From the Darkness of Abraham and Sarah

One of my early intentions with this blog was to keep it aligned with the blog’s name

Psalm 87

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
    incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
    I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
    that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
    but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
    and the wonders that he has done.

by frequently writing about something that had jumped out at me from the spaces between verses in the Bible; things we can learn from the dark, but bring forth light.

Last night we watched the first two episodes of “The Bible” on Netflix. The acting, script, and directions is very good. I thought the stylizations kept with the spirit of the stories, that they were done tastefully, and they engaged my emotions.

The opening was clever, too. It’s Noah on the Ark, and he’s telling his family the creation story while they tend the animals, fix leaks, and generally fear for their lives. He explains to them why the Flood has come, but also that there is every reason to hope; that God has saved them in the Ark not only for themselves, but for a reason. They will live, and God will put them on dry land again. The Ark is temporary and life will come forth to rule the Earth again. All that is covered in five minutes of well-produced video.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that there was no sun for 40 days during the Flood, and there is a lot of darkness inside of an Ark, but light and life will come forth.

The rest of the first episode is about God establishing His covenant with Abraham–through Sarah–to give Abraham descendants as numerous as the stars. They show Lot being led astray by his wife, and Abraham’s intercessions on Lot’s part.

We see Abraham and Sarah age, and Sarah gives up her hope in God, as any barren wife would be tempted. They portray Sarah’s discouraged urging of Abraham to sleep with the slave Hagar; which discouraged Abraham does, and Hagar brings forth Ishmael. Years later, after a visit from God, His promise of descendants to Abraham through Sarah comes true when Isaac is born in Sarah’s dotage, and Hagar and Ishmael are sent away. I was heartbroken watching it..as well as the scene that followed. I leave that to my readers to discover.

Obviously they had to omit large chunks of Abraham and Sarah’s story to fit it into a 45 minute program. Some of the things they cut are what happens while Abraham and Sarah are traveling around. Sarah is beautiful, and twice when they enter foreign lands Abraham hands her over to be the wife of powerful men. She’s with those foreign men for days and days, but eventually is returned to Abraham with rebukes to him for not revealing Sarah was his wife!

There are many arks in the Bible, even if only two of them are called so by name: Noah’s Ark, and the Ark of the Covenant that held the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments. Another of them, if you can accept it, is Sarah. Her womb was locked up; sealed, and protected because God knew that Abraham would have those times of faithlessness. Yet His will was to use Abraham and Sarah’s seed to bear His people.

That’s mankind’s story. The very wondrous and extraordinary protection which God gives us (because we are foolish!) is taken as a curse by we faithless. We mourn His protection, and we use it as an excuse to rebel. We tell ourselves that while we know we should be faithful, we’re “just being realistic”. It’s a lie. Realistic has no meaning if we don’t even understand what is really going on, and really at stake.

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13 thoughts on “From the Darkness of Abraham and Sarah

  1. That’s a good show right there. Parts of it are heart wrenching and a little graphic, but the realities of obedience are harsh, as much so as disobedience. I get your Sarah thing.

  2. Cane,

    I apologize in advance for going off topic, but I think this is worth it.

    Ever since your post criticizing “Moms’ Night Out”, I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember where I’d seen that plot before. It finally hit me. “Moms’ Night Out” is a feature length version of this commercial for the now-defunct Big Dog Motorcycles.

  3. They show Lot being led astray by his wife

    Just curious about this as I couldn’t find it? I asked my husband about it and he said he hadn’t seen that either?

  4. @Oscar

    Good find. Would you mind posting that under Sabotage to be Supplanted? That way people who find that post also find your commercial?

    @Amanda

    I’m not sure what you’re asking. You couldn’t find it in The Bible television series, or you couldn’t find it the Bible?

    I think that the producers of the series extrapolated that Lot’s wife urged Lot to go and stay in Sodom because when they are leaving she turns to reminisce and mourn Sodom. I haven’t read that passage in more than a year, so I’d have to look it up.

  5. We were looking at the book, not the movie, so that explains it lol. I have only seen parts of the movie, but I thought it was pretty good. My husband liked your post, though.

  6. @Amanda/RD

    They do take some artistic license, but so far they’ve mostly kept with the spirit. Another example of license is when Sarah overhears God tell Abraham she will bear a son and she laughs. God asks Abraham, “Why does your wife laugh?” She overhears that too, and denies it. Then God addresses her, “But you did laugh.” In the series they portray God questioning Sarah directly, but also not really there; she “heard” him speaking to her; which He was.

    Last night we watched the episode about Samson and also the fall of Jericho. I’m still thinking it over, but I think they were too, I don’t know, sympathetic maybe, about Samson. He’s a real bonehead. However; they did a good job of showing that–even among boneheads–it is foolish to mess with a man’s woman.

    And they totally excised his father from the story. It was his father who urged him to put aside the Philistine and marry an Israelite. It’s not terribly relevant, but I noticed it. It is his mother who wants him; who pleads for God to give her a son, and I think that came through with the way they portrayed it. I have to watch myself for being overly sensitive about how fathers are treated.

    Tell you husband I said it was my pleasure.

    @Amanhiswife

    By the way: Thanks, and welcome.

  7. I apologize for the handle change BTW. Anytime I comment on a mobile, WordPress (I assume) won’t allow me to change my name from the name of my account. I’m sure there is probably a way to do it, but I am admittedly not very tech savvy lol.

    Tell you husband I said it was my pleasure.

    I will.

  8. Wow, I never thought about Sarah’s barrenness that way, as protection during those times of faithlessness. Great insight. I’ll have to look that series up.

    Always edifying, reading your blog, Cane. Thanks very much for it!

    [CC: My pleasure]

  9. Cane Caldo says:
    June 12, 2014 at 10:59 am

    “Would you mind posting that under Sabotage to be Supplanted? That way people who find that post also find your commercial?”

    Done!

    [CC: Appreciate it!]

  10. Pingback: Meat… | A Man, His Wife, and the Bible

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