For it is written:
"Rejoice, O barren, You who do not bear!
Break forth and shout,
You who are not in labour!
For the desolate has many more children
Than she who has a husband."
Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.
But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.
Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman."
So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.
In Isaiah 54, we read the words Sing, Oh Barren, sometimes written as ‘Sing, O barren woman’. Looking at the concordance we can see that it could equally well be translated as ‘Rejoice, unfruitful one!’ This seems such an odd way to be — especially as we are called to bear fruit. Isaiah’s verses have been coming to me in song regularly over the last few days and so I feel that The Lord is speaking to something, and I need to hear and pay attention.
Paul explains the matter in Galatians 4 — something which I confess that I have utterly failed to see, despite having read the letter to The Galatians on many occasions. This in itself is worthy of comment (why The Lord reveals a thing only after we ask Him for that revelation), but that is not the main point now.
Cast out the bondwoman and her son was a word that Milady and I heard many years ago, and it’s significance reverberates still. At the root of the matter is our ancestry — the family line that goes back to Abraham. But which line? Paul reveals a natural line through the slave woman’s son, who was named Ishmael (‘God will hear’) — the progenitor of Islam — and a spiritual line through the free woman’s son Sarah, who was Isaac (‘he laughs’). In Genesis 26:2-5, we are shown …
Then the LORD appeared to him and said: "Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I shall tell you.
Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.
And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;
because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws"
Paul was telling us that we are the children of the free; the children of the promise; of the line of Isaac and not Ishmael; that our hope, our life is not in the natural realm, but in the spiritual kingdom of Jesus Christ, because we are reborn out of bondage and into new life. And once there we need to stand firmly in that freedom…
Meditate On These Things
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
STAND FAST IN THE LIBERTY — Dan Ricciardelli
A HOLY OCCUPATION: Oswald Chambers on PRAYER
MEDITATE ON THESE THINGS…
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART