Galatians

Galatians 4:27-31:

27 As Isaiah said,

“Rejoice, O childless woman,
    you who have never given birth!
Break into a joyful shout,
    you who have never been in labor!
For the desolate woman now has more children
    than the woman who lives with her husband!”[a]

28 And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac. 29 But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit.

30 But what do the Scriptures say about that? “Get rid of the slave and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”   So, dear brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman; we are children of the free woman.

 

All throughout the Bible I am struck by the message that we have a choice as to which path we travel.  Jeremiah said, “Stop at the crossroads and look around.  Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.  Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16).  In our passage for today, Paul may have had the Jeremiah passage in mind.

He says there are basically two paths.  One is the way of Ishmael–the way of the old Law with its demands.  The other path is the way of Isaac–the way of the promise.  Those who take the path of Isaac are always going to be pressured and even persecuted by those who take the path of Ishmael.  The need for us to make a choice began after the fall in Genesis 3.  There it was either the path of Cain or the path of Abel; the path of Noah or the path of everyone else;  the path of Esau or the path of Jacob;

There is a lot at stake here for those who take the path of the promise.  But what I see is that the children who take the path of the promise understand that it all boils down to how they live.  Do I live my life as a child of the promise?  What is expected of me is simply that I believe, and that I live out th

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3 Responses to Galatians

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  2. well said and written! Thanks so much

    • Jiyan says:

      Although you were speaking about your own woerris, one worry that should be included in this discussion is a mother’s worry. I know that this worry is developed from the womb, too. My mother, bless her heart, worried about me constantly. I did my best to conveniently forget to tell her about all of my exploits especially when I was a rough and tumble kid growing up. If she knew that I had climbed 60 pine trees that lined the edge of our Navy housing playground in Groton, CT when I was seven, or traipsed through the mountainous woods of West Virginia armed with my Daisy Red Ryder bb rifle hunting a black bear when I was nine. . . well, let’s just say that I might have aged her somewhat prematurely. To put it in perspective, she was there for me when I split my left thumb open with a Jim Bowie hunting knife trying to make arrows for my hickory bow, and when I was hit by a car on my bicycle. Although I bounced off the hood of that ’55 Ford and landed on the pavement some ten feet away, I came away from this experience with only a sore bottom. The Ford lost its hood ornament which I now regret that I didn’t get as a souvenir. About a month after I had my bicycle repaired, the fork of the handle bars broke, and I was pitched forward, and the stub of this fork opened my abdomen like a knife through butter. Since my dad was on a Med cruise at the time, my mother, bless her heart, had to take me to the Navy hospital where a Navy corpsman patched me up with thirteen stitches. He should have put another thirteen in at least, but that’s another story; but the point is that it was just another day in the life of my mother.As I grew older, and maybe a little wiser, I started telling my mother that worry was like a rocking chair . . . it kept you busy, but it never got you anywhere. I’m sure that others have independently thought of this same expression, too.The word if is right in the middle of life which is an indication that life itself is full of unknowns. We can make our choices which will hopefully make the path of life that we travel less bumpier, but again, we do not know what is around the next bend in this path.Although I am concerned about the outcome of certain aspects of my life, and concerned about the future of the economy as well as scores of other things; I can honestly say that I let God do my worrying . I had a quadruple coronary by-pass back in ’98, and the last thought I had before going under was asking God to have his will with me, and if He wanted to call me home, then all I ask was for Him to take care of my loved ones. When I awoke some eleven hours later, my very first thought was to thank Him for allowing me to stay on his earth a little while longer. My mother told me that my doctor had told her that I was the calmest patient he had ever performed open heart surgery on.In summation, the Serenity Prayer is great for dealing with the unknowns in our lives:God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

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