Who would ever believe that a 90 year old woman would catch the eye of any man because of her incredible beauty? But King Abimelek just had to have her after Abraham lied and said she was his sister.
Fortunately our wonderfully merciful God told him in a dream that all the women in his harem were cursed because he had Sarah. Abraham told him he lied because he was afraid because of her beauty.
Don't all we older ladies wish we could have that supernatural face lift and the beautiful glow that comes with God's presence?
Well Abimelek forgave Abraham and blessed him with sheep and slaves and told him he could live wherever he wanted. I think that Abimelek laughed with great relief and thankfulness to God the God spared him because he was innocent of doing wrong.
It was shortly after this that God was gracious to Sarah and she bore Abraham a son. She said God has brought me laughter. Remember that Sarah laughed when the angel had told her a year before that she was going to have a son and then denied that she laughed.
So here we are with Abraham having lied twice about Sarah being his sister. Then Sarah trying to help God fulfill his promise that Abraham would be the father of millions of people by giving her servant, Hager to him and having a child.
You would think that God would say, you didn't believe me when I promised all these things to you. Wrong! Romans 4 says, "Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness." Verse 4:16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to GRACE!
Ephesians 1:4 This verse talks about the fact that we all need God's grace. Grace is one of the most precious words in scripture. In the time of Jesus the Greeks were lovers of beauty. Anything that which called out of the heart wonder, admiration, pleasure, joy, or laughter was designated by their word for Grace.
Grace also came to signify the doing of a favor graciously and spontaneously, a favor done with out expectation of return , but arising only out of the generosity of the giver.
Romans 5:20 talks about grace abounding. Again the original Greek translation carries the idea of abundance that is more than enough. Kenneth West in Golden Nuggets from the Greek New Testament beautifully captures this verse in his translation: "Where sin existed in abundance, grace was in superabundance, and some more added on top of that!
There's enough grace in God's heart to save and keep saved forever every sinner that has ever or ever will live, and then enough left over to save a million more universes of sinners and then even more grace on top of that."
God's grace provides salvation that is shockproof, unbreakable, and all sufficient! I hope that all over our church family as this truth sinks in that laughter and rejoicing and freedom breaks out. I pray that chains of doubt drop off and praise and rejoicing is released in our hearts.