Barrenness and Blessing: Abraham, Sarah, and the Journey of Faith

By Hemchand Gossai

An insightful analysis of the biblical story of Abraham and his wife Sarah, showing how its many themes continue to resonate today.

ISBN: 9780718892166
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The themes of the Old Testement stories of Abraham and Sarah are profoundly human themes, capturing the persistent interaction between God and humankind. These narratives invite us to witness the manner in which God enters human community in all of its complexities, struggles, challenges, fears, and ultimately hope. As the narratives unfold, not only is it clear that God will not be restricted by societal and cultural conventions, but that the human journey will be generated by faith and doubt, fear and hope, promise and fulfillment.

Hemchand Gossai not only explores the various themes within a variety of texts, but maintains a constant eye on the implications for the church and contemporary readers. In this regard, some of the literal and particular experiences such as barrenness, wilderness, and wrestling with God are examined as metaphors for our experiences. The richness and texture of metaphors allow us to embrace these stories in a way that makes them our stories.

Additional information

Dimensions 229 × 153 mm
Pages 136

Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Hemchand Gossai is the Director of Religious Studies at Georgia Southern University. He was born in Guyana as a third generation East Indian and he has lived and studied in the United States and the United Kingdom, where he received his Ph.D. He is also the author of Social Critique by Israel’s Eighth-Century Prophets and River Crossings: Memories of a Journey – A Memoir.



1. The Challenge of Barrenness
2. The Challenge of Wilderness
3. The Challenge of Wrestling with God and Self
4. The Hope of Promise
5. The Hope of Blessing
6. The Hope of Fulfillment



Endorsements and Reviews

Hemchand Gossai has long been working on the stories of Abraham and Sarah with great clarity, literary sensitivity, and theological savvy. In this volume, he expands upon that journey with new studies regarding God, the human characters, and their interrelationships. Gathering the major themes from these narratives, Gossai presents them in such a way that Israel’s stories can speak once again into the complexities of our interreligious world. Students and scholars alike will benefit from his many insights.
Terence E. Fretheim, Elva B. Lovell Professor of Old Testament, Luther Theological Seminary

Gossai does a masterful job of transporting the reader into the world of the story … and thus making their stories come alive to us … Gossai’s work is commendable both in its insight and its brevity. It would be welcome reading for anyone seeking a fresh perspective on stories that may have become too familiar over time.
Charles Rhine, in Theological Book Review, Vol 23, No 1