Sunday, October 6, 2013

On 10-13-13, Genesis 17:15-17; 18:9-15; 21:1-7 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as A Promise to Sarah

A Promise to Sarah
Genesis 17:15-17; 18:9-15; 21:1-7
International Sunday School Lesson
October 13, 2013

Jed Greenough

I wondered how many of you are students preparing for class and how many are teachers doing likewise.  If you visit me weekly here do my comments sometimes disappoint you and you can’t help but judge me?
I have never reused the same commentary from the past when I could have but if I did would you think ill of me?  Or what if I took a week off once and awhile?  Would you care about that?
Those who take their preparations seriously might read a lesser commentary or one they disagree with vehemently or find the blog hasn’t been updated for a couple weeks and decide “phooey on this guy!” But what would they really know about me and the causes?  Nothing.
If I thought I had done my best or I was taking a break or I had a family emergency you wouldn’t know any of that because that isn’t what I write about.
Many times we do that judging automatically or quickly of people.  I must admit I’ve never been a fan of Sarah, judging her in many ways too harshly and too quickly.  Oh, my, but what have I based it upon?  God felt it important to share certain things about Sarah but not all things.
Is it fair to blame an ancient woman for laughing at what was heard today no matter who uttered the words?  Picture the oldest woman you know and imagine that it was she who would soon bear a child.
We also know from previous studies through the years the chaos that was created with help from Sarah that concerned Hagar and Ishmael that is still playing out today.
But the Bible and therefore God doesn’t judge Sarah in the same manner as we might if He did we would read about her in the way we read about Esau and we don’t.  The last words we read of her are found in the New Testament in Hebrews 11:11 and 1 Peter 3:6 with positive comments about her faith and obedience.
Luke 16:15 tells us that we justify ourselves in the eyes of others but God knows our hearts.  We do not know when a man or woman is trying their hardest but don’t hit the mark or they didn’t put forth the effort that they should have, only God knows.
As with most things the best thing we can do is pray.  Pray for our ability to do the best we can to bring God the glory.  Whether that be for our own acts or in our prayers on the behalf of others in how they perform.
I pray for you as students and teachers and I hope that you will pray for me and others who are a part of your worship and study practices.

For Discussion:
1.       Discuss your thoughts about the actions of Sarah you know from the Bible.  Have they changed?
2.       Discuss what is said about Abraham laughing versus Sarah.
3.       Are we adding words to the scripture that deal with Sarah that aren’t really there?
4.       What would it be like to know the consequences of our individual decisions thousands of years later such as Abraham’s and Sarah’s?
5.       Discuss the joy of Sarah.
6.       Discuss how we judge based on what is really superficial information.

Upcoming Lessons

10-20-13    Blessings for Ishmael and Isaac or A Blessing for Ishmael and Isaac Genesis 21:12-14, 17-21; 26-2-5, 12, 13 or 21:13-14, 17-21; 26:2-5, 12-13
10-27-13    The Blessing Passes to Jacob Genesis 28:1a, 10-22
11-3-13     God Prepares for Deliverance Exodus 3:7-17
11-10-13    Beginning of Passover Exodus 12:1-14

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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