She represents every believer and all believers. She is the body of Christ and each member in particular. She was Abraham’s sister. She became His wife. So, every believer is sister to the only begotten Son of God by the adopting love of God the Father. We became His Bride in everlasting union, bound to Him eternally by covenant love, fulfilled in His blood, sealed to us by His Spirit. “My sister, my spouse. (Song 4:9-12)” “Thy Maker is thine husband. (Isaiah 54:5)” “I have loved thee with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)” “This cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:20)” “You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13)“ “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? (Romans 8:35)” O, blessed unanswerable challenge to all accusers and opposers of Christ’s people! All are silenced by the answer of our Advocate: Neither life nor death nor anything in them!
Sarah’s life was long and hard. It was filled with struggle and joy. Sarai was barren; her womb was dead. Hers was a life of shame, warfare and waiting. She was beautiful, but inwardly, in herself, she could bear no fruit; she could give her husband no son. Years passed. God’s promise, though oft repeated and heard, seemed improbable. Life from death? From her? Years of waiting turned to desperation. Was there something she must do? Something required on her part? Perhaps her slave -- the bondwoman? She doubted. Did fulfillment of God’s promise require her help? Maybe, after all, God required something from her. She did the most painful thing. She gave her slave to her husband. The slave girl now holds her husband. The slave is now with child. The righteous realization of her wrong rises up out of her faith! Surely He who promised was faithful! Was the bondwoman to take the place of the free? Could flesh fulfill the promise?! Could salvation come by the work or will of man? All evidence suggested against her. The slave’s son was born. Her efforts of flesh rose up as her adversaries to mock her barrenness. Her best efforts prove her greatest affliction. She speaks the gospel our of her affliction: “Cast out the bondwoman and her son!!”
More time passed. She is much older now. The improbable is now impossible. The One who promised is true. His promise is sure. But hearing it -- hearing God’s great goodness -- seems too good to be true. She laughs, in doubt, but her laughter is turned to surprise, awe and unspeakable joy. Her son’s name testifies to her surprise at God’s amazing grace. Her faithful LORD fulfills His gracious work in spite of her inability, her barrenness and her doubting! God is faithful. So she judged Him to be, and so He proved Himself. Laughter is born. The heir and child of promise is born of her whose womb was dead. Christ is foreseen. Salvation by grace alone, in Christ alone, is preached in pattern. The slave’s son is sent away from the heir of promise. All the world will be blessed in Christ. Christ is given. God provides Himself the Lamb. God offers His only Son. Christ offers Himself. Surely, no flesh can now glory! Surely all without strength and dead in trespasses and sins will now rejoice! Salvation is by promise, by grace alone, out of death, in Christ alone! He is the only Son and Heir of all things. He is the promised Seed. In Him all the promises of God are yes and amen to the glory of God (2 Corinthians 1:20). He is the promised land in whom His people receive eternal inheritance! Oh, what joyous victory! What glorious triumph over the flesh!
This is the life of Sarah, sister and wife to Abraham. He loved her. She was the beloved mother of her only son, Isaac. Abraham and Isaac and her are heirs of promise. Isaac is 37 or 38 years old now. Sarah dies. Abraham looks back on her life. He weeps empathetically, contemplating her struggle with the flesh through years of frustration and shame and felt sadness in her barrenness. But much more, he weeps in joy for God’s grace to her, to Isaac and to himself. She believed God. She lived a life of faith. “She judged Him faithful who had promised. (Hebrews 11:11)” Therefore, her Seed, would raise her and Abraham and Isaac and all the promised seed from the dead. Christ was her trust in life and her hope for eternity. Now He is her possession in glory. In life, all things were hers in Christ. Grace triumphed through faith. Grace now triumphs again. Only now it is in her death. The womb of her weakness and death became the womb from which Christ gave her life. That great enemy, death, is mocked in the resurrection of her Savior, the Lord of glory, the Lord Jesus Christ! "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living!" Death is now mocked again in her own death. Joined in covenant union to Christ, His death is her death; His life is her life, Her adversaries are His adversaries. He has fulfilled all for her and all for His beloved bride. He conquered all of her enemies. Now Sarah hears Him who is the Word of God speaking to her in love and in His triumph over the grave, over death, over unbelief, over sin, over the world of works religion, over all enemies of her soul, “Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices! (Song of Solomon 4:9-10)”
As Sarah was precious to Abraham in her life, she is equally precious to him in her death. So every believer is to Christ. Our weakness does not lessen His love. Instead, it magnifies it beyond measure. “When we were yet without strength, Christ died for us!” Our death does not weaken or change His love. His love is stronger than death (Song 8:6). “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints (Psalm 116:15).”
The promise is now fulfilled in Christ. “...all things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; ...and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's. (1 Corinthians 3:21-23)” The confidence of this promise is faith’s possession in life. The realization of it is fulfilled in our death.
These are the years of the life of every Sarah of God. And what more shall we say? Long affliction is the proving, not the failure, of God’s promises. Time is the precise measure of His purpose of love unfolding.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39)”