Sarah and Her Doppelgangers

She was a complex character. She gave her husband permission to get with her maid, but turned and blamed him for the consequence![1]Genesis 16:4-5 She wasn’t of great conviction either, never mind what you’ve been sold on that one. When the angel said God would do for her as He promised, she thought God was having a laugh, literally.[2]Genesis 18:9-15 She had her heart fixed on things that perished, therefore the thought of Ishmael sharing Abraham’s wealth with her son was more than she could bear.[3]Genesis 21:10 She expressed traits that heaven decried. But at every turn heaven deferred to her!

What was it about Sarah?

She started her journey in scripture as help meet for the blessed. But very early in Abraham’s story, Sarah proved to be the blessing. Although Abraham wore the mantle, much of the blessedness was realised through Sarah. Kings converted the treasures of their lands to enlarge the coffers of Abraham because they were besotted with Sarah.[4]Genesis 12:14-16 The covenant that God cut with Abraham to make the latter a blessing to humanity would only be confirmed through Sarah’s son, not Hagar’s nor Kethurah’s.[5]Genesis 17:19-21

She was a complex character. She gave her husband permission to get with her maid, but turned and blamed him for the consequence!

Heaven deferred to Sarah’s dominion over all within her sphere. God acknowledged that Sarah had treated Hagar poorly, He nonetheless told Hagar that fleeing from Sarah was not the solution:

Return to thy mistress and submit thyself under her hands.”[6]Genesis 16:9

When Sarah decided Abraham must expel his own child, heaven concurred.[7]Genesis 21:12

Whatever Sarah wanted, Sarah got.

So what was it about Sarah?

We may never know!

However, she was one of a few in scripture to whose emotions and experiences God was especially sensitive.

Sarah did not hold high office. She was neither royalty nor prophet. Nothing about her life inspired awe or reverence. But of such as Sarah, folks were admonished to be circumspect. Heaven took up her causes with calamitous abandon. For the sake of Sarah, nations were plagued, women were rendered barren. If she as much as sneezed, the world around her caught a cold.

When St Paul wrote that “Henceforth know I no man after the flesh,”[8]2Corinthians 5:16 he was revealing a mystery.

Whatever Sarah wanted, Sarah got.

He used the son of a carpenter to make his point. This person “had no form nor comeliness,”[9]Isaiah 53:2 yet not only did all the fullness of the Godhead dwell bodily in him,[10]Colossians 2:9  but so did all that was required to heal the whole world.[11]Isaiah53:5

St Peter wrote that we should honour all men as much as we honoured Kings.[12]1Peter 2:17 It’s one of those quiet verses that require unpacking. Scripture is full of such. What is lacking are teachers.

When we talk about finding favour in the sight of men, we are thinking in terms of finding favour with Kings and all such as hold the power to affect our lives for good or otherwise. However, we would find that it was God’s grace upon a slave that saved the ancient world from famine. It’s the power of the unsung and the nonentities of the world to graciously or severely impact our experiences that’s of interest here.

The capacity to affect the world was found in a lot of biblical characters. The world is full of Jesus’s doppelgangers. In an economic sense, Joseph did for the ancient world what Jesus did for the souls in the world. Joseph said that much when assuring his brothers, he would care for them:

But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.[13]Genesis 50:20

God has placed in and around us his angels. They do not have wings, they do not take flight. There’s no radiant glow around them, no halo hovering over their heads. There’s nothing remarkable about them that should command our attention or cause us to stand at ceremony. However, a divine current runs through them to cause us to prosper and establish the promises of God for our lives.

Potiphar discerned that about Joseph and committed all he had to Joseph because whatever was committed to Joseph flourished. The guard of the prison discerned that about Joseph and delegated his prerogatives to the prisoner because whatever was committed to Joseph prospered.

Sometimes the keys to the mysteries surrounding our lives are kept in our spouses, children, parents or close friends. A brother once sent a prayer request to us at Redeemed Camp. He wished for God to sustain his relationship because since he met his partner, everything seemed to fall into place for him. Discerning these divine ‘placements’ around us and relating to them sensibly could be life transforming. To not discern their presence in our lives and therefore relate unwisely could be devastating.

Sometimes the keys to the mysteries surrounding our lives are kept in our spouses, children, parents or close friends.

Jesus reportedly wept twice in scripture. Once at the news of the death of his beloved Lazarus. The other at the abject lack of discernment among the population of Jerusalem. He knew too well that an undiscerned blessing could so easily and quickly become a curse.

Problem is, they don’t show up with recognisable badges. Very often, they can be the sort who get on your last nerve, much to the manner of the Albatross in Timothy Coleridge’s The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. As with Sarah, they may be self-centred, or as Joseph, a snitch, or Jacob, a scoundrel or Jesus Christ, an iconoclast. But if we have the capacity to see beyond the obvious, we might find that all around us are God’s answers to our prayers.

There are folks around us with whom God has cut covenants. As with Abraham, they are no priests nor princes. They do not hold state offices nor command armies. But the divine word is that all that bless them would be blessed and all that curse them would be cursed. This blessedness was not limited to Abraham.

There are people who pleased God so much that God confers on them a generational blessing. Phinehas, grandson of Aaron was such a person.[14]Numbers 25:10-13 So was David.[15]Psalm 89:20-34 One might therefore encounter a non-faith person who was hewn from a blessed pedigree and are consequently vectors of quiet but powerful covenants. Honour all men.

The point is that God has left no one without help or hope. But His people perish because they lack knowledge. Oftentimes folks are as those who thirst though they be by brooks. My hope is that God will lift the veil off those who handle the word of life. For the church requires teachers who are instructed in the mysterious ways of God.


1 Genesis 16:4-5
2 Genesis 18:9-15
3 Genesis 21:10
4 Genesis 12:14-16
5 Genesis 17:19-21
6 Genesis 16:9
7 Genesis 21:12
8 2Corinthians 5:16
9 Isaiah 53:2
10 Colossians 2:9
11 Isaiah53:5
12 1Peter 2:17
13 Genesis 50:20
14 Numbers 25:10-13
15 Psalm 89:20-34
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