The LORD and the angels ask for Sarah. There is interest not only in Abraham, but also in Sarah. For she will be the mother of the promised son and heir. She is not far away, she is in the tent. It points to the woman’s usual place in the family. This does not mean that the woman should not be allowed to work outside the home. At the announcement of Samson’s birth his mother is on the field and receives a visit from the LORD there (Jdg 13:99God listened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again to the woman as she was sitting in the field, but Manoah her husband was not with her.). It is about the motif, what is reason why the woman works outside the home.
Although Sarah is not present during the conversation, she is a listener. Through the question asked about her where she is and Abraham’s answer, she knows that the others know that she can hear them. Her stay is behind the LORD. She has, as it were, no face-to-face contact with Him, as Abraham does.
While they eat, the LORD announces that the promised son and heir will soon be born. If there is fellowship with God with us, He will also make known His thoughts about His Son and the coming of His Son to us, for “The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant” (Psa 25:1414The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.
What is already known in a general sense, is now regarded as an event that is near. We may also know from Scripture that the Lord Jesus comes, even that He will come soon, but it is something else to hear from His mouth because there is fellowship with Him.
Sarah hears the announcement too, but does not believe it. She does not live in that close fellowship with God like her husband. She judges the circumstances and measures them against what is possible or impossible to people (cf. Lk 1:1818Zacharias said to the angel, “How will I know this [for certain]? For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.”). Her perceptions are correct, but her conclusion is not, because she does not take God’s omnipotence into account.
At the same time, she calls her husband “my lord”. This is to her credit, and in it she is set as an example for all believing women (1Pet 3:66just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.). Peter does not cite this example to make it clear that a woman must address her husband with ‘lord’. It is about Sarah not thinking it a shame to call her husband ‘lord’. The intention is to show that the woman must show due respect to her husband (Eph 5:3333Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must [see to it] that she respects her husband.).
The fact that she obeys him does not mean that she is his slave. The subjection or obedience of the woman does not mean that a man does not have to listen to his wife. Women have been given their husbands to help to keep them from foolishness. We also have an example of this from the life of Abraham. Sarah later tells him to do something. If he does not want to listen to her, God tells him to listen to her (Gen 21:1212But God said to Abraham, “Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named.).
This example is an illustration of the relationships in the marriage of the Christian and here in particular about the attitude of the Christian woman. When believing women take the attitude towards their husband that Sarah takes towards Abraham, they look like Sarah spiritually and can therefore be called “her children”. They then show her nature and attitude. Women who follow Sarah in this, will also show that by doing good. For whoever does good and does the Lord’s will in it, may be protected by God.
It is important that a woman herself also lives in close fellowship with the Lord. Sometimes it is women who have a deeper fellowship with the Lord than men. Mary of Bethany (Lk 10:3939She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word.) and Mary Magdalene (Jn 20:1616Jesus *said to her, “Mary!” She turned and *said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).) are telling examples of this.
The LORD, to Whom nothing and no one is hidden, knows what Sarah thinks to herself. He rebukes her for her unbelieving reasoning. Sarah denies that she laughed. At the same time we read that she is afraid. She fears. Therein we indirectly she her faith (Heb 11:1111By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.), for the fear of the LORD is the principle of knowledge and wisdom (Pro 1:77The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.; 9:1010The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
; Psa 111:1010The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do [His commandments];
His praise endures forever.).
The LORD rises in His grace far above Sarah’s behavior by answering with the splendid, always encouraging word: “Is anything too difficult for the LORD? We hear the answer to this question from the mouth of Jeremiah: “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You” (Jer 32:1717‘Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,). The LORD repeats the promise that Sarah will have a son in a year.