Sarai began her life in the pagan  world of Ur, in the land of the Chaldees, which was located in the area now  known as Iraq. She was the half-sister, as well as the wife, of Abram who would  become Abraham. They had the same father, but different mothers, according to Genesis 20:12. In those  days, genetics were purer than they are today, and intermarriage was not  detrimental to the offspring of unions between relatives. Also, since people  tended to spend their lives clustered together in family units, it was the  natural course to choose mates from within their own tribes and  families.

When Abram encountered the living God for the first time, he  believed Him (Genesis  15:6) and followed after Him, obeying His command to leave his home and  comfort zone to go to a place he had never heard about, much less seen. Sarai  must have had feelings of sadness at leaving her family and friends, knowing  that she might never see them again. No matter what she might have felt, because  of the vow she had made to her husband, she packed up and left with him.

Their journey brought them to the area called Haran (Genesis 11:28). Abram’s  father Terah passed away in this city, and Abram, Sarai, and their nephew Lot  and their retinue continued their journey, allowing God to lead and guide them.  With no housing and no modern conveniences, the journey must have been very  difficult for all, especially for the women. Sarai endured, and after they had  walked the entire length of the Promised Land—from Haran to Egypt and back (Genesis 13:1)—they  eventually settled in the land now known as Israel.

They had acquired  many possessions and a great deal of wealth during their sojourn, so Lot and  Abram agreed to split up in order that the massive herds of cattle would have  adequate ground for grazing (Genesis  13:9). Lot picked the area of the plain of the Jordan River (Genesis 13:10), so he  moved his herds and possessions away. Sarai must have been sad to see Lot leave  as they had been together for a long time, and since she had no children, she  must have had feelings of inadequacy. In those times, barren women were looked  upon with disdain. Of course, her husband being the patriarch, as well as a man  a prestige and wealth, helped to insulate her from the taunts of the other women  who lived around her, but that, too, must have contributed to her deep-seated  feeling of emptiness in not having a child of her own.

Abram had a  personal encounter with God, and during that exchange, God not only established  an everlasting covenant with him, but He also changed the spelling of his name  to “Abraham”; He also changed “Sarai” to “Sarah,” to let the world know that  these two people belonged to Him. They carried His name with them, and it was  part of their personal identification, because He intended to use both of them  to lay the foundation for the set-aside people He was going to use to bring  forth His Son Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Sarah was to become the mother of  Isaac, the son of the covenant, who was to bear a son named Jacob, whose name  God would change to “Israel,” and he was to be the progenitor of an entire  nation called by his name.

Sarah was a simple, beautiful (Genesis 12:11), and very  human woman; she made mistakes, just like we all do. She stepped ahead of God  and tried to handle His business on her own by foolishly sending her handmaid,  Hagar, to Abraham to bring forth the child God had promised and thereby ignited  a feud that has lasted for 4,000 years (Genesis  16:3). She laughed in unbelief when, at 90 years old, she heard an angel  tell Abraham that she would become pregnant (Genesis  19:12), but she gave birth to the promised child and lived another 30 years,  dying at the ripe old age of 120 (Genesis  23:1).

Sarah took her marriage vows seriously; she loved her  husband so much that she willingly left her comfort zone and stepped out into  the unknown to follow him, as he followed the directions of a God with whom she  was unfamiliar at the time. She loved her husband so much that she turned her  head while he took another woman into their bed, with her permission, because  she did not want him to go through life without an heir. She loved her husband  so much that she willingly allowed herself to be taken by a pharaoh, and a king,  just to keep Abraham safe. She loved her husband so much that she believed their  union, at the ages of 90 and 100, would produce the promised heir, Isaac, which  it did. Sarah knew how to honor her commitments, and although she lived in a  world of danger and confusion, made mistakes, and had the same problems and  issues that every woman does, she stood firm in her commitment to her husband  and to God.

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