Angelic Conflict part 113: Human history – Gen 21:8-21; Gal 4:21-31; 3:1-9; Joh 3:1-7; 1Pe 2:2; 2Pe 3:18.

Class Outline:

Title: Angelic Conflict part 113: Human history - GEN 21:8-21; GAL 4:21-31; 3:1-9; JOH 3:1-7; 1PE 2:2; 2PE 3:18.



Arab Israeli Conflict, GEN 16:7-16; 21:8-21.


Isaac and Ishmael will be in conflict and anti-Semitism will arise here and continue until the end of time.


It begins very soon after Isaac’s birth.


GEN 21:8 And the child grew and was weaned [about 3 years old], and Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.


The tradition was to have a special feast on the official day of the weaning of the child.


Weaning is needed for a boy to grow to become a man, to become mature. The child doesn’t like it and thinks its mother is being mean, but the mother does so out of love.


Eventually we have to put away childish things and walk maturely.


GEN 21:9 Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking.


Ishmael at 17 years old is mocking Isaac who is 3 years old. This is the beginning of anti-Semitism.


The animosity that Hagar had against Sara has not been instilled in Ishmael toward Isaac.


And we have another wonderful play on words. The Hebrew word for Isaac and the Hebrew word for mocking is the same root. Laughter and mocking come from the same root word. He is isaacing Isaac.


Ishmael was not merely playing with Isaac; he was toying or trifling or making ridicule, and not participating in the joy of the feast.


GEN 21:10 Therefore she said to Abraham, "Drive out this maid and her son, for the son of this maid shall not be an heir with my son Isaac."


She is correct here and Abraham should take her advice.


GEN 21:11 And the matter distressed Abraham greatly because of his son.


And this shows how much Abraham actually does love Ishmael. Yet God will comfort Abraham and instruct him to listen to the voice of his wife - the only time a husband is told by God to harken to his wife.


GEN 21:12 But God said to Abraham, "Do not be distressed because of the lad and your maid; whatever Sarah tells you, listen to her, for through Isaac your descendants shall be named.


And God gives the reason - Isaac is the son of the inheritance, the seed son. Isaac is the son of the covenant.


In that day the father was forbidden to expel the son of a handmaid if his own wife had a son, but God intervenes and the expulsion occurs.


GEN 21:13 And of the son of the maid I will make a nation also [Arab nations], because he is your descendant."


GEN 21:14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave them to Hagar [minimum - no inheritance], putting them on her shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beersheba.


The end of this verse suggests that she got lost. Abraham would have certainly given her enough provision to get to where they agreed she should go. But it is easy to get lost in the desert.


GEN 21:15 And the water in the skin was used up, and she left the boy under one of the bushes.


GEN 21:16 Then she went and sat down opposite him, about a bowshot away, for she said, "Do not let me see the boy die." And she sat opposite him, and lifted up her voice and wept.


GEN 21:17 And God heard the lad crying; and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and said to her, "What is the matter with you, Hagar? Do not fear, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is.


GEN 21:18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him by the hand; for I will make a great nation of him."


GEN 21:19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water [context states that it was already there]; and she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink.


Sometimes we miss the blessings of God that are right in front of us. God’s word tells us where to look.


GEN 21:20 And God was with the lad [blessing by association with Abraham], and he grew; and he lived in the wilderness, and became an archer.


GEN 21:21 And he lived in the wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.


This is south of Canaan and to the east, bordered by Egypt to the south and the Euphrates to the east.


Paul begins with the two sons, Ishmael and Isaac (GAL 4:22-23), and explains that they illustrate our two births: the physical birth that makes us sinners and the spiritual birth that makes us the children of God.


GAL 4:21 Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law?


How many people are under systems that they just do because they’ve somehow come to a conclusion that they’re supposed to be under it, but never actually read into it or even ask what its true purpose is?


GAL 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman [Hagar] and one by the free woman [Sarah].


GAL 4:23 But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh [their scheme], and the son by the free woman through the promise [Gen 15].


GAL 4:24 This is allegorically speaking: for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai [the Law, which bore witness of the flesh] bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar.


GAL 4:25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children [that righteousness can come from the Law].


The sons of Hagar [allegorically - schemes of the flesh or people trying to please God through the flesh] concluded that they could become +R by the Law and ironically the Law proves man’s unrighteousness.


GAL 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother [Sarah - of the promise].


The contrast between earthy and heavenly is shown in the tent of Abraham,


1CO 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;


1CO 15:43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;


1CO 15:44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.


1CO 15:45So also it is written, "The first man,  Adam, became a living soul. " The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.


1CO 15:46However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.


1CO 15:47The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.


1CO 15:48As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.


1CO 15:49And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.


1CO 15:50Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.


1CO 15:51Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,


1CO 15:52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.


One cannot be raptured if he is not first a citizen of heaven. You must be born of heaven to be quickly taken to heaven, PHI 3:20.


PHI 3:20-21

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.


1CO 15:51Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,


1CO 15:52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.


1CO 15:53For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.


1CO 15:54But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up  in victory.


1CO 15:55"O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting ?"


Christ, the heavenly, took back life that we lost at the fall when we died. Satan thought he had victory, where is that victory now?


HEB 2:14-15

Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.


1CO 15:56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;


1CO 15:57but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


1CO 15:58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.


GAL 4:26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother [Sarah - of the promise].


GAL 4:27 For it is written,

"Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear;

Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor;

For more are the children of the desolate

Than of the one who has a husband."


GAL 4:28 And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.


GAL 4:29 But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also.


GAL 4:30 But what does the Scripture say?

"Cast out the bondwoman and her son,

For the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman."


GAL 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.


Paul begins with the two sons, Ishmael and Isaac (GAL 4:22-23), and explains that they illustrate our two births: the physical birth that makes us sinners and the spiritual birth that makes us the children of God. As you think about this, and read GEN 21:1-12, you discover some wonderful spiritual truths about your salvation.



The Old Covenant

The New Covenant



Hagar the slave

Sarah the free woman

Ishmael, conceived after the flesh

Isaac, conceived miraculously


Earthly Jerusalem in bondage

Heavenly Jerusalem, free


Isaac illustrates the believer in several particulars.


He was born by God's power as is the born again believer.


In fact, God deliberately waited twenty-five years before He granted Abraham and Sarah their son.


Isaac was "born after the Spirit" (GAL 4:29), and, of course, the Christian is "born of the Spirit" (John 3:1-7).


JOH 3:1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;


JOH 3:2 this man came to Him by night, and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."


JOH 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." 


JOH 3:4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"


JOH 3:5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.


JOH 3:6 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.


JOH 3:7 "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.


Isaac came into the world through Abraham (who represents faith, GAL 3:9) and Sarah (who represents grace); so that he was born "by grace .. through faith" as is every true Christian (EPH 2:8-9).


GAL 3:1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?


GAL 3:2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?


GAL 3:3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?


GAL 3:4 Did you suffer so many things in vain —  if indeed it was in vain?


GAL 3:5 Does He then, who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?


GAL 3:6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.


GAL 3:7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham.


GAL 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "All the nations shall be blessed in you."


GAL 3:9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.


He brought joy. Salvation is an experience of joy, not only to the believer himself, but also to those around him.


His name means "laughter," and certainly he brought joy to his aged parents.


He grew and was weaned (GEN 21:8). Salvation is the beginning, not the ending. After we are born, we must grow 1PE 2:2; 2PE 3:18).


1PE 2:1 Therefore, putting aside all malice and all guile and hypocrisy and envy and all slander,


1PE 2:2 like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,


1PE 2:3 if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.


1PE 2:4 And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of God,


1PE 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.


2PE 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness,


2PE 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.


Along with maturity comes weaning we must lay aside "childish things" (1CO 13:11).


How easy it is for us to hold the "toys" of our earlier Christian days and fail to lay hold of the "tools" of the mature believer.


The child does not enjoy being weaned, but he can never become a man until it happens.


PSA 131:1 O Lord , my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;

Nor do I involve myself in great matters,

Or in things too difficult for me.


PSA 131:2Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;

Like a weaned child rests against his mother,

My soul is like a weaned child within me.


PSA 131:3O Israel, hope in the Lord

From this time forth and forever.


He was persecuted (GEN 21:9). Ishmael (the flesh) caused problems for Isaac, just as our old nature causes problems for us, GAL 5:16.


GAL 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.


GAL 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.


Ishmael created no problems in the home until Isaac was born, just as our old nature creates no problems for us until the new nature enters when we trust Christ.


In Abraham's home we see the same basic conflicts that all believers face.


Hagar versus Sarah: Law versus grace. Ishmael versus Isaac: flesh versus Spirit.


It is important to note that you cannot separate these four factors. The Judaizers taught that Law made the believer more spiritual, but Paul makes it clear that Law only releases the opposition of the flesh and a conflict within the believer ensues (see ROM 7:19).


There was no Law strong enough either to change or to control Ishmael, but Isaac never needed any Law. It has well been said, "The old nature knows no Law and the new nature needs no Law."


Having explained the significance of the two sons, Paul now turns to an explanation of the two wives, Sarah and Hagar.


He is illustrating the contrasts between Law and grace and is proving that the believer is not under Law but is under the loving freedom that comes through God's grace. Notice, then, the facts about Hagar that prove that the Law no longer has power over the Christian.


Hagar was Abraham's second wife. God did not begin with Hagar; He began with Sarah. God did not begin with the Law.


As far as God's dealings with men are concerned, God began with grace. In Eden, God provided for Adam and Eve by grace. Even after they sinned, in His grace He provided them with coats of skin for a covering (GEN 3:21).


He did not give them laws to obey as a way of redemption; instead, He gave them a gracious promise to believe: the promise of a victorious Redeemer (GEN 3:15).


In His relationship with Israel also, God first operated on the basis of grace, not Law. His covenant with Abraham (Gen 15) was all of grace, because Abraham was in a deep sleep when the covenant was established.


When God delivered Israel from Egypt, it was on the basis of grace and not Law, for the Law had not yet been given. Like Hagar, Abraham's second wife, the Law was "added" (GAL 3:19).


Hagar performed a function temporarily, and then moved off the scene, just as the Law performed a special function and then was taken away (GAL 3:24-25).


GAL 3:19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed should come to whom the promise had been made.


GAL 3:20 Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one.


GAL 3:21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law.


GAL 3:22 But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.


GAL 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed.


GAL 3:24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith.


GAL 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.


GAL 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.


GAL 3:27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.


GAL 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.


GAL 3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.