Summary: Doubt is terrible thing that can cause people to do things they would otherwise avoid. Examination of Sarai’s doubt and how to avoid the trouble it brought.
OPEN: THE SINKING SODA Heno Head’s Simple Science Object Talks
1. Fill a pitcher about 2/3 full of water (you can also use a large bowl or aquarium).
2. Set a can of regular soda in one of the pitchers. It will sink to the bottom. If it doesn’t sink, tilt it to release any air bubbles caught beneath can.
3. Place the can of diet soda in the other pitcher. It will float to the top.
Today, I have 2 pitchers of water. And I have two soft drinks, a regular, and a diet. I’m going to put the regular one in this pitcher (it sinks). Now, let’s put the diet soft drink in the other pitcher (it floats). What makes the difference? (pull a packet of sugar from your pocket) This little bag of sugar. That’s how much sugar is in the regular soda. The diet doesn’t have any.
It’s the sugar that causes the can to sink.
It doesn’t take much… but when it’s present it can weigh down the whole can.
APPLY: In the Gospels, we’re told of a night when Jesus’ disciples are out on the Sea of Galilee in the midst of a terrible storm. All of sudden, they see someone walking towards them on the water. At first they think it is a ghost and they cry out in fear – not realizing it was Jesus who walking on the water.
Matthew 14 tells us that Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Matthew 14:28-32
What caused Peter to sink? (Doubt)
Just like the sugar caused the can of pop to sink, so also, doubt can cause us to sink and struggle in our faith.
It doesn’t take much, but when it’s present doubt can drag you down and take the joy out of your faith.
I. Today, we’re going to talk about “doubt”
In Genesis 16 we’re introduced to a woman who’s struggling with doubt and (I’ll tell you) it’s not a pretty sight.
In previous chapter (Gen. 15) we’re told that God has just reassured Abram that he will have a son. Now Abram’s come home and he’s all excited. You can just picture him retelling the whole story to wife expecting her to be as excited as he. But she’s having no part of it.
In fact, I can almost sense the fury in her voice as she tells Abram what she thinks of this whole thing.
Look again with me at Genesis 16: 2 “… so she said to Abram, ‘The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her.’ Abram agreed to what Sarai said.”
This has got to be one angry woman.
She’s so mad she lets loose on God declaring “the LORD has kept me from having children.”
And she gives Abraham a direct order: “Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her”
Now, remember - Abraham has just come from a private audience with God.
He’s just seen God do miraculous things, and he’s heard God promise him he will receive the desire of his heart.
But now, here’s Sarah cutting loose on him… and he forgets allll about God. In fact, he never says another word about God.
You can almost hear him as he meekly says “yes dear” “whatever you say dear” “… is that her tent over there? well I’ll just go on over there and do what you want dear.”
ILLUS: Abraham’s behavior kind of reminds of a quote by Bill Cosby:
“I am not the boss of my house. I don’t know how I lost it. I don’t know when I lost it.
In fact, I don’t think I ever had it….”
Why does Sarah behave like this? Why would she be so angry with God and so belligerent toward her husband?
Why? Because she is one frustrated woman.
As far as we know, God’s never spoken to her. God only talks to this silly husband of hers.
She keeps hearing - God’s going to do this, God’s going to do that. AND, in the meantime, she’s over 90 years old and she STILL has no children.
Up til now, she’s been willing to go along with all this. But, doubt has set in and its got ahold of her.