And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac. Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.” (Genesis 21:1-7)
God Made Her Laugh
There are many reactions to the way God works among men. Adam and Eve hid when they heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden. Abram fell on his face when God talked with him. David was smitten with grief when Nathan revealed the adultery with Bathsheba. Isaiah implored the Lord to send him to preach. Jonah tried to run away from God. Mary marveled at the message of Gabriel that a child could be born of a virgin. Sarah had a son at the age of ninety-nine and laughed. And that was something to laugh about. Her laughter was from the complete joy of nursing a son and age did not matter in the mind of God. When the world was first populated with families, men and women lived for hundreds and hundreds of years bearing children. Abraham would live to be 175 years old; in the words of the Holy Spirit a ripe old age. It was not common for children to born at that age. In the process of time, the womb would become barren and Abraham would consider his body dead concerning procreation. Yet, through the power of God, a child of promise was born to a man 100 years old and his wife at the age of 90. This made her laugh to consider the incredible working of the Lord in her life. It must be admitted that even in the day of Abraham and Sarah seeing a 90-year-old woman pregnant with a child was an astonishing thing. From the story of their lives, Sarah was a very beautiful woman even in her older age. Having a child at any age was impossible for Sarah until the Lord blessed her in the time of life when her womb was dead to bear Isaac. When Mary asked Gabriel how she was to have a child when she had not known a man, the angel declared that with men this is impossible but with God nothing is impossible. Mary must have laughed to herself when she first realized her womb was growing and how that came about. Her faith was incredible to be a virgin betrothed to Joseph and yet with a child. What joy she felt when the child Jesus would move inside her womb and she could feel Him kicking. As she laid Jesus in the manger wrapped in swaddling clothes her eyes must have filled with tears to see the glory of God not only in the face of Jesus but also in the gift of life through her womb though she was a virgin. Sarah and Mary experienced the power of God in their lives in a manner few women have known in the history of mankind (including Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist).
Sarah laughed within herself not in a frivolous manner but in the astonishing way that God worked in her life to give her a son. No promise of a son had been given to her for 65 years. She lived with her husband Abram and they would have longed for children but her womb was barren. When the Lord came to Abram and promised him a son, Sarai could not see how that would be possible at her age. Eleven years later she would offer her handmaiden, Hagar, as a surrogate to bring the promise about. This was not the will of God as the promise of God to Abraham meant that Sarah would bear a son. It would be another 14 years before Sarah looked into the face of Isaac and knew the power of God’s promise. She laughed. Sarah had to think of the amazing gift of the grace of God to allow a woman of her age to enjoy the wonders of pregnancy, experience the pain of childbirth and that unforgettable moment when she looked into the face of her newborn son. Her heart was full and her joy was overwhelmed with praise. Whenever she saw Isaac she would be reminded of the power of God as the Hebrew means, “laughter.” Isaac would be 37 when his beloved mother died. Sarah found her joy in the power of God because of what the Lord had done in her life.
Christians should be filled with laughter. Not the kind of frivolous chatter that accompanies the mundane or useless spirits. Sarah laughed because she could not believe in the incredible power of God to allow her to bear a child at the age beyond child-bearing. The Lord worked a mighty deed in her life and she lived the rest of her life being reminded of how incredibly powerful the grace of her God was in her life. Those who bear the name of Christ have been washed in the blood of the Son of God, redeemed, sanctified, purified and made holy by the grace of God. The birth that is experienced by the child of God is a birth that is impossible for man to perform. When Jesus explained to Nicodemus the new birth, He told the Pharisee that greater joy would come from those who are born of the water and the spirit. The significance of this birth would not come clear until Peter stood before devout Jews on Pentecost and implored them to experience the new birth in Jesus Christ. As the disciples spread the gospel throughout the world, the message of Jesus was heralded in every city and throughout the world that all those who believed and were baptized would be saved. When Philip preached in Samaria there was great joy in that city. They were laughing like Sarah. Salvation had come to their city and they experienced a birth made possible by the power and grace of God. Who would not want to spend the rest of their lives ‘laughing’ at the knowledge that God would wash away their sins and grant them eternal life? It may be the reason that children of God are not rejoicing today is they do not fully understand what God has done for them. Let me ask a question: If you were 90 years old and gave birth to a healthy little boy or you were 100 years of age and held your newborn son in your arms – would you not laugh out loud in a joyful way? Why then can we not rejoice that we are saved? Sarah laughed at what God had done for her and it would be healthy for you and me to spend some quality time laughing in a holy manner for the love of God and what He has promised. Laugh. It will do you good.