God’s Good is Bigger than Your Bad: Galatians 4:21-31
Grace for Your Family: Genesis 16
Genesis 16 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children.
- Genesis 3 God promised a Savior son coming; to Abraham Genesis 12, 15:4
- Promised 75 & 65 – 10 years later = 85 & 75 Around 10 years since God’s promise,
She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar. 2 And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.”
- Adam & Eve Gen 3 – 2 two trees/women – forbidden/permitted – wife handed
- God oversees means & ends.
- God’s will & God’s timing
- When we help God we hurt everyone
And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3 So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her servant, and gave her to Abram her husband as a wife. 4 And he went in to Hagar, and she conceived.
- Adultery/polygamy starts w/godless Lamech Gen 4 – JC 1 bride, 1 woman man
And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress.5 And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!” 6 But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.
- Hagar usurp Sarai, take inheritance
- Sarai blames husband for her plan
- Abraham –passive like Adam
7 The angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.”
- Hagar headed home in Egypt
- Not a godly believing woman God comes and speaks to her (woman @ well)
- This angel/messenger Jesus (an angel vs the angel of the Lord)
9 The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel of the LORD also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.”
- Hagar is to return in faith that God will bless her
- Eventually, Ishmael fathered 12 sons (25:13–15), descendants enemies of Jews
- Though she is an unbeliever God is kind and gracious to her and her descendants
11 And the angel of the LORD said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has listened to your affliction. 12 He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”
- God omniscience knows she having son & names “God hears”
- Isaac (Jews/XN) and Ishmael (Muslims)
- 4000 years later people dying over this family feud that began with adultery
13 So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” 14 Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.
- Only occasion in Bible someone names God, the rest God reveals name
- “the God who sees me”
15 And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael [“the God who hears me”]. 16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
- Abraham 100 when Isaac born
- Jesus is what makes a family different
- God has a plan for your family and the more you strain from it the more pain you create
- The decisions you make affect generations
- God’s good is bigger than your bad
Gal. 4:19-20 my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
Law vs Grace
Galatians 4:21-25 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
- Law (what I do for God) vs Grace (what Jesus did 1. for me, 2. in me, 3. through me)
Family & Church Environment
= God created an environment or everything He created (birds, fish, people – grace)
- Hagar/Ishmael =Law based
have to’s – control – non-relational – proud – beat you up = love @ finish line
- Sarah/Isaac =Grace based
get to’s – influence – relational – humble – build you up = love @ starting line
= Ishmael came first, replaced by Isaac (14 years)
3 Kinds of Families & Church Families
1. Grace based – peaceful, loving, healthy fun environment
2. Law based – fearful, punishment/reward, discouraging judgmental environment
3. Law & grace based – (sometimes each parent) = divided, confusing, abusive
= Law & Grace in your family/church family is like living w/wife & kids & ex-wife & kids
A Kingdom Environment
Galatians 4:26-27 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written [Isaiah 54:1], “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.”
- The law 1). God’s holiness 2). Our sinfulness 3). Kept God’s people distinct
- The law was like the long period of painful childbirth, once Jesus came it was done
= Fence around a yard for kids, laws like planks
- God has a culture/environment right now
- Jesus came down & the Holy Spirit comes down to bring Kingdom Environment
God’s Good is Bigger Than Your Bad
Galatians 4:28-31 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 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. 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.” So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.
- If your faith is in JC, you are not a slave, you are free!
- If your faith is in JC, God is your father no matter who your earthly father was
- If your faith is in JC, there’s hope for your family
- If your faith is in JC, there is an inheritance awaiting you
Like birds were made to live in the air, and fish were made to live in the water, people were made to live in grace. For Mother’s Day, we are looking at the story of two mothers – Hagar and Sarah – to learn the difference between families and church families that are law based versus grace based.