3. Jesus & Other Supernatural Births
“Is Anything Too Hard For The LORD?”
Throughout the Bible, there are cases where God supernaturally caused life to come into existence above what we would consider to be the “normal” physical way which He designed.
There were six women mentioned in the Bible who were described as being “barren.” By nature, women who were barren were not “physically” able to conceive, therefore they could not have children without direct intervention from God.
Women Who Were Barren – Yet Gave Birth
The Birth of Isaac
1. Sarai (renamed Sarah), the wife of Abram (renamed Abraham), was barren.
Genesis 11:30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
Genesis 17:15-16 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 16 And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of people shall be of her.
Genesis 17:1-2, 5 And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken. 2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age… 5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.
Note: Abraham was 100 years old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. We read that it had ceased to be with Sarah any longer after the manner of women. (Gen.18:11) She was past menopause. Physically she was not able to conceive children.<<1>The biological formation of a child is not as straight forward as many of us may have been taught. The human development of a child normally includes the combination of the male sperm, the female egg but both its spirit, (which gives the child life), and its formation are said to be determined by God (See: Pregnant Without Human Sperm?).>
After menopause, a woman’s body no longer contains any eggs. Conception is then no longer possible. The Bible does not tell us how God did it. It only tells us that He did do it (“the LORD did unto Sarah as he had spoken“).
Romans 4:16-22 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,)…18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Hebrews 11:11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
The Birth of Jacob
2. Rebekah, the wife of Isaac, was barren.
Genesis 25:21 And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Rebekah’s barrenness was a test of faith, resolved by prayer. The promised seed was to come through Isaac and God intervened again and Rebekah conceived twins Esau and Jacob, one was faithless and sold his birthright for a meal of pottage, the other became faithful and inherited the promises.
The Birth of Joseph
3. Rachel, the younger wife of Jacob (renamed Israel), was barren.
Genesis 29:31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.
As Jacob deceived Isaac to steal Esau’s blessing so Jacob was deceived by Laban into marriage with Leah when he had served for Rachel. Jacob then married Rachel but the marriage was marred because Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah and the strife degenerated into contest of conception.
In process of time (through her persistence in prayer) God causes Rachel to conceive.
Genesis 30:22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. 23 And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: 24 And she called his name Joseph; and said, The LORD shall add to me another son.
The Birth of Sampson
4. The unnamed wife of Manoah of the tribe of Dan, was barren.
Judges 13:2-3,24 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. 3 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son… 24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson:
The Birth of Samuel
5. Hannah, the second wife of Elkanah, couldn’t conceive a child.
1 Samuel 1:2, 5 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children… 5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.
The shutting up of Hanna’s womb caused her to vow to lend her first son to God for life. When the son was born she fulfilled her vow.
1 Samuel 1:11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
1 Samuel 1:19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. 20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.
1 Samuel 1:27-28 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: 28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.
The Birth of John
6. Elisabeth, the wife of Zacharias, cousin to Mary, was barren.
Luke 1:7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years…
Luke 1:13… the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Once again this conception was a miracle performed by God to fulfil his purpose. John the Baptist was to prepare the way for Jesus.
The Birth of Jesus
7. Mary was a Virgin, Yet Gave Birth To a Child .
We have just read passages of how God caused six different Jewish boys to be miraculously conceived. But there was yet a seventh Jewish boy (Jesus) whose story is even more miraculous than all the others. His mother (Mary) was a “virgin” (one who has not had sexual intercourse) when she was conceived with child.
Matthew 1:25 But he [Joseph] had no union with her until she gave birth to a son [Jesus]. And he [Joseph] gave him the name Jesus.
Luk 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
Luk 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Thus we can see God intervening in each case of barrenness, and in this special case of a young virgin, all to bring into being the men who would fulfil his purpose.
In each case mentioned above, God took an otherwise humanly impossible situation and made “birth” possible. It would be pure speculation attempting to try and detail the process of how, because God did not provide us with that information. All we need to know is He is able. God is not limited in what he can create or how it is created.
The real lesson is that God works in the lives of those who have faith in his promises and live their lives accordingly.
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|⇑1||The biological formation of a child is not as straight forward as many of us may have been taught. The human development of a child normally includes the combination of the male sperm, the female egg but both its spirit, (which gives the child life), and its formation are said to be determined by God (See: Pregnant Without Human Sperm?).|