to episode 72 of The Berean Manifesto brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we’re going to talk about parenting, or more specifically being a mom.
As you probably have already deduced, I’m not a mom. Although I do have a mom, I’m married to a mom, I know lots of moms, and kudos to those of you that are pulling double duty as mom and dad to your little ones; you guys are amazing. I don’t have to be a mom to know that being a mom is a lot more challenging than being a dad. Just to start with, I’ve never carried another human being inside my body or gave birth to one. I’ve got three children and being there at their births were some of the most amazing, humbling, and terrifying moments of my life.
Let’s take a look at Sarai in Genesis. In chapter 15 God promises Abram that he and his wife, Sarai, will have an heir, verses 3-4 says, “Abram continued, “Look, You have given me no offspring, so a slave born in my house will be my heir.” Now the word of the Lord came to him, “This one will not be your heir; instead, one who comes from your own body will be your heir.” God didn’t say Sarai specifically there would be the mother, but He did implicate her in the original language. The word translated here as “body,” or in the King James as “bowels” isn’t really as telling as it should be. The word is:
H4578 מֵעֶה mê‛eh may-aw' From an unused root probably meaning to be soft; used only in plural the intestines, or (collectively) the abdomen, figuratively sympathy; by implication a vest; by extension the stomach, the uterus (or of men, the seat of generation), the heart (figuratively): - belly, bowels, X heart, womb.
When this word is used alone, bowels and body are used a lot for the translation, but every time this word is used in reference to birth or pregnancy, except here, the translators favored the word womb.
It wasn’t an easy promise for Sarai to accept at the age of 65, and after 10 years of waiting on God to fulfill His promise, Sarai decides that God needs some help. She tells her husband to go in to her servant Hagar and create an heir. God never promised every married couple a child, but in the specific case of Sarai and Abram God did promise them a child. When they went outside of God’s promise and decided to try and make that promise happen themselves Hagar gave birth to Ishmael and this created all kinds of problems that we’re still facing today. We can’t be too hard on Sarai for this decision though, it was normative and customary at the time to utilize your servant as a surrogate to create an heir.
14 years later God gives Abram and Sarai new names, Abraham and Sarah. He goes from a name that means “Tall Father,” to “Father of a Multitude,” and she goes from “Dominative,” to “Noble Lady.” For God says in Genesis 17:16, “I will bless her, indeed, I will give you a son by her, I will bless her, and she will produce nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
In Genesis 21, “The Lord came to Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what He had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time God had told him. Abraham named his son who was born to him – the one Sarah bare to him – Isaac.” Sarah waited, not all that patiently, but she waited for 25 years for the word of the Lord to be fulfilled in her. What she didn’t seem to grasp that we can take from this is that waiting on God is trusting the words of God even when His timing seems late. Trusting Him even when what He’s promising seems impossible. At 65 God’s promise surely seemed unlikely to Sarai, and at 75 the promise certainly seemed far-fetched. But at 90, when God doubled down on His promise it probably felt like a cruel joke.
Genesis 18:9-12 says, “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he answered. The Lord said, “I will certainly come back to you in about a year’s time, and your wife Sarah will have a son!” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance of the tent behind him. Abraham and Sarah were old and getting on in years. Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. So she laughed to herself: “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I have delight?” When God exercises His timetable there are two different types of laughing; mocking and amazement. Sarah laughed, both when the visitors from God came to Abraham and told him he’s going to have a son Sarah laughed, in mock, and when she had the child she laughed again, in amazement. Genesis 21:6-8, “Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and everyone who hears will laugh with me.” She also said, “Who would have told Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne a son for him in his old age.” The child grew and was weaned, and Abraham held a great feast on the day Isaac was weaned.”
To be a parent, to be a mom, means you gotta be really good at this. You gotta be really good at waiting on God’s timetable. Cause you’re going to do a lot of waiting on God’s timetable. Sarai was a mother from the moment God made that first promise, but it was another 24 years before God finally said, “Hey, that son promise is going to happen within the year.”
And while the waiting on God’s timetable is hard the fact that your children are never truly yours is even harder. Your children don’t belong to you; your children belong to God and are entrusted to you for raising into adults. The real challenge then would be raising them to be adults who are dangerously on fire for the Lord. “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29), Jesus “came to bring fire on the Earth” (Luke 12:49), and His message is a “fire burning in my heart,” a fire “shut up in my bones” (Jeremiah 20:9). To intentionally raise your kids to be dangerously on fire for Jesus, you have to be dangerously on fire for Jesus.
When that seems like too much to handle, and you can’t wait on the promises of God to be fulfilled for one more minute, turn to Isaiah 40:28-31, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the Whole Earth. He never becomes faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. He gives strength to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Youths may become faint and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.” Your children may become faint and weary, and they may stumble and they may fall. But you, you who trust in the Lord will renew your strength, you will run and not become weary, you will walk and not faint.
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”