Angelic Conflict part 114: Human history – Psa 131; Gal 3:19-29; 4:22-31; 5:1; Heb 12:18-24; Rev 12:1-5, 12-14; Lev 46:40-42; Mat 23:39.
length: 88:58 - taught on Jul, 7 2013
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.
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).
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.
Along with maturity comes weaning we must lay aside "childish thlings" (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.
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.
Hagar was a slave. Five times in this section she is called a "bondmaid" or "bondwoman!' (GAL 4:22-23,30-31).
GAL 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman.
GAL 4:23 But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.
GAL 4:30But 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.
Sarah was a freewoman, and therefore her position was one of liberty, but Hagar, even though married to Abraham, was still a servant.
Likewise, the Law was given as a servant.
Hagar was not meant to bear a child. Abraham's marriage to Hagar was out of the will of God; it was the result of Sarah's and Abraham's unbelief and impatience. Hagar was trying to do what only Sarah could do, and it failed. The Law cannot give life (GAL 3:21), or righteousness (GAL 2:21), or the gift of the Spirit (GAL 3:2), or a spiritual inheritance (GAL 3:18).
Isaac was born Abraham's heir (GEN 21:10), but Ishmael could not share in this inheritance.
The Judaizers were trying to make Hagar a mother again, while Paul was, in spiritual travail for his converts that they might become more like Christ. No amount of religion or legislation can give the dead sinner life. Only Christ can do that through the Gospel.
Hagar gave birth to a slave. Ishmael was "a wild donkey" (GEN 16:12), and even though he was a slave, nobody could control him, including his mother.
Like Ishmael, the old nature (the flesh) is at war with God, and the Law cannot change or control it.
By nature, the Spirit and the flesh are "contrary the one to the other" (GAL 5:17), and no amount of religious activity is going to change the picture.
Whoever chooses Hagar (Law) for his mother is going to experience bondage (GAL 4:8-11,22-25,30-31; 5:1).
GAL 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
But whoever chooses Sarah (grace) for his mother is going to enjoy liberty in Christ.
God wants His children to be free (GAL 5:1).
Hagar was cast out. It was Sarah who gave the order. "Cast out this bondwoman and her son" (GEN 21:9-10), and God subsequently approved it (GEN 21:12). Ishmael had been in the home for at least seventeen years, but his stay was not to be permanent; eventually he had to be cast out.
There was not room in the household for Hagar and Ishmael with Sarah and Isaac, one pair had to go.
It is impossible for Law and grace, the flesh and the Spirit, to compromise and stay together. God did not ask Hagar and Ishmael to make occasional visits to the home; the break was permanent.
The Judaizers in Paul's day - and in our own day - are trying to reconcile Sarah and Hagar, and Isaac and Ishmael; such reconciliation is contrary to the Word of God. It is impossible to mix Law and grace, faith and works, God's gift of righteousness and man's attempts to earn righteousness.
Hagar was not married again. God never gave the Law to any other nation or people, including His church.
For the Judaizers to impose the Law on the Galatian Christians was to oppose the very plan of God. In Paul's day, the nation of Israel was under bondage to the Law, while the church was enjoying liberty under the gracious rule of the "Jerusalem which is above" (GAL 4:26).
HEB 12:18 For you have not come to a mountain that may be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind,
HEB 12:19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word should be spoken to them.
HEB 12:20 For they could not bear the command, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned."
HEB 12:21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, "I am full of fear and trembling."
HEB 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,
HEB 12:23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,
HEB 12:24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
Hagar is not to be married again.
From the human point of view, it might seem cruel that God should command Abraham to send away his own son Ishmael, whom he loved very much. But it was the only solution to the problem, for "the wild man" could never live with the child of promise. In a deeper sense, however, think of what it cost God when He gave His Son to bear the curse of the Law to set us free. Abraham's broken heart meant Isaac's liberty; God's giving of His Son means our liberty in Christ.
There is the separation of Isaac and Ishmael and from Isaac there will be a separation of Jacob and Esau. In each case the oldest does not get the inheritance and gets the old heave ho. Interestingly, Esau, the father of the Edomites who harassed Israel throughout their existence, until their destruction by the Babylonians, will marry one of the daughters of Ishmael, after he was instructed by Isaac and Rebekah not to. It is as if Ishmael and Esau partnered up in an effort to destroy Israel, which is never going to happen, but God has promised that they will remain.
The conflict, which continues today in the Middle East, is not going to stop, and, as God promised, the Jews are always going to survive.
Rather than go into all the history of anti-Semitism, I just want to look at anti-Semitism from its ultimate source, and that is satan.
Anti-Semitism [Fruchtenbaum, Israelology]
A basic definition of anti-Semitism is “the hatred or persecution of the Jew.”
To dislike a person who merely happens to be Jewish is not anti-Semitism. To dislike a person because he is Jewish is anti-Semitism. It could be passive or active, mild or severe. Anti-Semitism comes in various forms: political, national, religious, economic, social, theological, etc. It cannot be said that a specific theological position is the cause of anti-Semitism, as in Covenant theology which removes the blessings promised to Israel but not all the proponents of Covenant theology are anti-Semitic.
Theologically, satan is the cause of anti-Semitism, while Gentile nations are used by him.
This is not to say that no one else is at fault, just that satan is the cause.
What, then, is the true and only cause? In a word, it is satan. The solution is to be found in Rev 12.
Satan hates the nation through whom has come so much blessing to the world, especially the Savior.
First, the dragon is incensed against the child of the woman (Jesus Christ), then he goes to make war with the remnant of her seed, Israel. Moreover, when satan is angry against Israel, it always culminates in defiance against the Lord Jesus Christ. The two are inseparable. [Charles Lee Feinberg, The Curse of Anti-Semitism]
Satan’s war against the Jews between Abraham and the first coming was to try to thwart the first coming (REV 12:1-5).
REV 12:1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;
REV 12:2and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth.
REV 12:3And another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.
REV 12:4And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
REV 12:5And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne.
His present and future war against the Jews is to thwart the second coming (REV 12:12-14).
REV 12:12 "For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time."
REV 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.
REV 12:14 And the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, in order that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
The Bible provides the one method that will work in destroying the Jews. This method is found in JER 31:35-37.
JER 31:35 Thus says the Lord,
Who gives the sun for light by day,
And the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night,
Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar;
The Lord of hosts is His name:
JER 31:36 "If this fixed order departs
From before Me," declares the Lord,
"Then the offspring of Israel also shall cease
From being a nation before Me forever."
JER 31:37 Thus says the Lord,
"If the heavens above can be measured,
And the foundations of the earth searched out below,
Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel
For all that they have done," declares the Lord.
The message of the Bible to the anti-Semite is: if you want to destroy the Jews, then you must first destroy the sun, moon, and stars; then, and only then, according to the promise of God, can the Jews be destroyed.
JOH 19:1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged Him.
JOH 19:2And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and arrayed Him in a purple robe;
JOH 19:3and they began to come up to Him, and say, "Hail, King of the Jews!" and to give Him blows in the face.
JOH 19:4And Pilate came out again, and said to them, "Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in Him."
JOH 19:5Jesus therefore came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold, the Man!"
JOH 19:6When therefore the chief priests and the officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify, crucify!" Pilate said to them, "Take Him yourselves, and crucify Him, for I find no guilt in Him."
JOH 19:7The Jews answered him, "We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God."
JOH 19:8When Pilate therefore heard this statement, he was the more afraid;
JOH 19:9and he entered into the Praetorium again, and said to Jesus, "Where are You from?" But Jesus gave him no answer.
JOH 19:10Pilate therefore said to Him, "You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?"
JOH 19:11Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me up to you has the greater sin."
Jesus acknowledges the authority of Pilate as given from God. When opposition has authority, as in a nation attacking or capturing Israel in the OT, or the fiery missiles of the evil one shot at you, it falls under the permissive will of God. However, these who oppose God and are used by God will never have ultimate victory, for that is for God alone and for mankind through the humanity of Christ.
O death, where is your victory, O death where is your sting? Victories in certain battles do not make victory in the war. If you are a believer then you have won the war. Now you are called to fight the good fight of faith. You will lose certain battles, but you cannot lose the war. This should give you boldness and confidence to keep pressing on and forgetting what lies behind.
1CO 11:23 For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;
1CO 11:24and when He had given thanks, He broke it, and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me."
1CO 11:25In the same way He took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me."
1CO 11:26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.