A Justifiable Journey

A Justifiable Journey

Geraldine Steele

Mrs. Geraldine Steele of Peterborough, Ontario, is a busy homemaker and the wife of Mr. Donald K. Steele. This is Mrs. Steele’s fast article to appear in the magazine.

There are few families who, at some point in time, have not decided to try a camping holiday. For some, it remains an unparalleled annual event, while others will declare that a week in a tent can seem like three years in isolation.

Our family has tented on different occasions and have usually found it quite enjoyable. Not necessarily restful, but are we not frequently reminded that everyone benefits from a change?

“Smoke in the eyes and ants in the food; it’s great to be close to nature but home never looked so good.”

Have you ever wondered how it must have been for Sarah — to be removed forever from the environment she undoubtedly appreciated and understood?

In the beginning, her life seemed rich with promise. A native of the Mesopotamian city of Ur, she would have been raised to patrician standards and was to become the bride of Abraham, son of Terah. Surely, this would insure for her a future of fullness and pride. The disappointments, however, began almost at once. It quickly became known that Abraham’s beautiful wife was unable to bear him a child. The second blow fell when she learned that her father-in-law was about to move the family to a remote outpost somewhere in the land of Syria.

If, as it has been suggested, the purpose of Terah’s migration was to establish a new colony for the practice of moon worship, how would a lonely confused young wife react when her husband announced that they were once again required to leave their home, this time at the command of a deity hitherto unknown?

The Scriptures do not record Sarah’s audible reactions. They do reveal her obedience. The migratory existence with which she was required to cope offered little to compare with tenting as we know it. For the remainder of her earthly life, home would consist of an odiferous skin dwelling, a bed of woven straw and an odd assortment of earthen cooking vessels and some skin bags.

Even though her husband would become wealthy by nomadic standards, the only personal luxuries she could hope to acquire would be some additional woven hangings, silver utensils and possibly some gold or silver jewellery.

There is no indication in Scripture that Sarah complained about her environmental situation; her one vexation was her infertility. Impatient with the promise of God, she took matters into her own hands, the result of which was, at the time, most disadvantageous.

Characteristic of God’s patience and grace, He continued to encourage and bless this unique pair. Although Sarah seemed not to share Abraham’s unbounded faith, her laughter of unbelief ultimately turned to the laughter of joy and she lived to see her miracle child become God’s special man.

Sarah would never know the full spiritual significance of her traumatic experiences. It would be over two thousand years before the Lord would reveal through the Apostle Paul how Hagar and Ishmael versus Sarah and Isaac portrayed the parallel between the “flesh” and the “spirit,” between the bondage of the law and the freedom of grace.

What a privilege is ours, as we consider the spiritual dimension of life, to be able to look at the Scriptures as a “whole.” We know that God arranged the situations of history to bring about His glory in the lives of those who responded to His call and their experiences are recorded for our edification.

A readiness to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God is the only true spirit of Bible study.

—Andrew Murray