Hebrews 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
God shows us throughout the Bible that His design is for a patriarchal system. God reveals Himself to man as a Father. Jesus Christ is His Son. Adam was created first and then God made the woman to be an “help meet for the man”.
God also shows us that the woman is not of lesser significance than the man. I understand that there are now emojis that suggest that men can be pregnant. Wicked people will promote wicked things. God created them male and female, and He told them to be fruitful and multiply.
In our text verses we see that God chose Sara as one of the examples of a person who had a faith that has substance. Sara was Abraham’s wife and she also needed to trust in God. When God called Abraham to leave his father’s house, that meant she also needed to leave her father’s house and she needed to believe the same God that Abraham needed to believe. A godly woman trusts her husband, but she trusts God to guide her husband in the right way.
Sara was well beyond the age of child bearing when God opened her womb and gave her conception. Sara had tried to “help” God by advising Abraham to take her handmaid, Hagar, and have a child with her. Hagar became pregnant and gave birth to a son, but that was against the will of God and it was something that brought conflict into Abraham and Sara’s lives. God promised that Ishmael and his descendants would be a problem for the Jews until the end.
God does not bring that into our account here. There are many things that God chose not to bring into this chapter, regarding those He used as examples of people who had true faith. He chose those aspects that were helpful for us to understand. Every saved person has their sins from the past as well as sins they commit after salvation. God knows no human being will be without sin. That does not suggest that some sin is acceptable. It just shows the reality of life.
Sara came to see that God is faithful to His promises. He can be trusted in all things. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation and that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through Him. He promised Abraham and Sara that they would have a son. The timing of that son was in His hands, and He was just on time. Sara needed to learn that.
In verse 12 God again referred to Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac. At the time when Abraham was beyond seed bearing age, God granted him the ability to provide the seed necessary for Sara’s conception. Through that one son, God blessed Abraham with descendants as the stars of the sky, and as the sand by the sea shore.
Abraham and Sara both needed to learn the importance of trusting God in all things. He had made a promise to Abraham. God does not waste His words. Everything that God says, will happen just exactly as He says it will happen.
Verse 13 reminds us that Abraham and Sara died in faith. They did not see the promise of a multitude of descendants. After Sara died, Abraham married again and had a few more children, but he understood that the promise of God was going to fulfilled through Isaac, but He did not live long enough to see that promise fulfilled. Both Abraham and Sara came to believe God by faith, not by experience.
By faith they saw the promises of God afar off. It would be 430 years later that the nation of Israel would inhabit the land that God promised to Abraham. He walked through that land. He saw the stars. He took of the sand by the sea and realized the bounty of God in those things. God used those things to show Abraham that his seed would be great in number. Abraham and Sara took God at His Word. We read that they “embraced” His promise. The word translated as “embrace” means “to receive joyfully.’ That is the general attitude of those who embrace one another. It is a sign of appreciation and joy toward another person. Our governments have tried to erase that gesture from society, but they have not succeeded.
Abraham and Sara readily confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims, not just in Canaan, but on the earth.
II Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Those who are saved are pilgrims on this earth. We know we are not here to stay. We know we have no permanent dwelling place here. Some people are more attached to the things of this earth than others are. Some are dependent upon what they have here for their hope. Yet all the things of this earth are temporary. Just like Abraham and Sara, we need to have a hope that is eternal. That hope is only available for those who know the God of Abraham and Sara. We need to have our faith in that true God and if we do, then we can see Heaven, even though it may be a while before we enter that heavenly home. We know it is real and we know that Jesus Christ has prepared a mansion there for us.
I trust that each one reading this devotional has that hope.