Tuesday 10th April 2018 - Daily Reading:
Galatians 4:21-31 - Hagar and Sarah by Richard Cowling

Here in this passage of scripture, Paul speaks of the two sons of Abraham, Isaac and Ishmael. Paul goes on to explain to the reader that one of the sons of Abraham was born of the slave woman, and the other son was born of the free woman.

Abraham's first son was named Ishmael. He wasn't born from Abraham's wife, but instead from his wife's servant, Hagar, who in this passage is the slave woman (have a read of Genesis 16). Ishmael was Abraham's son, but he was a son according to the flesh, according to unbelief and trying to make your own way before God. However, Abraham had a 2nd son who was named Isaac. Isaac was born miraculously through Abraham's wife, Sarah, who in this passage is the free woman. Isaac was the son of God's promise, according to faith and God's miracles for Abraham.

Paul in his letter then goes on to describe the women, Hagar and Sarah, as two mountains. Here is what he writes "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."

One covenant is associated with Mount Sinai, which was the place where Moses received the Law (Exodus 19-20). Paul explains that this covenant gives birth to slavery and to bondage. It is all about what we must do for God to be accepted by Him. It doesn't set us free. And it goes on to say that this covenant is associated with Hagar.

However, the other covenant is associated with the Jerusalem that is above (Gal 4:26). Paul goes on to tell us that this covenant brings us freedom, and it is free. It is free because it recognises that it was Jesus that paid the price! As we looked at in yesterday's devotional, Jesus paid the price IN FULL for us! We don't have to pay it ourselves! I guess the question that I would like to finish off with is this:

Are we living as children of the slave woman, or children of the free woman?

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NEWBOLD BAPTIST CHURCH