Two Children, Two Women

Two Children, Two Women

“For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem
which now is, and is in bondage with her children –
but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all”
– Galatians 4:25-26 –

Paul always gave contrasts to illustrate and record the truth in a better way; thus, he presented the two sons. Ishmael represents the physical birth, by which we are sinners; Isaac, the spiritual birth, by which we become children of God.

Isaac was born by the power of God; the beliver is born by the Spirit. Isaac came into the world through grace and faith, which represents Abraham and Sarah. Every believer becomes a child of God by the grace received through faith. Isaac brought joy, just as salvation is a joyful experience for the believer.

Ishmael represents the carnal nature and caused problems for Isaac, who represents our spiritual nature. Abraham’s home illustrates to us the same problems that existed in Galatia and that we can face today.

Hagar, confronted by Sarah, illustrates the conflict between law and grace. Are we saved by obeying the law or by accepting the Lord’s grace? The confrontation between Ishmael and Isaac illustrates the struggle between the carnal nature and the spiritual nature, living according to the flesh of our humanity or according to the Spirit of God’s will.

Paul also explained the meaning of the two women, Sarah and Hagar, in order to show the contrast between the law and grace. God did not start with Hagar, but with Sarah. In relation to how He treats people, God also begins with grace.

When Adam and Eve sinned, God did not give them laws to obey. In His grace, He gave them robes to cover themselves and the promise of a Redeemer. When He freed the people from Egypt, it was first the grace of liberation; then came the law.

Hagar was a slave, but Sarah was free. We have already said that the function of the law is to reveal our sins and be the tutor that leads us to Christ. The union of Abraham and Hagar was contrary to God’s will. It was the consequence of Sarah’s and Abraham’s unbelief and impatience.

“Abraham had accepted without question the promise of a son,
but he did not wait for God to fulfill His word in His own time and way.
A delay was permitted, to test his faith in the power of God;
but he failed to endure the trial” 
(Patriarch and Prophets, p. 145).

How is your faith today? Does it stand the test when tested? God bless you…