Freedom: Being a Child of Promise

Galatians 4:21-23

Hagar and Sarah
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.

Slave woman:Genesis 16:15-16
So Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave the name Ishmael to the son she had borne. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

Ishmael:

Genesis 21:2-5
Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

Issac: God has brought me laughter

Genesis 17:13-25
Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, and his son Ishmael was thirteen;

So Abraham was 86 when Ishmael was born, out of his own will to force great nations to come from him. That was not God’s plan. He says so many times for us to be still and wait, he is always 100% faithful in delivering, and his timing, his perfect timing is seldom ours. In our humanness we think we know perfect timing, and often press our will forward, without waiting for God’s promise and will to,come to fruition. There is something about the waiting, the Bible has a pattern with waiting. Abraham waited for years for God to fulfill his covalent with his free born descendant Issac, the Israelites waited 400 years as slaves, 40 years in the desert, .
There is often questioning in the waiting, tears in the waiting, selfishness in the waiting,

Even though Ishmael was against the will and plan of God, he still blessed Abrahams slave son
Genesis 17:13-25
And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation.

Ishmael would be 14 when his half-brother Issac was born, Abraham would be 100, Rebecca at age 76 would wait 14 years silently mourning her own loss, feelings of rejection I think, Lord why?, will you ever deliver on your promise, and then when she least expected in at age 90, she bears a son, the long awaited promise fulfilled. Hagar was the slave, fleshly promise forced to fulfillment. I think of this like my own past and present of willful sin foraging, feeling called, being sick of waiting, and thinking ultimately my timing is better than God’s… When if I had just waited for the faithful promise to be fulfilled, there would have been such joy in the fulfillment after the obedience of waiting. I have to remind myself in periods of waiting his ways are not my ways, as 2 Peter 3:8 says: “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”, to think with eternity in mind always, to think with what Hebrews 12 calls the ‘mother Jerusalem mindset’, we are free children, actively waiting to fulfill his call on our speck of a life. To be faithful in each little step, prayerful in a million things a day, walking by faith, believing in the unseen promise, we can feel it, taste it, sing of it, but can not see it, but we believe because scriptures says he has placed a piece of heaven in our heart:
2 Corinthians 5:5-7
The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.
That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. This leads us and all of creation to anticipate the second coming and be humble, repentant, and obedient to where he calls us.
So today, you remind yourself and remember you are a Child of Promise. There will be days when the waiting seems like eternity and you feel defeated, but remember that you are the free woman, you are a a living spirit of the righteous that was made perfect by Jesus, and that Hebrews 12 says ‘See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks’ because this is what awaits us:
The city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

And there is a P.S. because it’s just too amazing…What is even more amazing is that even though Hagar and Ishmael were born into being slaves, God had a redemption plan for them from the beginning. He always has a redemption plan. Even though he was not the chosen ancestor, God was faithful to Abraham, Hagar, and Ishmael as scripture tells us and still made him a great nation:

Genesis 21:8-21
Hagar and Ishmael Sent Away
The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”
The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”
Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba.
When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob.
God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”
Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.
God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.

God appeared to Hagar, the slave, reassured her of his love, provided for her son, and made her people into a great nation. There is redemption in every story, in not only Ishmael story, but also for us. No matter how far you have fallen there is redemption for you as well. Not only this, but now, because of Jesus’ death on the cross, all of us ‘the slave children’ have the opportunity to become ‘children of Promise’ through the redemption of the blood of Jesus. So whether you are a child of Promise in chains or a living like a slave to your past sin choices, there is freedom, redemption, forgiveness, and a life as a child of Promise that awaits you through Jesus. We all have fallen short of the glory of God, and you can never fall too far, too be saved, it is never too late. He wants us all to be Children of His Promise and live in freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scripture References not mentioned:
Galatians 4:23-31
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.

Jerusalem that is above is free:
Hebrews 12:22-29
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
⭐️See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”

 

Romans 8:22-25
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 8:37-39
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:24 “Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

Psalms 90:4
A thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.

2 Peter 3:8
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

Ephesians 2:14-22

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

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