Galatians - The Promise of Freedom

Gal 4:21-31; Gn 16:1, 15; Gn 21:23, Gn 17:16

Do we trust in the promises of God? Do we? Do we trust in His plans? Are we sure? What if the promises aren’t fulfilled by the time we think they should be? What if God takes too long?

In this last section of chapter 4, Paul gives his last argument, an allegorical one. To understand what he is trying to show, we will need to know that Abraham had two sons: Ishmael born of Hagar, a slave woman; and Isaac born of Sarah, his wife. All this from the prompting of Sarah, who for a time, was barren. See, God had promised Abraham a child, but Sarah did not conceive for some time. Sarah didn’t believe in God’s promise. Obviously, Abraham mustn’t of either. Time tends to weaken our faith, even when we are told about the plan! Ishmael was born under slavery – a representation for those bound by the law. Isaac was born under a promise – a representation of freedom through God’s plan. He was the one God always intended to be Abraham’s heir.

To the Galatians, Paul pleads with them asking why they would want to go into slavery when they were born under the promise of God. We too, have this choice. Do we want a life of bondage or a life of freedom?

Many times we think that we are not bound to slavery and may feel that these verses (or any verses that pertain to slavery) do not relate to us. On the contrary we are in bondage within our daily lives. We must work to earn money, just to pay money out toward mortgages, cars, and food. We are tied to a job just to provide for our basic necessities in life. Many people are not lucky enough to even have jobs to provide for themselves. They are bound to poverty and the generosity of others. If only we had freedom from these things! If only they were provided to us!

The saying “the best things in life are free” seems like a cliché that we often overlook. But Sisters, the best THING in life is free: Christ’s redemptive love. It is better than our worldly bondage (that’s just called responsibility), it is freedom from spiritual bondage! We cannot do anything to earn it. It is a free gift. We just need to recognize it. We are God’s adopted children. Just like the Galatians, we are told that we are children born under God’s promise of freedom. We are free from spiritual bondage. Do we believe we are? Do we trust in God’s plans for us?