Wednesday, September 18

Genesis 18:13-15

“Oh yes, you DID.”

I wish I could say I’d never used this childish retort, but…guilty. I bet you have too. (Oh yes, you did.) When Abraham realizes that Sarah has laughed at hearing the extraordinary news that she’ll have a child in her geriatric years, he confronts her. And that makes her afraid.

Over the years, this passage has sounded to me like Abraham is scolding Sarah. More than a few preachers have shared that exact interpretation from the pulpit. (Oh yes, they DID.) 

But just a chapter back, when Abraham got the same news, he laughed. He hooted so hard he fell on his face. But now the Lord has shown up in the guise of these strangers, and Abraham has evolved, as we all do, from “no way” to “wow.” 

Then Sarah has the same reaction, and at least the good graces to keep her laughter to herself. Like all of us, she doesn’t want to admit that, maybe, just maybe, she’s wrong. It’s too painful to think this news might be true, just to have their hopes dashed once again. 

And perhaps Abraham’s confronting her in verse 15 (Oh yes, you did laugh) is less about Sarah and more about him: “I laughed in the face of a miracle. Please admit you laughed, too, because we’re in this together.”

I’m giving Abraham the benefit of the doubt on this one. “Oh yes, you DID. And so did I.” 

Consider

How often do we judge someone else harshly—especially those closest to us—for doing exactly what we have done? 

Pray

God, remind me that when I say, “Oh yes, you DID,” I usually mean, “Oh yes, I did.” And that when we say, “Oh yes, I did,” it just might be about news of a miracle. Amen.