When you come upon a woman in the Bible who is barren, take it as an indication that God is most likely planning something BIG. Though man cannot bring deliverance, God can and therefore in the end, God receives all the glory. He takes those who are low in society and he takes those who are most overcome by the effects of the fall, and from them he brings a deliverer. First we have Sarah who in her old age is promised to bear a son named Isaac. God said, “I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him (Gen 17:19). Isaac is born and his wife, Rebekah is also barren but she gave birth to Jacob, “the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived” (Gen 25:21). Each of these barren women have the children of the promise. This means that it is from these women the Jesus, our savior comes and we aren’t even done yet.
Jacob has more than one wife but they also struggle with being unable to have kids, but in the end, Jacob has many kids who become the twelve tribes of Israel. You also have in Exodus, the similar problem of Pharaoh killing the Hebrew sons, and through this the great deliverer Moses is born, and saved because his mother placed him in a small boat (like Noah’s ark). In the book of Judges, you have Samson’s mother who was also barren (every Hebrew who took the Nazarene vow in the Bible-Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist had mothers who were barren). Samson, like the other, delivered the people from affliction in some way. Next of course we have Hannah who gives birth to Samuel who is the final judge in Israel who prepares the way for King David, the long awaited “messiah”. David was also born of a woman advanced in years though it does not say she was barren.
All of these barren woman in the OT point to two realities:
- The curse to the woman in the first part of Genesis 3:16 is a great threat to the promise in the second part of Genesis 3:16, that a child of the woman will defeat the serpent. Ultimately, it is fully up to God to bring about ultimate salvation through the woman. Mankind cannot bring about the promised deliverer, God has to send him.
- They all point forward to Jesus Christ, the true deliver who is born of a virgin. Each of these deliverers, Isaac, Jacob, the twelve tribes, Moses, Samson, and Samuel point forward to Jesus Christ, the ultimate deliverer. Even through suffering and the worst of odds, God brings about salvation in His own time. No credit to man, all glory to God.
Listen to the Sermon here.