Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Reading Sarah

Wow, isn't this great? We've gotten a terrific response so far. No, JnL4God, to answer your question, I didn't really expect quite this many ... honestly I was thinking it would be great if we had even twelve, twenty-five or fifty women participate. :) But God clearly knew the need when he dropped the idea for this into my heart.

I do know from experience that a little accountability and some sisterhood can do a girl a lot of good! I feel like we could spend another 4 days together on Eve.

I've read each and every comment posted so far and I learned a few things from you too. I also loved seeing you answer each others' questions, encourage each other, and pray for our sweet sisters who are dealing with the stress of loss. That is so precious.

The next six weeks with God, you gals, and the women of the Bible are going to provide a lot of insight and plenty of fun. Leebird made me laugh out loud with her comment: "I'm sure I would have probably eaten a half dozen of the fruit just to make sure I got a good dose of whatever I thought I was supposed to be getting. I'm greedy like that! :)"

If you're just now finding this study - feel free to jump right in with us. We read one day, and then talk about it here the next day.

Today's reading is Genesis 16:1-15, Genesis 18:1-15 and Genesis 21:1-7.

Start your reading of Sarah with a prayer for God to speak to your heart and guide your understanding while you read. You could pray the words of Psalm 119:12 &18:

"I praise you, O Lord, teach me your decrees."
"Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions."

If you want to do the reading online or don't have a Bible handy, Click here to read Sarah's story online at BibleGateway.

If you are using BibleGateway, did you notice that you can click on that little sentence that says, "View commentary related to this passage"? But remember to read the verses through yourself on the first day, before reading any commentary about it. Give God a chance to speak directly to you through His Words. Tomorrow we'll talk about Sarah's story - can you wait? I hardly can!

Click by the pencil below to post your "I did it" comment once you are done with the reading.

295 comments:

  1. I did it

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  2. I "Read Sarah" and have to say that I,too, would have probably laughed ~ not because I didn't believe God, but just because the thought/picture of an almost-100 year old pregnant woman is FUNNY!! I mean...think about it ladies. I'm already old (soon-to-be 60!) and can't imagine...but that's the point, isn't it? We can never imagine what good things God has in store for us. He is an awesome God, with a never-ending store of goodness He is waiting to pour out on us. All we have to do is be open.
    Rachel (can't wait to study your namesake as well...and Esther ~ my favorite!), thank you for accepting God's "nudge" and providing us this opportunity to learn & grow & share ~ without even leaving home!!
    Blessings to you & all who share this today ~ Linda

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  3. I've read Sarah and boy, what a story! I keep wondering though, what happened to the son of her maid servant. What generation of people came out of his line?

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  4. I did it. Thanks Rachael for helping someone who didn't know where to start reading the bible. Gods blessings be on you today! Thanks! Connie

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  5. I did it!

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  6. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that the people who came from Hagar's line are people we would typically call "Arab" or of middle-eastern descent.

    That would explain the hostilities that have always existed between these peoples. Talk about one decision affecting further generations!

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  7. Good morning ladies - I have read Sarah and have learned that we must be patient and move in God's time and not our own - being impatient and doing things our way only leads to troubles and woes - as without God we ourselves are unable to do anything - we must learn to trust in God! - sweet blessings - nasus

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  8. That's right. Ishmael is the father of the Arab race. Since we have become more aware (as a country) in the past 5 1/2 years about these people, I am so amazed at how accurate the Bible is with prophecy.

    I can understand Sarah laughing, too. Even at almost 41, I would do some laughing (and some crying) if I got pregnant at this stage in my life. And anonymous #2, picturing a pregnant 100-yr-old woman brought a chuckle to me, too. My gramma is almost 98, and to think of her at 9 months, about to drop a baby any minute is a sight for my imagination! But look at the blessings Sarah's decendants received! God is so good to us, even when we can't believe what he asks of us!
    Susan

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  9. I did it. To answer the question of anonymous about Ishmael, he is the beginning of Islam. There were also 12 tribes that came from him. Talk about consequenses for trying to accomplish God's work in your flesh. The war between Ishmael and Isaac rages on today.

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  10. I just finished reading. I just realized that Ishmael is the forefather of Islam. No wonder they are violent. It plainly states that "his hand shall be against every man". And, I have to agree, the thought of a 100 year old woman giving birth is laughable.

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  11. I did it! Can't wait until tomorrow to discuss it.

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  12. Boy you said it Susan... God is truly GOOD! All we have to do is believe on His Word. It is always great to revisit the characters in the Bible that we grew up hearing about. As an adult it really gives a whole new perspective. Rachel, thank you so much for getting us back into the Word!!

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  13. I also read the story of Sarah. I love this story because it shows how God can provide for you even in the most unheard of circumstances. I am so glad that God is so loving to give us what we want even if we don't expect it at that time. I look forward to the conversations tomorrow. Rachel, thanks again for this opportunity.

    In Him,
    Amy

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  14. Good Morning Ladies, I've read the verses for today and look forward to what God will reveal as I ponder it until tomoorrow. Have a great day!

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  15. I did it! I say this emphatically because it is such a praise report. This entire study is precisely what my Spirit is longing for. We have been unable to physically attend chuch since this past October when I delivered my third child. He was born exactly 16 weeks early. (Please feel free to visit our blog to see this precious Miracle & gift from God). I highly recommend reading these passages via the Biblegateway link (I prefer the Message Bible for this study).

    Thank you so much for making this study/accountability available.

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  16. I did it. Thanks, Rachel, for hosting this Bible study. This is great! Debbie

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  17. I did it :-)

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  18. I did it!! Yesterday I was sitting here wondering how you could possibly pray for an hour! As I am here today I realize I could probably pray all day, and do, this has helped me notice that I spend many moments throughout my day in prayer as people pass through my thoughts! I was feeling guilty, but now I am proud of myself for taking time for God! Thanks for helping me take a look at my life! It is great to see these women in the bible and realize we are not to far from the original:)Thanks again, Kari

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  19. I'd like to join the many thanks you've already received for leading this endeavor. i've truly found myself yearning to be in the Word, but didn't know where to start.

    I'm trying to read the passages you tell us 1st thing in the moring so that I have the entire day to meditate and think about what I've read.

    Thank you again - I'm really looking forward to continuing with this study.

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  20. This is my first day, and I did it!

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  21. I read it! Thank you Rachel for listening with your heart and being obedient to God's nudging. This is just what I needed!

    Pam

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  22. I'm finished. I've never picked out just the scriptures with just the women in them before. It gives amazing insight into these ladies doing it that way!

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  23. I read it. Looking forward to tomorrow's discussion.

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  24. I did it, again! I have attempted to have a daily bible study for several years. Very "hit and miss" with my busy life. However, these past two days, God has deeply spoken to my heart through Eve & Sarah. Thanks Rachel for listening and following God's direction. I pray God takes this beyond just six weeks.

    Kristi

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  25. I read about Sarah!! :o)

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  26. Hi all, my name is Valencia, I'm 22and I did it!

    I can't wait to look forward for tomorrow's discussion!

    Thank you Rachel for guiding bible study group and it is helpful for me to stay on track. I am a re-committed Christian.

    Have a wonderful day today!

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  27. Sarah laughed because the promise did not make rational sense to her. I have to admit that sometimes it's hard to fully trust God's promises myself for the very same reasons.

    This reading reminds me to trust God's word as "absolute truth" today, just as it was in Sarah's time. He's quite capapble of fulfilling his promises!

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  28. i did it while feeding my 6 week old son! i was having trouble finding time and energy to read God's Word - I realized sometimes I can multi-task - right now I'm typing with 1 hand

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  29. I did it. I loved reading about Sarah. Isn't she just like us as she let her emotion take over and cause her to panic. I do this quite often - but this emotional panic keeps us from thinking clearly. That is when she gave her servant to her husband. She went into action instead of going to God when she was frustrated and emotional. What a mess it causes when we do that. And yet, God does not give up on her but continues to love her and bless her with the baby she so desired - even at 100 years old! He is so amazing!

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  30. I read the scriptures. I had no idea that Ishmael was the father of the Arab race. That really does explain all the fighting that goes on within that culture. Thank you ladies! I had no idea and that is very interesting.

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  31. I did it. I love reading the discussions! Thanks again, the blog is opening me up to different insights into passages I've read before.

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  32. I did it. Thanks Rachel for starting this study. I could not wait and get up this morning to read what you had to say. I see Sarah in myself wanting to be incontrol of situations. I'm really working on sitting back and watching to see Gods hand work in my family.

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  33. I did it! What was Sarah thinking? She directed Abraham toward Hagar and then mistreated her. What was Abraham thinking? What would of happened had Haggar refused? Sarah like Eve made an impulsive decision.
    She didn't believe God and attempted to do things her way. Abraham like Adam listened to what his wife told him rather than God. Unless I am missing something...it seems like Haggar suffered the consequences of their actions.

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  34. I just finished reding about Sarah. It's good to be able to think about these stories from a different perspective then we usually do.

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  35. I am a couple of days late. But I am starting my journey with you, and all the desiring hearts out there today.

    "Lord, thank-you for all of these yearing souls, and I pray that you give each of them the desires of there heart."

    SM

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  36. Interesting reading...I've always been fascinated with this story of surrogate motherhood and the beginnings of the conflict between two major religions. Looking forward to the discussion.

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  37. I did it!

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  38. I did it...thanks again for this study...I'm home recuperating from surgery and this directed study is right on time...blessings, grace and God's peace...Linda aka chosenone7

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  39. I love reading about Sarai!

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  40. finished reading

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  41. I did it.

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  42. I read the scripture.
    Linda

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  43. I did it

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  44. I did it. I am so very glad that God led you to do this study. I have been a believer for 25yrs and I am going through a season where I feel so like a "baby Christian". This study has already touched me in many different ways. Thanks!

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  45. I did it.

    The story of Ishmael is like the outcome of Jacob and Esau; long lasting strife amoung family. I wonder why that is part of God's plan?
    It also strikes me, as others have posted, how accurate with prophesy the Bible is, and how unchanged the nature of humanity. The Word of God is truly timeless!
    - Karen

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  46. I DID IT..

    Thanks Rachel for being faithful to what God is calling you to do...

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  47. I did it

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  48. I did it...JT

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  49. Done! My thoughts go to Hagar. Can you imagine being pregnant and having the Lord say to you about your unborn son "He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers."? What a thrill that must have been (NOT!) Yet she still acknowledges that God is the one who sees her.

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  50. Good morning my new girlfriends!!
    I DID IT !!!
    I read the passages about Sarah. I'm a little unnerved about how God spoke to me about her. The first passage all I could think about was how she placed blame on everyone else. She blamed God because she couldn't conceive and she blamed Abram for Hargar's feelings toward her. In the 2nd passage she lied about laughing. In the last passage it was like she was mocking God. This makes me feel like I'm a pessimist. I'm not. I've read this story many times and this is the first time I've had these insights. What did she mean when she said "God judge between you and me"? Anywho, I love the story and how God allowed Sarah to experience the love of a child of her own. There's just so much to discuss about this story!!
    Rachel, I can't thank you enough for obeying God and giving me this nudge to actually study. Love you! God Bless!!!

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  51. I did it, this is my 2nd day - thanks

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  52. It does seem kinda funny giving Sarah a child a such an old age,We forget that we are now people and when we seek the Lord its always in his time. We wants to be shown through us. Even when we forget what God can do he is always coming through.

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  53. Yes I did it tooo!! thankkk you
    this is such great opportunity for us all to see things that maybe we have overlooked "like myself" or just didn't comprehend. Yes she sure was old and it made me laugh, I could not have a child, and I cannot not imagine that happening to me at 100. I know i am learning "patients" but through the Lords Word oooo that precious wonderful Word, i have learned sooo much. THANKS AGAIN!
    Love & God Bless you all.
    sharon see ya tomorrow

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  54. I've read it.One of the main reason for getting married is procreation and when a woman is unable to bear a child, it can be heart wrenching. Waiting on God is always the best route no matter how long it takes. And when we take matters into our own hands, God still follow through with His plan because He knows what's best for us.

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  55. It does seem kinda funny giving Sarah a child a such an old age,We forget that we are now people and when we seek the Lord its always in his time. We wants to be shown through us. Even when we forget what God can do he is always coming through.

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  56. I did it. Wow! I am so excited about this study. I love reading every post and seeing how God reveals different things to each person. See ya'll on Wednesday.

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  57. Good Morning Ladies,I have completed today's reading on Sarah. It is som amazing how we forget that God knows all and see's all (as Sarah laughed). Gods ways are not our ways, and His will is perfect. In reading we learn to be patient and know that He is Jehovah. Sarah took matters into her on hands and persuaded Abraham just as Eve did Adam, but with each woman it came back to cost them in the end. We just have to trust that Gods timing is the best for His will.

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  58. I just finished reading. What a great story. God's timing is always Perfect!

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  59. I did it ! I too feel sorry for Haggar and cant imagine hearing the words she did...

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  60. I did it.

    And I love the blessing that the Lord bestowed upon Sarah. I love how despite her lack of faith, the Lord delivered. I would have been the same way as her. Laughing.

    But if I may be honest here, I have trouble with the Lord's response to Hagaar about her son.
    He will be a wild donkey of a man;
    his hand will be against everyone
    and everyone's hand against him,
    and he will live in hostility
    toward [b] all his brothers."

    Why would the Lord do this? How horrible to hear such a thing about your child. And why would God want this for his child?

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  61. I did it. And for the Anonymous poster yesterday who lost her child my heart grieves with you. This came to my email yesterday. I'm not very good with comforting words, but maybe this will help. http://www.walkintheword.com/weeklywalkemail.htm

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  62. I did it.

    Sarah's actions are so horrifying from an outsider's point of view, but at the same time completely understandable. She got desperate waiting for God and forgot how big he actually is.
    How many times have I lost patience with God and decided to "just do something" in my impatience. This of course always makes a new problem or messes up the eventual blessing that he has for me. Waiting is so humbling and it literally goes against every fiber of my being. This is a great and very dramatic example of how foolish it can be to not wait on Him.
    Thanks! These were great passages.

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  63. My reading for today is complete, I'm off to meditate upon what I have read.

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  64. I did it.

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  65. I did it

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  66. Thank You. Wow, what a amazing story.
    Trusting in God is what it is all about!

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  67. Read the passage. Boy can I relate to Sarah. I am sure that she knew what God could do, but as the flesh goes we tend to put things into our own hands when they seem impossible. Recently I have had to put myself in check on a daily basis because of situations that I know are beyond my control and just as Sarah saw after she goofed, I have seen God's hand at work and though it's not over yet, I know that I will have victory in the end.

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  68. First I want to sy thanks to Rachel for hosting this blog. It is wonderful and very helpful. It's only my first day in here, but it has been insightful.
    The message I got from reading the account of Sarah was trust God. He wants to give you the desires of your heart. Be patient and know that he knows whats best. Taking things into your own hands is never a good idea. I also love how human Sarah was. I could completely see myself having the same reactions.

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  69. This is a powerful message how God used Sarah's laughter in chapter 18:11 to give her a son even in her old age. Then He bless her to laugh in joy with the birth of her son Isaac.

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  70. I did it. Wow...God's grace and mercy is amazing! And my favorite part is Hagar saying "You are the God who sees me...I have now seen the One who sees me."
    Rachel, thanks so much! Sharon :)

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  71. I did it too!

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  72. I'm done!

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  73. I did read about Eve yesterday, and also sent info to a friend. I did it "Reading Sarah" today
    I am glad I came across your bible study! I need all the help I can get!
    Marie

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  74. It is amazing that God did not turn away from Sarah when she laughed, but went ahead with his plans. He kept his promise, and even though Sarah was old, she gave birth to a healthy son. Was it permissable in those days to make your servant sleep with your husband in order to conceive an heir? Was it not a sin in the eyes of God?

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  75. I did it.
    Thank you Rachel

    Yvonne

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  76. I did it!!

    What spoke to me the most was that Abraham just listened to Sarah about taking Hagar. He never even questioned it.

    It is so amazing to me how much influence we wives have on our husbands. It just goes to show how important it is that we wives are always in God's will or we can really cause our families to go down the wrong path.

    I seen it happen with Eve yesterday and now again with Sarah today.

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  77. did it, and isn't it funny how God speaks to you right where you are? Sarah's story hit home today. Thanks, Rachel.

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  78. I read today's passages and look forward to everyone's comments and thoughts tomorrow!

    Remember! Today is just the "I did it" comment; tomorrow is dedicated for our thoughts.

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  79. I did it! The one thing I don't understand is why Sarah mistreated hagar, It was sarah's idea in the first place for her to lie with abrham, but it also shows that hagar was obedient to God even through bad circumstances. The other thing that puzzles me is that even when Hagar was obedient to God, the Angel told her that her son would have hostilities from him and toward him. If anyone can clarify this for me that would be great. I also know that God is omnipitent and all knowing and merciful and loving, maybe we're not to know or understand why he does certain things, we are just to trust him in all things. So thankful for this Bible study! I'm learning so many things I didn't know before!!! God Bless, Michele

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  80. I know patience is not something most of us are good at but it is great to have reminders of why we need to wait on God. I honestly have to say I marvel at the consequences of Sarah's 1 choice and then I realize I am no different when I don't consider why God works in His time frame and never mine. Only when we allow God to do things and not stress over them does He give answers and usually we are oblivious until He gently nudges us and says " See over here, look at what I have done for you." I can't imagine what the reaction of these 2 might have been if they had just waited on and trusted their God.

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  81. I did it! I am glad I stumbled onto your site. Or better yet, that God led me to your site. I am a new mother staying at home and need to make time for Bible reading and time with God. Thanks and I will see you tomorrow.
    Lacey

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  82. I did it! The one thing I don't understand is why Sarah mistreated hagar, It was sarah's idea in the first place for her to lie with abrham, but it also shows that hagar was obedient to God even through bad circumstances. The other thing that puzzles me is that even when Hagar was obedient to God, the Angel told her that her son would have hostilities from him and toward him. If anyone can clarify this for me that would be great. I also know that God is omnipitent and all knowing and merciful and loving, maybe we're not to know or understand why he does certain things, we are just to trust him in all things. So thankful for this Bible study! I'm learning so many things I didn't know before!!! God Bless, Michele

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  83. I did it! The one thing I don't understand is why Sarah mistreated hagar, It was sarah's idea in the first place for her to lie with abrham, but it also shows that hagar was obedient to God even through bad circumstances. The other thing that puzzles me is that even when Hagar was obedient to God, the Angel told her that her son would have hostilities from him and toward him. If anyone can clarify this for me that would be great. I also know that God is omnipitent and all knowing and merciful and loving, maybe we're not to know or understand why he does certain things, we are just to trust him in all things. So thankful for this Bible study! I'm learning so many things I didn't know before!!! God Bless, Michele

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  84. I did it. Thanks for all of the comments. It helps you to see things from a different angle. It made me realize how often I do like Sarah in that I do things for the wrong reason, and then, it bites you. As you get older it is easier to see, maybe not to do, but to see. God's timing is perfect, not ours.

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  85. I did it. Thank you so much for
    leading this study!

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  86. I read the chapter. I woul proably say to myself boy, the heat got to him. But, in the long run God gives us what he thinks we can handle.

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  87. I did it!
    Many Arabs coming from Ishmael are Christians (not all are Islamic), they did accept Jesus as the Son of God and their Savior. The Jews did not. We have to learn to wait for His time.
    These two example of Eve and Sarah show us how the world changed because of one decision. I will wait in God and I will give God the time He deserves so the right decisions can be made.
    Rachel, this is exactly what you are leading us to do. Thank you.

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  88. I've read these scriptures a couple of times now...can't wait to read what others are feeling. One thing that caught my attention is when Abram told Sarah, "Do with her (Hagar) whatever you think is BEST"...and Sarah's BEST was to mistreat Hagar! Whew. Later, Sarah even attempted to lie to the Lord (deny her laughter)...and yet the Lord still blessed her. Certainly brings home to me, forgiveness. Have I mistreated someone out of jealousy or a menapause moment? Yes. Have I lied to avoid sharing my real thoughts? Yes.
    Looking forward to sharing more...

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  89. Done! Have a blessed day

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  90. I did read..

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  91. Read todays scripture. Sarah took it upon herself to do what God had intended to do for her and she actually messed it up and not just for her but those around her. I realize that when I'm not paitent with God that I too can mess the blessings that God has for me. Great reminder today of being patient and waiting on the Lord!!:)

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  92. I did it

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  93. Hi Computer problems are keeping me from doing what I want to, I finally got it done though and have to say that I don't think I could have given my husband my handmaid but I guess that was a different time.

    Some of my friends have told me I am to serious and I can't picture me laughing when GOD said I was going to have a child, it must have been very interesting to have on at that time.

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  94. I did it can't wait till tomorrow

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  95. I did it...I loved the way the story of Sarah shows God's faithfulness to His promises.

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  96. one of my favorite stories, but today i got a new view, on how not only God can do the impossible to give an old woman a son, but that we must also wait on his word. That word "wait" we get so caught up in what we want that we forget that the Lord has a better plan for us. I pray every chance I get to let God do his will, and the flesh doesn't want that, it wants to react and fight and just do whatever it takes to get thru, but as I learn that I am not in charge, My soul and mind is in peace once I let the Lord do his Job. God bless

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  97. I would have laughed, too, then cried. Just goes to show God's blessings don't always seem like blessings at the time we receive them. This is such a good lesson for us in waiting on God and trusting in Him!

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  98. I did it! Awesome reading everyone's thoughts. Can't wait until tomorrow.

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  99. thanks for posting so early - i was nervous that when i came down to my computer the reading wouldn't be there yet (i normally do devo's between 6 and 7 am). i'm so glad it was! thanks!

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  100. I did it. Thank you Rachel.

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  101. I read it. I love this story. God is good.

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  102. I read it!!! Thankyou.

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  103. Good Morning Ladies!! I have read Sarah. What I learned from this is that we all need to be more patient and trusting in God. Not saying that we "ain't"...just "more". See, God sees the begining to the end, and everything in between. We see the here and now so to speak. So let's not make dicisions in haste, but instead let us wait on the Lord, for he knows exactly what we need and when we need it!

    Blessings All,
    Kathy

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  104. "i did it"
    thank you so much for being obedient to God's voice, this is going to be an incredible journey!
    i am one that has been renewed by God's grace and i am very excited about what God will show me through this study!

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  105. I did it. This is my first day and I pray that it is the beginning of a new habit for me.

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  106. I did it.

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  107. I can really relate to Sarah taking matters into her own hands when she "gave" Haggar to Abraham. I'm not good at waiting for God to act either, and often want to jump in and "take over". I heard a great line once that said, "God did NOT go on vacation and leave you in charge!". Guess that applies to me as well as Sarah!! Anybody else??

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  108. I've read the Word about Sarah.

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  109. I've read the Word about Sarah.

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  110. I read it... You know our church's First Lady talked about Sarah during our women's conference and how she referred to her woman as "Lord". It's amazing that she was able to not only be woman enough to allow another woman to bare her husband a child, but that she was able to conceive Isaac at an old age. That's what I call a "submitted woman".

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  111. Today I completed the readings on Sarah. Once again, it seems as though God has simultaneously forgiven, blessed and punished all parties involved.
    I am so happy to be a part of this wonderful Bible study group! This is my first time in such a group and I have to say that I am truly excited by it. I anxiously await each new reading and the commentary that follows. This is helping me to see the view from many other angles than the one I had always had. The new perspectives are refreshing and revitalizing! Thank you!

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  112. done and interesting but somewhat confusing story to me

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  113. done and must say an interesting but a little confusing story

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  114. I love the story of Sarah. I love it because it gives such an awesome example of God's faithfulness. God was faithful to Sarah AFTER she sinned. I don't know about you, but that blesses my socks off!!! God did not HAVE to give Sarah the child she so desperately wanted. Especially after her sin of unbelief that had her giving her maidservant to her husband and then laughing at the prospect. But he did anyway!!! He did it because He said He would. He did it because He is the God of the redeemed. The God to sinners.

    I don't know about you, but I need that reminder sometimes when I beat myself up for not being "perfect" in his sight.

    Thanks so much for this Rachel, it is a blessing.

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  115. I did it! God's plan in our lives is really unbelievable sometimes. Yet "All things are possible to HIM! How Great is our God!!

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  116. I did it! Rachel, I am loving this!!!
    Nicole

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  117. I read the passages. See something different each time I read it and it reads me. Thank you.

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  118. Thank-you, Rachel, for giving me a nudge, God has been speaking to my heart these last few weeks, and I knew that He wanted me in His Word more. This study is great.
    When I read this account of Sarah, I couldn't help but think that Abraham had forgotten what the Lord had promised him; a son, but like alot of us, he got impatient, so much so, that he listened to his wife, and the flesh, and they took matters into their own hands, instead of waiting on the Lord to do as He had promised.
    I also can't wait for the rest of this study, it is going to be an interseting journey for us all.
    God bless you, and all of the ladies responding to God calling to share this journey. Lanie

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  119. I did it!

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  120. I did it, can't wait til tomorrow!

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  121. I did it & thoroughly enjoyed it! :)

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  122. I did it! Can't wait to discuss it tomorrow!

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  123. I did it.

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  124. Awesome story...await tomorrow's discussion!

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  125. I love the women of the Patriarchs. They have a fascinating story. God is so alive in each of their lives. Sarah shows the human side of us all. Yes, there is still fighting between the nations stemming from Ishmael and Isaac.

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  126. I read it. I'm excited about what everyone will share tomorrow.

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  128. I did it! I also feel sorry for Hagar. Poor girl...mistreated by Sarah, and then she hears such harsh news about her unborn son. I do relate to Sarah's laughing response, as well...thanks for the funny visual, Linda! God is truly awesome. However, I have a hard time understanding why she was so horrible to Hagar. Did bitterness & jealousy take over?

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  129. I read today.And that story brings to mind two passeges of scripture.Romans 8:28,"And we know
    that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose". Ephesians 3:20-21,"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever, amen". Thanks Rachel and all who are partcipating. You Are such an encouragement. This is great! - Marlene

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  130. I love the story of Sarah (and also of Abraham and the step of faith they both had but particularly Abraham going forth to sacrifice his son...that's another story, another day.) We can see so much of God's love, blessing, favor, grace, promises,faithfulness, and mercy in these two people.

    To answer one of your questions about the descendants of Ishmael. It's my understanding it's the Muslim-Arabian-Islam who are descendants of Ishmael and Christians are the descendants of Isaac. Thus the reason we have so many difficulties now.

    Rachel, I do not know how you keep up with all these comments. I was able to scan them and wow, what encouragement just from the little I was able to read. I want to read all of them but time won't allow.

    The overriding message of God's patience and faithfulness. I cannot hear the message enough about how we need to wait upon the Lord and trust in His plan which is far greater than ours. This gives me such strength to continually remind myself this in the midst of my current valley, deep pain, and struggle.

    Marlene, oh what scriptures you quote. I cling to Rom. 8:28 and Eph 3:20 is so powerful...I just need to continue to remind myself that He too is in the midst of this storm and He will work it out best He knows. Anyone else ever think they know best and want to give God an idea of where to lead us? LOL. Thanks so much, Paula

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  131. When I read Sarah's story it reminds me how often we might scoff at what we think is impossible. Sarah thought there was no way that she could have a baby at her age, but what is impossible for man (or woman) is possible for God.

    I'm also reminded that we can sometimes try to take our own route to get what we want. Sarah attempted to gain a son using her servant instead of trusting God's timing. God knows what's best for us, and always has our interest in mind. Just because something doesn't happen when we think it should doesn't mean it never will. Just trust that our Creator has a better way. His timing is always impeccable.

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  132. I did it! Thanks Rachel for prompting me to take up this challenge!

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  133. I did it also. I, like some of the others as well, am not sure whether I would have laughed or cried about the pregnancy, but then to have created such a far extending havoc, of creating nations that hate one another because of my living in the flesh is so distressing and very sad. But then to be inside a tent with Jesus right on the other side of a flap of cloth and not run out to him I can't imagine that.

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  134. I just came back quickly to see any new messages...wow, my first was long...I apologize for that.

    amyrose1119...thank you for your words...they just struck a chord with me. I have for the last nine months been believing God for a miracle...for Him to perform what seems to be the impossible in human eyes...to restore a marriage. I remind myself often of a phrase from a sermon at church..."impossible odds lead to amazing miracles". Thanks for reminding me of the God we serve who IS able to overcome the impossibles of life and that just b/c it's not happened yet, doesn't mean it never will...I will continue to believe my miracle and promiseland will come in HIS time! Faith like the bleeding woman,Paula

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  135. I find Sarah to be a little difficult. She steps out on a limb, ignores God's promises and then blames her husband when it doesnt work out! Then she abuses the person that she had used to fulfill her own ambitions.
    Hagar was wrong because she should have remain submisive knowing that she was a slave/servant.
    Abraham stepped neatly out of the bickering by laying the issue squarely at Sarahs feet to handle.
    The only person I think suffered unduly was Ishmael to be gifted with a heritage of mayhem ...wow! I dont know if I would have laughed as Sarah did because part of me would be hoping, knowing all that God has done and that my husband was special to God and God gifting us with so much already...!!
    But our God knew what he was about!

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  136. I did it! :-)

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  137. I did it!

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  138. Thank you so much for this bible study. I am a mom of two (3 yrs and 1 yr) and I have been waiting to find the time to have more time with God and His word. THANK YOU!

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  139. I've finished reading about Sarah!
    Can't wait to discuss!

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  140. I did it!

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  141. I did it! I'm so glad that I'm able to join you ladies in this bible reading. I needed something to motivate me to read God's word. I'm looking forward to what God has in store

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  142. I did it! And I have to say that every time I read this story, it is Hagar's situation that strikes me. She wasn't a child of God, and, therefore, she was not under His protection. Without our Heavenly Father's guiding and loving hand, we are open and vulnerable to the hard realities of life without the knowledge that our Father is there with His loving arms around us. Sarah made some bad decisions, but was still blessed by God because she was HIS. I am SO thankful for His mercy, love and protection - so much more so because I don't deserve it!

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  143. I did it. :)

    Thanks liz for pointing out that not all Arabs are muslim and I'd like to add that not all Arabs (or muslims) are violent, either, but I definitely see how one could say the nation itself is. God's word is true, even 2000+ years later! How awesome is that?!

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  144. I did it, and i know that any normal woman would laugh because of the thought of being pregnant at 100 yrs. but some women would welcome being pregnant at any age and if GOD made it happen, it was made with a purpose. I just pray that the women that are still longing for a baby have the patience that Sarah never had.

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  145. I love reading about the women of the Bible and getting to know them better and also through other sisters' comments! Thanks, Rachel and ladies who post. I just discovered this yesterday so it's day two for me!

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  146. I did it!
    ~ christi

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  147. I did it! I know we are supposed to leave our discussions for tomorrow, but I was reading so many questions about Hagar and the way she was treated that I thought I would go ahead and share some of the things we have been learning in our Bible study at church on this very passage (up until just a few weeks ago, I was completely unaware of most of this). Hagar was, more than likely, one of the servants that was given to Abraham in Egypt after he claimed that Sarah was his sister. She was a pagan, and not a "Christian". Even though she acknowledges God as "the one who sees," she is not acknowledging Him as HER god. Sarah (even though she WAS, indeed, wrong) was actually following the culture of her time when she offered her handmaiden to Abraham. It was common practice when a woman could not have children, and would not have been viewed as nothing but practical. I liked what "Anonymous" said - Hagar was not a child of God, and, therefore, not under His protection. We know that our God is a loving and merciful God, but it is sometimes hard for us to remember that He is also sooo holy that the only way He can look upon us is if we are covered by the perfect blood of His Son (obviously, they would have had to be under O.T. Law at the time, not the blood of Jesus, but the faith - the kind that was counted to Abraham as righteousness - still had to be there). I also found out in our study that the original translation of the text means that Hagar was actually MOCKING Sarah. She was giving Sarah a hard time and being disrespectful to her in front of others because Sarah couldn't conceive. This made me understand a little better Sarah's attitude toward Hagar - I think I may have felt the same way. Anyway, don't know if that helps answer anyone's questions, and SORRY my post is so long!!! I felt the exact same confusion about Hagar when I read this passage, and it was really helpful to me to have someone explain the intricacies behind the story.

    Hope you ALL have a BLESSED day!!!
    Nancy

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  148. I did it! It is so awesome to be a part of this! Thank you Rachel. You are so precious!

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  149. ladyofgodsgraceMarch 11, 2008

    I did it

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  150. I have read the stories of Eve and Sarah over the past days. I have really felt God challenging me over the past months to draw nearer to Him through His Word and I would like to thank you for your enthusiasm and passion for this series. I have been really looking forward to reading this all day today - what a difference from the usual me who finds any excuse to put off studying the Word. God Bless you and all those who are reading this too.

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  151. LadyofgodsgraceMarch 11, 2008

    This is a good example of what happens when we take the situation into our own hands instead of waiting on God!!!

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  152. I read it!!!!! Can't wait for the discussion tomorrow!

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  153. Finished. Thanks, Rachel, for the accountability. This message of God's love and ability to transcend our human circumstances has sustained me many times during my life. How wonderful that our Father is so loving and generous, and that we can call on Him.

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  154. It must be amusing to God when we create our own expectations, because He knows that He is bigger than anything we can imagine.

    When I read this I was struck with how Sara had expectations of giving her husband children, and when it didn't work she tried to make it work herself by giving her servant to her husband. But all that did was cause bitterness and resentment. Then when she was 100 she again had some expectations which I'm sure didn't include having a baby. But God showed that he's bigger than anything we can expect. I think it's a lesson that should be kept close when we worry about things working out the way we think they should. We truly need to trust fully in the Lord and his greatness.

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  155. I did it and really enjoyed reading all the comments!! I will enjoy reading the Bible like this!
    It is so much better getting the imput from others. We need each other. The body is made up of hands, feet, eyes, mouth etc...so we get such different reactions this way. : ) Thanks for making this possible. May God bless everyone involved!

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  156. I did it! I must admit that I also could not picture myself pregnant at that age. I would have laughed also, but I thought Sarah was 90 and Abram was 100. This just goes to show, we should never question God's awesome power and this should be a lesson to all of us, WHEN GOD SPEAKS, HE MEANS WHAT HE SAYS. Actually we should have learned that lesson from Eve but that just goes to show we have a hard time with belief and faith.

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  158. I did it. I'm just glad I wasn't Sarah!
    Lynette

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  159. i want to believe that i would have waited for GOD and not told abram to sleep with hagar, but i imagine i would have been sitting and thinking about how i cannot provide a child for abram and that GOD provided hagar to me; maybe she's the answers to my prayers! truly, that'd be all too easy to conclude. sarah sounds like a strong, but impatient woman. impatient like me sometimes! ~ caryn

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  160. read Sarah... I have to wonder...would they have had to wait so long for Isaac had Sarah not tried to hurry things by telling Abraham to go to Hagar..

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  161. RL said:
    I did the reading at 6 am this morning and forgot to post my "I did it"! I thought we were supposed to ponder and comment tomorrow but as I am looking at the blog I see many comments... my "anal retentiveness" is screaming right about now!!!!! :) I'm over it though and was so intrigued by the comments... :)

    Quite honestly I am confused...I didn't understand the angel's comments to Hagar...if God knows the plans He has for us...was He cursing Hagar and Ishmael and/or punishing mankind because Abraham and Sarah didn't trust and wait hon Him? I realize the lesson is to wait on God as His timing is perfect whether we think so or not...but did He "create" Ishmael knowing the battle that would rage for hundreds of years between Isaac and Ishmael...or is that the "free will" humaness in all of us??????

    Thanks Rachel for this incredible opportunity to read, learn and grow on line!!! Blessings and peace to you Rachel and all who are participating! RL

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  162. RL said again!!!

    Ooooweee there's a lot of comments and I missed a few when scanning... I was just reviewing further and THANKS very much to Anonymous Nancy... your comments made things much clearer for me! Thanks so much!

    I do have to smile at all of the "laughter comment" as we had our first and only son when I was almost 43 (after 9 years of trying!) His middle name is Isaac because of Sarah and Abraham...and I know their laughter was that of pure delight and JOY!!!! God is so Good!!! RL

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  163. I am really happy I am not Hagar ....! I would not want to be the mother of Mayhem and discord ... Hagar had no 'covering' she was not of the same belief as Sarah so she wasnt under God's protection ....

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  164. I did it!

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  165. Our Sunday school just finished a lesson on these same readings. Sarah reminded us of ourselves in so many ways. (Not the whole pregnant at 100 thing, Thank the Lord!) But in the way she tried to take God's promises and "help" them come to fruition, ex: giving her servant to Moses to make sure God's promise of a great nation would happen. How many times have we tried to "help" God along because we are impatient or have a lack of faith. My guardian angel has to soak his feet every night since he is so busy running back and forth, since I tend to give my doubts and fears to God and then take them right back and try to think of ways to fix them:)
    I am so grateful for this Bible study, it really does help give me some guidance in my quiet time.

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  166. I love how it shows that even in our own actions-you know, the ones we take upon ourselves instead of waiting of God-god can still use it to bring glory and honor to His ultimate plan!! It's called grace and I am living in it daily!
    In His Graces~Pamela

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  167. This scripture so speaks to many of the areas God has been teaching me for some time now--I'm not a particularly quick learner when it comes to obedience, submission, and taking my own responsibility for the consequences of my life. The interesting thing seems to be that I am not alone!

    The living Word of God is so incredible--I am awestruck by it every time I think about it!

    In Joy

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  168. I did it! This is my first day, so I did it for the past 2 days too! Thank you, Rachel, for following the prompting of the Holy Spirit!

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  169. I did it.

    I was wondering how the connection was made about Ishmael, Hagar and Islam. Sorry, I don't know very much about this. Maybe it is something obvious, and please forgive my ignorance and if possible enlighten me...

    Thanks!

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  170. What an amazing story! It is so like us as women to want to "fix" things. Sarah knew God's plan to make Abraham the father of a great nation. But as her biological clock ticked by...the burden on her shoulders must have seemed so great. She must have felt responsible for God's plan not taking place.
    God's plan unfolded just like it was supposed to tho. By God having Sarah bear a son when she was past menapause...there was no doubt that it was God who made it happen and He got the glory! If only we could/would learn from the mistakes of others. This is definitely a story that we can learn patience, trust in God, obedience, faith, and belief in God that He knows what is best for us. Thank you once again Rachel for leading us into a deeper study of the word of God. Bless you!

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  171. I am amazed once again because of the Lord God's love and mercy for his people. Sarah had a baby at almost 100 years of age after all those years despised as a barren woman.

    It makes me sad to see her give Hagar such a bad time after Hagar became pregnant. I think she was jealous. We alll know that raging beast. The Lord as always protected Hagar by telling her to go back and letting her know a great nation was created in her. Our God is and always has been so good to us.

    Ishmael was the father of the Arab nations and it can be assumed Islam. No wonder there is such strife in the Middle East.

    This story tells me once again that even though I am a sinner I am still loved by my God beyond measure. How blessed I am in that love and all the other blessings he has given me - a Godly husband and six wonderful children all grown and eight grandchildren the two youngest are twins born nine weeks ealy and now three weeks old and doing well because the Lord is holding them in His loving arms.

    Speaking of blessings this study is one I will treasure always.

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