A Compelling Truth: A 30 Day Journey through Galatians with Rob Stanmore

DAY 18

Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.
These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written:
“Be glad, barren woman,
you who never bore a child;
shout for joy and cry aloud,
you who were never in labor;
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband.”
Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

Galatians 4:21-31 NIV

Abraham represents a lot of Paul’s case to the Galatians by reaffirming that we are saved by Jesus through grace and not by works.

Abraham had two sons.

Ishmael was born of Hagar, who was a slave woman. Abraham had received the promise from God that he would be a father to many nations. Yet he took it into his own control by sleeping with a slave woman, not his wife, who was barren.

Isaac was born of Sarah, who was Abraham’s wife. Isaac was born as a result of trusting God for a miracle. 

These two sons represent two different ways of relating to Abraham.

Ishmael was by works.

Isaac was by God’s grace.

I think many of us can relate to Abraham’s wrestle to trust God’s timing. However, Abraham decided to take it into his own hands and attempted to achieve God’s promise by human attainment rather than trusting God’s timing.

I want to encourage you today to rest in God’s timing rather than in your own striving. God’s timing is perfect.

Ishmael represents trying to receive God’s acceptance by works and by taking it into our control.

Isaac represents us receiving God’s total acceptance through Jesus.

Today, there is nothing you can do to make God love you more. Rest in Him, knowing you are fully loved and fully accepted by Him.


(1) Is there an area in your life that you are struggling to trust God’s timing? 

(2) How can you surrender it to God today?

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