Galatians 4:21-31 The Great Contrast

Remember that the way that one becomes acceptable to God and enters heaven, is not by the law, nor by the works of goodness, but by the promise of God. Paul illustrates this point by considering the two sons of Abraham to prove this point.

Abraham had two sons. But only one son had been promised by God to Abraham through his wife Sarah. However after many years passed without Sarah having a child, it seemed as though she was incapable of conceiving. Discouraged, Sarah asked for her slave girl, Hagar, to bear them a child.  Abraham listened to his wife and went in to Hagar and she bore him a son, Ishmael. God had promised Abraham and Sarah that they would bear a son, but they were both well beyond the years of child bearing. Sometime later however, God kept His promise and the impossible happened – Sarah, well beyond childbearing years, bore a son and named him Isaac. Isaac was a miracle child, wonderfully born by the working of God, all because God had promised Abraham a son.  Isaac was therefore, a promised child. 

Ishmael was born after the order and process of nature, and as such, he was born into slavery, being born of a slave girl; born because of the work, effort, human reason and will of Sarah. He was born because of fleshly impulses, urges, and attraction of Abraham. Isaac however, was born as a freeman, born of a free woman, Sarah, born by the promise of God alone. 

The point for you to meditate upon this week is: Abraham had two sons – Ishmael was the child born by human ingenuity, energy, and effort and he was born into slavery; but Isaac, the child promised by God, was born miraculously by the promise of God, by His electing love and power alone, because He alone had made the promise and He alone was faithful to fulfill it. 

This week study Genesis chapters 16, 17, and 21 and discover whether you are you a child of the flesh or a child of promise!

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