Cast out the BondwomanGal.4:22-31 - For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.
23But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
24Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.
25For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
26But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
27For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.
28Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
29But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
30Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
31So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
Gal.5:1 - Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
The Scriptures declare this true story to also be an allegory. Most believers have heard this story, but remain ignorant of its panoramic implications. But in reality, tucked away in this Old Testament narrative, lives Christ and His redemption. It is the classic story of man attempting to help God with his own power and ingenuity. And it is a tragic story, as well as a story which elevates the grace and majesty of Almighty God.
God had given His word to Abram that he would bring forth an heir out of his own bowels. But Sarah had other plans, and Abram listened to those plans and carried them out. Sarah had an Egyptian handmaid named Hagar and beckoned her husband to lie with her and conceive a child. Sarah thought since she was barren that together they could concoct a plan to make God’s plan happen. Such is the fallen reasoning of man.
But the Scriptures make it clear that Hagar was a slave, and that an important point in the metaphorical application. Hagar not only represents the schemes as opposed to the promise of God, she also represents the bondage which was the Mosaic Law. This portion of Scripture contrasts the freewoman with the bondmaid and makes an open application concerning the law and grace. Perhaps the most revealing statement is this:
“Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.”
This verse does not command us to put the son of the freewoman first, but then to obey the son of the bondwoman. The law is good and holy in that it pointed to Christ. And just like John the Baptist, after the law brought us to Christ, it was to die. Wasn’t Jesus capable of rescuing John the Baptist from the hand of Herod? Then why didn’t He?
Jesus said that no man born of a woman was greater than John the Baptist. God has chosen the cousin of Jesus to proclaim the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world”! However John had many disciples, and Christ must have no other gods before Him. So John went to his reward early because his mission had been accomplished and fulfilled. Jesus said He came to fulfill the law and so He did. The divine mission of the law was complete.
When you or I as a believer desire to submit to the dictates of the law, in essence we are entering Hagar’s bedroom and committing spiritual adultery. And even though we are desirous of obeying God, we are attempting obedience by the works of the flesh and not the gift of faith. It is quite ingenuous how the evil one uses such things to subtly lure us into legalism and self righteousness. No one can obey the law, and just in case someone thought they could Jesus made it clear that even thoughts broke the law.
And when we parade around Ishmael, the son of the flesh, we compromise Isaac, the son of promise (God’s Word). In the New and lasting Covenant, we do not commit adultery because we love Christ, the Spirit convicts us, and the New Testament forbids us. It is not because of the Ten Commandments. The result is the same, however the motive and power comes from faith in the Lord Jesus and the power of the Spirit of God, not outward obedience to stone tablets.
The Law made no one righteous,, and it still doesn’t. Obey all the commandments and you still are not one ounce closer to God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Do you obey your earthly father because of the laws of the state or because of love and respect? Hagar is flesh; Isaac is Spirit. Hagar is human energy; Isaac is divine power; Hagar is sight; Isaac is faith.
Those who wish to follow the law are debtors to the entire law. See you at church this Saturday!