Sarah’s Side

Recently, I asked a someone close to me, who is a devout Baptist, if he had watched The Bible series that came out on the History channel last year. He started to, but he stopped watching because it took too much poetic license with the Biblical stories. I asked, “How so?” He responded by telling me about the story of Abraham and Isaac. It started pretty much as the story we have all read, but then it went to Sarah’s perspective as she perceived that Abraham had taken Isaac but no animal to sacrifice. As she understood what Abraham was doing, she got extremely upset and decided to follow after them. Sarah didn’t want Abraham to do what she figured out he was going to do.

The show kept going back and forth between Abraham and Isaac on their journey and Sarah with tears flowing trying to follow after them. He was displeased with that story arc because those events didn’t happen. The Bible never showed Sarah’s reaction to any of it.

Of course it didn’t. Showing Sarah’s reaction as this was all going down would have made people pause and feel sorry for her and the situation where that is not the appropriate response to this story. It’s one of victory. Not fear. Not worry. Not empathy – at least not for the mother. This is another example for me of the woman’s story not being told. The Bible has no problem mentioning women when they make mistakes. We know all about Sarah’s mistakes with Hagar. But God forbid we consider what Sarah must have gone through during that time. Of course she figured out what Abraham was up to. Why wouldn’t she? Do you think Sarah would be pleased that Abraham was going to sacrifice their child to God?

Let’s not forget that Abraham made this choice selfishly. You are arguing right now. I can almost hear you. You’re saying it was selfless of him to be willing to give up his only son {actually we all know he has another son, but let’s pretend he doesn’t count since that’s what the Bible does}. He makes a choice that will effect not only his wife but his son as well. I’m pretty sure your own death effects you… He decided to prove his faith to God in the best way he knew how, sure, but didn’t even bother consulting Sarah or Isaac about it first. He didn’t even seem to consider them at all in this life-altering resolution. It feels like another case of wife and child just being pawns in some twisted game. Will he, or won’t he? Will God accept my sacrifice? Or will he stop me from killing my son and be proud that I was willing to give him up?

Well way to go Abraham, I’m glad you were willing to give God the most precious thing in your life, your son. But really, wouldn’t giving your own life to God have been the actual ultimate sacrifice? Here, take my son. Phew! That was like sooo hard on me. Good thing God stopped me or might have had to go on living with what I had just done. Oh yeah, Sarah’s gonna be pissed… 

I may have gotten distracted there for a moment…

Anyway, my point is this: try to look at everyone’s side. Try to see the perspectives that aren’t mentioned in the Bible. Like how Hagar and Ishmael must have felt being cast out when they thought they deserved to be included in Abraham’s family. Suddenly Hagar is a whore or something even though it was Sarah and Abraham who brought her into their story. Let’s blame Sarah for that by the way. Abraham couldn’t help but put his junk in her junk. That’s what junk is made for, and Sarah insisted {It’s a lot of pressure being a woman without children in a time when that’s what she’s there for}… Oh and Ishmael is punished because of decisions his parents made? Now he’s supposed to be the leader of a whole group of people who will always be against Israel? {Imagine what the world would be like today if that hadn’t happened?} That’s still Hagar’s and Sarah’s fault. Abraham is not to blame. At all. {Side note: let’s go to war and when we win, we kill every man, woman, and child who is against us so they don’t rise up one day and seek revenge. But in our own house, let’s create enemies by first actually creating them and then casting them out because we decide we shouldn’t have created them…Plot hole much?}

In its defense, the Bible is big enough. If it contained everyone’s perspectives it would be the size of Jonah’s whale. Tons of them. I guess it makes sense the Bible’s central focus is on the male’s perspective. That’s what has been going on for centuries. Why stop now? Adding a woman’s perspective in every story would have set a completely different tone to the whole Bible. We wouldn’t want that, now would we?


One thought on “Sarah’s Side

  1. Pingback: Dinah’s Red Tent | losing my {reli}ginity

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