Summary: The most difficult times in life are when God is silent. We must learn to be patient and wait on God. Sarah was a woman in the Bible who learned that it is hard to deal with God especially when he is silent. Contains some valuable lessons to be learn f

Sarah: When God Seems Silent

Genesis 16

I’ve told you before the story of John Claypool who in his book The Light Within You tells of his young daughter who was diagnosed with Leukemia and was in a tremendous amount of pain. One night in the hospital she asked him, “Daddy, when will my pain go away.” And John said, “Honey, we’re doing everything we can to get rid of it.” And his daughter asked, “Daddy have you asked God when my leukemia will go away. Have you asked him daddy? What did God say?”

And Claypool writes that he didn’t know what to say to her. “What do you say to a little girl when God seems as if he is not listening. What do you say,” he writes, “when the heavens seem silent.”

Some of the hardest things to handle are the times in our lives when God seems like he is a million miles away and is not answering our prayers. God promised in his word to always be there but it seems as if he giving us the silent treatment. Where are you God when I hurt? Job wrote in the Old Testament, ‘I go east, but he is not there. I go west but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north for he is hidden. I turn to the south, but I cannot find him.” (Job 23:8).

Maybe right now you have a situation in your life and you are wondering where God is. Maybe it’s a disease you deal with and you are wondering if God notices. Maybe it’s a rebellious child and you’ve asked God to help; but your child just dives deeper into rebellion. Maybe you’ve been abused and the pain is deep and it just won’t go away and you wonder if God even cares. Maybe you have a decision that you need to make but there is no clear picture as to what you should do. And God is not helping you see what you should do. He’s silent.

Sarah was a woman in the Bible who became frustrated with God’s silence when she could not get pregnant. She wanted desperately to have a child but it just wasn’t happening. Open your Bibles up to Genesis 16 and let’s look at Sarah’s story and the draw some lessons for our lives about how we should react when it appears that God is silent.


Genesis 16:1, “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children.” Sarai or Sarah was barren. She could not give birth to a child which in those days was considered a curse. Sarah was about 75 years old and so the chances of her having a baby were pretty slim.

Years ago, Isaiah Moore, a professor at the College of Scriptures in Louisville, Kentucky decided that he would remarry when he was widowed for the fifth time at age 89. Wayne Smith, the renowned preacher from Lexington, Kentucky asked Isaiah why he was marrying again at his age. Isaiah quipped, “Well, Wayne, I’ve always wanted to have a son.” And Wayne said, “Brother Moore, you ought to be the president of the Optimist Club.”

At 75 years of age there was little optimism in Sarah’s mind that she was going to have a child. I think the even more frustrating thing for Sarah was that 10 years before this God had come to her husband Abraham and promised him that they would have son. The Bible says that God took Abraham outside and had him look at the heavens and told him that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. (Genesis 15:5).

The problem was that God had made this promise some 10 years earlier and Sarah was yet to conceive a child. She was growing older and it was looking like an impossibility she would get pregnant. God had been silent for 10 years and you can imagine how impatient Sarah and Abraham must have been. God we want a child so bad! Where are you? When is your promise going to come to fruition God?

One of the toughest things to do in life is to wait on God like Sarah had too. Someone once said that God is never in a hurry, but yet he is never late. Dealing with God’s timing takes a certain knowledge of who God is. God’s view of time is quite different than ours. The Bible says that for God a thousands years is like a day. In other words, for an eternal God a thousand years is really not that long of time. Where as 10 years must have seemed like an eternity to Sarah, it was just a few seconds to God.

A 4-year-old boy was traveling with his mother & constantly asking the same question over & over again? "When are we going to get there? When are we going to get there?" Finally, the mother got so irritated that she said, "We still have 90 more miles to go. So don’t ask me again when we’re going to get there." Well, the boy was silent for a long time. Then he timidly asked, "Mom, will I still be four when we get there?"

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Wisdom Mutyasira

commented on Jul 27, 2011

thank you for the powerful sermon.I feel blessed and uplifted.

Wisdom Mutyasira

commented on Jul 27, 2011

thank you for the powerful sermon.I feel blessed and uplifted.

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