Aug 6, 2017

Devotion - August 8th - Allegory of Sarah and Hagar

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. We continue a multi-sermon series on Galatians that will run through the summer.
Epistle Reading- Galatians 4:21-31
21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,
“Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
    break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
    than those of the one who has a husband.”
28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.
Devotion: Allegory of Sarah and Hagar
As we have discussed, Paul is very upset with the Galatian church for falling for the false teaching of the Judaizers and starting to observe the Mosaic Law as part of their path to Christianity. Paul is using this allegorical reading and applying it to that current situation. As Isaac was persecuted by Ishmael, "so also it is now," the present children of promise are being persecuted by those who are children of slavery and the law (verse 29). Just as Scripture at that time instructed Abraham to "cast out this slave woman with her son" (Genesis 21:10), so now Paul says that the Galatians need to exclude from their midst those who seek to return to live under the law of circumcision (verse 30). There was slavery at the time of this writing and so it should have been clear to the readers that freedom is the desirable path that is brought to Christians through faith. Christ frees all true believers from the fleshy bondage of the Law. Rescued from slavery? Yes, we are, through God’s love and grace.

We pray: “Lord we thank you for rescuing us from slavery. Amen”