Babies and Old Age Part Two Bible Study

Our Bible study, Babies and Old Age Part One, focused on the age of Abraham as mentioned in the following verse:

ESV  Genesis 21:5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Although Sarah’s age is absent in the verse above, reading cross references and commentaries for this verse takes one to verses that mention Sarah’s age.

It is one thing for a man to father a child in his old age.

But for a woman to give birth in her old age? This is most unusual!

Review the following verses and bible study questions:

ESV  Genesis 17:17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed and said to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”

  • What age is Sarah in Genesis 17:17?
  • Do you know of any other woman who has given birth at or past the age of ninety?

Looking back through the book of Genesis up to this verse that mentions Sarah’s age, I realized that she is the only woman who receives specific mention of her age at the time she birthed her first child. No other mother prior to her gets this special mention.

ESV  Romans 4:19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.)

  • What word describes Sarah’s condition in Romans 4:19?
  • What does it mean for a woman to be barren?

Romans 4:19 is not the only verse that mentions Sarah’s barrenness:

ESV  Genesis 11:30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.

ESV  Genesis 16:1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar.

ESV  Genesis 16:2 And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.

ESV  Genesis 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah.

ESV  Genesis 18:12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?”

Bible Study Reflection Questions:

  • Do you know of any other woman who has become pregnant through natural means once officially post-menopausal?
  • What is God communicating both in Genesis, and later in Romans, by mentioning Sarah’s age and especially her barrenness?
  • What does this study reveal about God’s faithfulness?
  • What does this study reveal about God’s power?
  • Has God promised you something that you are still waiting to receive?
  • Will you remain in awe of God like Sarah even if you feel worn out to a point that the promise seems impossible to happen?
  • What will you do this week to honor the Lord’s promise to you?

Blessings,

Barbara Lynn

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2 Replies to “Babies and Old Age Part Two Bible Study”

  1. Many like myself struggle/struggled with infertility. sarah was indeed blessed by her faithfulness. Me and others not so much.

    Kinda find it hard to believe that the actual # of years were truly accurate. And given the life expectancy of that generation of civilization I believe the 99 years was an way to give you the impressing of her being older beyond child bearing years. This is one of those passages which perhaps best not be taken literally. . Which brings the unanswered question can God intervene in the natural order of this world.

    My faith wants to answer in the affirmative but my mind still rests with the doubter.

    1. One difference is that in Genesis, God is beginning the establishment of the nation of Israel through a distinct bloodline of Abraham and Sarah. This bloodline then leads to Christ’s arrival in the New Testament. Today we are in the period of the Gentiles being brought into the fold awaiting Christ’s return. I do believe God can and does intervene in the natural order of this world. Whether the ages are literal or symbolic of having waited a lengthy period for the Lord to fulfill His promise to Abraham and Sarah doesn’t change the importance of their example of faith and dependence on Him that we can learn from even when God chooses to tell us no. I’m sad for your hurt and disappointment in this area. May the Lord reveal to you His reasons. Blessings, Barbara Lynn

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