Is Anything Too Hard For The Lord by Elspeth Young

Is Anything Too Hard For The Lord


{ Sarah }
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High grade art reproductions available on high quality 9pt (100#) paper. Combined shipping available for most smaller sizes.
4" x 6.25"$4.2511" x 14"$25.0016" x 23"$60.0020" x 28"$91.00
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Other options including the original artwork, bookmarks, and limited edition prints.
Bookmark$1.50Original oil painting$8,881.00 Sold
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I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son...

Therefore Sarah laughed within herself saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure...

And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh...

Is anything too hard for the Lord?

Genesis 18:10-14

The story behind Is Anything Too Hard For The Lord

The viewer sees Abraham's wife, Sarah, tenderly kissing her newborn son, Isaac.  This precious child was miraculously provided by the Lord, despite Sarah's old age and inability to bear children (Genesis 18:10-11).  Such a miraculous juxtaposition of ages within this image emphasizes the Lord's ability to fulfill His promises to the faithful no matter how seemingly difficult or impossible their circumstances.  Years before the scene depicted here, Abraham had been promised seed as numerous as "the dust of the earth" (Genesis 13:16) or the stars in the heavens (Genesis 15:5), yet Sarah had been barren until the Lord appeared to Abraham in his ninety-ninth year and promised that Sarah would have a son (Genesis 17:15).

In Genesis 21:7 we see Sarah rejoicing (the Hebrew root tzachak used here means both to "laugh" or to "rejoice").  As she holds her newborn infant, she enjoys the fulfillment of the Lord's promise to Abraham.  She understands that "all that hear will laugh (or rejoice) with [her]" (Genesis 21:6).  This statement by Sarah invites all of us to rejoice in the Lord's willingness and ability to fulfill the covenants He makes with us.  Therefore, this painting seeks to be a visual reminder of what Sarah discovered—that nothing is "too hard" for the Lord to fulfill.

Compositionally, Sarah's hands are the central element of the painting.  Every other element within the composition radiates from her strong, beautiful hands.  Such a composition represents the strength, beauty, and loving care of Motherhood.

Symbolism in Is Anything Too Hard For The Lord

The viewer sees Sarah in front of two wall hangings in her tent.  Scholars believe such hangings were used to separate rooms within the goatskin tents used by the families of the Patriarchs (Kamm, 111).  One of the hangings painted here is based on a fragment from the oldest known rug.  The animal in the border of this tapestry is a ram, used here to symbolize the ram in the thicket provided by the Lord when Abraham was willing to sacrifice his miracle-son, Isaac (see Genesis 22).

The gold embroidery on Sarah's tunic is based on motifs presented in a facsimile from The Book of Abraham, a papyrus containing drawings by the hand of Abraham, discovered in Egyptian catacombs during the nineteenth century.  The costly materials used in her clothing also denote Abraham's abundant wealth, indicated by Genesis 13:2.

The baby, Isaac, is wrapped in a soft-blue covering.  A blue like this was frequently employed in Egyptian tomb paintings (Walch, 16).  This Egyptian "Nile blue" blanket represents Abraham and Sarah's time and experiences in Egypt.

Sarah also wears a gold wedding band, typical of early Hebrew wedding rings (Fielding, 27).  The wedding band is known to have been used in ancient Egypt and was worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, just as it is today.
© By Elspeth Young, All Rights Reserved. You may not print, copy, or reproduce this artwork or make derivative works from it without the prior written consent of the copyright holder. For permissions, please review our FAQ page.



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Illustration: Is Anything Too Hard For The Lord

By Al R. Young
High-resolution digital copies are available from the Studios for use as illustrations.  Use the serial number—appearing below the thumbnail—in requesting permission from the Studios (see links at the bottom of this page for detail).


The correct form of attribution when publishing an image is specified in the license agreement issued to the publisher by Al Young Studios.Guidelines for requests to copy or publish artworks created by the Artists of Al Young Studios

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