v2. He [Abraham] looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground… v10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
…[Sarah] “I didn’t laugh.” But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.” so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”
v 13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ I had to double back to Genesis 17:17 to find this; “Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old?” So laughter isn’t the issue here, nor is eavesdropping. I think it’s the “little white lie.” Sarah tells that is the story.
She’s been overheard and now she’s worried. These men are honored guests but they are strangers to Sarah. She’s worried when caught that she’ll be in trouble. Right at the beginning the tense changes from strangers to v10 “Then ONE of them said…”. And that “one” may be the key. We don’t hear much about SSarah and her relationship to the Lord. Maybe God really is a pretty much a stranger to her at this point. There is evidence that she has prayed before. She has been saved by her prayers out of some terrible situations her previous lies put her in. …Maybe those were just “foxhole” prayers. Maybe Sarah is caught in this place; the “not Godless, but not Godly either” way of life. Whatever her flaws, God has a plan that includes her and a miracle in store for her.
Isn’t that just how life goes for us? We fumble about, manipulating life with “little white lies” and sometimes acting like God must be a stranger to us. We pray our own foxhole prayers to get us out of sticky situations. Then Grace steps in and we discover, at long last, that God has indeed included US in his plan despite our flaws. We can hardly believe it, but that realization is when we begin to understand what a “miracle.” God has for our future as well.