journey through galatians – chapter 4

Have you ever worried so much for someone because you clearly saw that the path they were taking was wrong? You give them advice, examples of people who’ve taken the same path and even draw how that particular road leads destruction, but everything falls on deaf ears. This is the feeling we get from Paul in his letters to the Galatian churches, with every word he pens down, you get the feel of just how concerned he was for them because of the path some of them had taken. 

He kicks off chapter four (4), explaining just how when you’re underage and an heir to your father’s inheritance, you would have to be put under guardians and trustees who are to be in charge of the property until such a time set approved by the father. This illustration makes it better to understand that when a person is young and not mature, chances of them misusing and misappropriating the inheritance are very high, but using the same example to explain how before Jesus came, not only were we under aged but also under slavery. Galatians 4:3-5 “So also, when we were under age, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.”

How cool is that? God sent His Son at the right time, not too late, not too early, but at the right time. Jesus was born of a woman, but that doesn’t mean that He is not The Son of God. Isaiah clarifies this in chapter 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” The child is born, but the Son is given and the only way to save us from the law, was for Jesus to be born under the law and when this took place, we received adoption into sonship. 4:6-7 “Because you are His sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.” Children receive inheritance from their earthly fathers, how much more from our Heavenly Father, who has promised us eternal life in His Son.

Again we see Paul’s concern for the Galatians in 4:8-9 “Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. But now that you know God – or rather are known by God – how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?”

When Paul writes this, I am reminded on how back in the days I once let go of salvation (not completely let go), but its like I put God aside because I had being hurt in ministry. In my early 20’s I got pregnant out of wedlock and because I was a leader in church, I had to step down from ministry. However, I received a lot of backlash from the people I served together with and it became even harder to deal with everything because everywhere I turned, I was judged harshly and because of that, I stopped going to church and held a lot of anger towards God. I knew God’s love, but the people that I expected to show me love despite my shortcomings, didn’t and I assumed this was God rejecting me. But thank God for His unfailing love and faithfulness because looking back, am grateful for everything that I had to go through, because it has made me into the person I am today. What am I saying? don’t allow forces, past mistakes and failures, hurt make you let go of your walk in Jesus Christ and while at it, be zealous for the right purposes as we see in 4:18 “It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you.”

Verses 21-31 blessed me, its embarrassing to say that I hadn’t read them before, I think it’s because of how I used to read the Bible harphazadously. It talks about how Abraham had two sons, one from the slave woman and the other by the free woman. His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh (Sarah gave Abraham her servant Hagar, that she may have a son with her husband Gen 16:1-2 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar, so she said to Abram, ’The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her – this is what we say ‘going ahead of God or trying to help Him do His work’) but his son by the free woman was born as a result of a divine promise. (God made a promise to Abraham that He would bless him with a son. Gen 17:16 “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 people will come from her.”)

Paul writes figuratively to show, these women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mt. Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves; this is Hagar (Verse 24). We however, like Isaac, are children of promise (verse 28) glory be to God Most High. It gets interesting from in verse 29 “At that time the son born according to the flesh (Ishmael) persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit (Isaac). (Gen 21:9 “But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking.”) It is the same now.” What am getting when Paul says it is the same now, is that the flesh and the Spirit are always in contrast and fight, the flesh represents the world and the Spirit represents Christ. Christians have being persecuted time and time again for their faith and belief in God by the world, this is something that Jesus said we would encounter as we see in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Gal 4:30 “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’.” When we live our lives in the flesh, we cannot share in the inheritance that God has promised to those who obey Him, to those called according to His purpose, therefore get rid of the flesh and all its desires, so that you may share in the inheritance of God.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman, Isaiah 54:10 ‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”

Memory Verse Galatians 4:7 “So you are no longer slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.


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