We are reading in the second half of Galatians Chapter 4. It is another difficult passage, but enlightens the eyes of believers in Jesus Christ to the present world situation, particularly with regard to what is called the ‘Middle East’.
Paul goes on to explain to these disciples of Jesus Christ what this means, and we need to know the meaning and significance of this. These verses are currently relevant.
We are actually dealing with danger and disaster of the present ‘Middle East’ situation. Only Almighty God will be able to resolve this dilemma and He will do it through Jesus Christ, the Saviour, the Lord, the King of the Jews.
The women and two boys represent two very different Covenants and Promises.
What is born of Hagar - the slave girl - represents the law - rules - regulations - observances - and corresponds to the current circumstances being experienced in Jerusalem - because she is in slavery with her children - all the slavery - imprisonment - bondage, pain and suffering.
What is born of Sarah is in line with the promises of God.
In this whole Chapter Paul is dealing with heart and head. In the first part he is revealing his emotions as he opens his heart - he is upset - perplexed.
Now, he is explaining rationally and logically - the danger of their position. In the Church we need both - heart and head.
There has to be emotion - and there has to be reason and logic and an explanation where necessary, as well as miracle and the supernatural which should make us bow in wonder and adoration and worship.
What is Paul teaching us here? It not only matters who your father is - but who is your mother? Are you of Hagar? Or have you been born of Sarah - supernaturally - miraculously - by the Spirit of God?
Verse 28 - Paul continues to refer to them as brothers, and he goes on to explain how they are like Isaac - they are children of the promise. You are born supernaturally when you come to Christ Jesus. You are no longer the same. You are transformed - you are changed. Values change. Priorities change.
What is important to you changes - friendships may even change - relationships will change. The way you spend your time - your money - your energy - all that will change.
What you are committed to - what you are deeply concerned about - there will be changes in each of these areas.
Then, Paul explains - there will be another changes too - and that also will be unavoidable.
Verse 29 - it is a fact. It is a spiritual reality and we have to face it. Ishmael persecuted or taunted Isaac. Genesis 21 verses 8,9.
Those who are involved with the work and ministry of the Church of Jesus Christ will be only too aware of the persecution which appears to be increasing globally. It is sore and fierce and violent.
“Lord Jesus, hear us as we take this moment to pray for those who are persecuted for their faith – simply because they believe in You – and hold firm and fast to the Word of God. Help us to become more involved with those Christian agencies that reach out to the persecuted believers. We pray for their work and ministry. Amen.
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