Sarah and Abraham Laughed │ Lessons in Building Faith

Sarah Laughed

God emphasized that Abraham and Sarah were advanced in age; Sarah was past childbearing (Genesis 18:11, page 24). So, when she heard the prophecy of her giving birth to a child, she laughed 1The Hebrew term referring to Sarah, “And she laughed” (“וַתִּצְחַק”), has the identical root to the laughter of Abraham. within herself. 2The Hebrew term for “within herself” (“בְּקִרְבָּהּ”) means innermost part. Sarah asked as she laughed: “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, 3The Hebrew term for “pleasure” (“עֶדְנָה”) means here sexual pleasure.  my lord 4The Hebrew term for “and my lord” (“וַאדֹנִי”) speaks of submission and honor. In the New Testament, we read that Sarah “obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear (1 Peter 3:6, page 1896). Peter made the point that Sarah obeyed Abraham, with all his imperfections and great faith, calling him lord, and said that believers could become the children of Sarah by acting like Sarah as she obeyed Abraham. being old also?”

When Abraham laughed, he was lying face-down on the ground and he believed every word God said about Sarah having a son. When Sarah laughed, she was standing up, and questioned her old age, and the old age of her lord, Abraham. The two laughters were different. Upon Sarah uttering those words within herself, the LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I indeed bear  a child, when I am so old?'” Notice that the LORD directed this question to Abraham. 5This use of the term LORD indicates that God was present among the three men talking with Abraham. When God mentions what you were saying in your heart to your spouse, then you know something very important is about to happen. In this case, God confronted Sarah by talking to Abraham about her laughter. Remember, Abraham had laughed too when he first heard the news about Sarah having a son at her age.

The LORD continued, “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?” You may recall that the LORD introduced Himself as God Almighty when He delivered the news to Abraham. Now God makes the point that His unlimited power can easily produce a child in Sarah. The LORD said further: “At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” 6Genesis 18:14, page 25.  Sarah, listening from the door of the tent, denied it however, saying “I did not laugh”. Anytime we lie about what we just said, even what we said within ourselves, we are not acting properly. In this case, Sarah was lying to God. The verse continues with the reason she was lying about laughing: Sarah was afraid. 7The Hebrew phrase “for she was afraid” (“כִּי יָרֵאָה”) explains that her fear caused her to lie. Why was Sarah suddenly so scared that she lied about laughing? She suddenly realized that God was reading her thoughts and expressing them to Abraham in her hearing. God also intended to confront Sarah about her laughing unbelief of His promises as LORD, and God Almighty. The LORD, God Almighty, then closed with the solemn words, “No, but you did laugh.”

So both Abraham and Sara laughed about the prophecy that she would have a baby when she was old, but they laughed for very different reasons. Abraham believed the prophecy and laughed lying face down with joy and amusement. In contrast, Sarah was standing and unbelieving, because she was focused upon her age and physical impossibility of bearing a child. In her mind, she knew that she was beyond childbearing.

References │ Page Numbers Below Footnotes   [ + ]

1. The Hebrew term referring to Sarah, “And she laughed” (“וַתִּצְחַק”), has the identical root to the laughter of Abraham.
2. The Hebrew term for “within herself” (“בְּקִרְבָּהּ”) means innermost part.
3. The Hebrew term for “pleasure” (“עֶדְנָה”) means here sexual pleasure.
4. The Hebrew term for “and my lord” (“וַאדֹנִי”) speaks of submission and honor. In the New Testament, we read that Sarah “obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear (1 Peter 3:6, page 1896). Peter made the point that Sarah obeyed Abraham, with all his imperfections and great faith, calling him lord, and said that believers could become the children of Sarah by acting like Sarah as she obeyed Abraham.
5. This use of the term LORD indicates that God was present among the three men talking with Abraham.
6. Genesis 18:14, page 25.
7. The Hebrew phrase “for she was afraid” (“כִּי יָרֵאָה”) explains that her fear caused her to lie.