Sarah and Abraham (Genesis 17) | Story

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Today’s heroes are Sarah and Abraham, because they shows us the gift of Names

Essential Teachers notes:
We all remember the promise made to Abram / Abraham, God would bless him, make him a great nation, and give him more descendants than the stars…. but the promise is specific to Sarah too and this story comes from her perspective. Much of this story is a conversation and would lend itself to being acted.

Main Passage : Genesis 17
Additional Passages : Genesis 15


Sarai folded the blanket, put her old hands on her old hips and looked round the tent. This tent was old too, perhaps she would one day get Abram to stop wandering off to talk to his God and instead go find a tent-maker. She grabbed a cushion and sat down to wait for him, it was cooler in the tent than outside.

Abram got back in a state, she knew that look, it was the look Abram had when God had told him something. First God had told him that he was chosen to be the father of God’s people, a great people, he would be blessed but he had to leave his home. That was over 20 years ago now. Over the years God had appeared to Abram and repeated his promise. Abram’s descendants would be like the grains of sand, like the stars in the sky, too many to count. God had looked after Abram and Sarai and even their Nephew Lot but Sarai had never had a child.

He leant down and kissed her cheek as he walked into the tent. Sarai turned to face him waiting to hear what God had said this time.
“Hello Sarah”said Abram with a huge smile, “your going to have a baby”
“my name is Sarai” she mumbled in reply
“no it’s not, your name is Sarah, and I’m not Abram, I’m Abraham”
“because Abram means Father but Abraham means father of many”
“and God told you this?”
“and I need to change my name too?”
“and even though I’m 89 years old and you are 99 years old I’m going to have a baby?”
“yes, God’s going to bless us, and this year too!” said Abraham his smile growing even wider
Sarah groaned. People didn’t have babies when they were this old.
“It’s the truth” said Abraham “God to change your name, he would bless you and will give you a son.”
“and what did you say, Abraham” came Sarah’s voice dripping with disbelief
Abraham looked away and mumbled “I laughed”
“I laughed” repeated Abram a bit louder
Sarah started to giggle too, the whole thing sounded completely mad.
“it gets better” said Abraham
“there’s more?” said Sarah, her eyebrows raising,
“because I laughed God wants us to call him Isaac which mean ‘he laughs’”
“Isaac. Well there are worse names I suppose.
They looked at each other, God kept his promises. perhaps they would finally have a child of their own?
“wait a second” said Sarah suddenly becoming serious, “what about Ishmael”

Now Ishmael was Abraham’s son. Thinking Sarah would never have children Sarah had given Abraham her servant to have a child with. Abraham had asked God the same question.

“God sad to me that he will bless Ishmael but his covenant would be with Isaac”
“What did he say exactly” said Sarah. Abraham’s promise from God had never mentioned her before
“he said ‘I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her’”
“It will be our child who has descendants that number the stars?”
“yes – the promise God made to me, he made it to you too”
Sarah and Abraham sat in silence. New names, a new baby, and a new covenant it was a lot to think about.
Finally Sarah broke the silence : “Abraham, tell me again about your God and this covenant”

Today’s heroes are Sarah and Abraham, because they shows us the gift of Names



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