Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. (Galatians 4:28)
A Child Of Promise
To the people living around Abraham and Sarah, it was an incredible and almost unbelievable sight to behold. While still a woman of great beauty in her 70’s and 80’s, no one would have believed Sarah at the age of 90 would be pregnant. But there little Sarah was walking around with a baby bump and talking about all the joys of pregnancy. More remarkable was that Sarah went full term with her baby and delivered a healthy boy full of life. They called him Isaac. Sarah survived the pregnancy at the age of 90 and would live for 37 more years watching her little boy grow into a strapping young man who would be the joy of any parent. The imagination fills the mind as Sarah caressed her newborn that came from her body and with each birthday watched Isaac grow from an infant to a toddler learning to walk and then a young boy the apple of his father’s eye. No mother could be more proud of her son. Who else in the world enjoyed a newborn child at the age of ninety?
There was a fateful day that came in the life of Abraham regarding his son Isaac. God came to Abraham and told him to take Isaac to a place He would show him and offer the son he loved as a burnt offering. The man of God did not hesitate and delivered his son as an offering for the Lord. Stayed by the hand of an angel, Isaac was spared death but the faith of Abraham was secured in the mind of God and Abraham took his son back home. The Lord had promised Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age. They waited twenty-five years for the promise to come and through the power and might of a kind and merciful God, a child of promise was born. Isaac was not just a son but a son of promise. He was special because he came into the world by God’s grace. The womb of Sarah was dead and Abraham was not able to bear children at the age of 100. Yet the man of God was not weak in faith and he did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief. He was fully convinced God would bring about the promise made for a son and God made that promise come true. The birth of Isaac was the power of God. There was great joy in the birth of their son and they never took their eyes off of Isaac without thinking of how special a son he was to them. What was impossible was possible and Isaac was the evidence of God’s great love.
Every Jew knew the story of Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac. The promises of God to Israel were established through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Nothing was more fundamental and necessary for understanding the will of God than the story of Sarah giving birth to a son at the age of 90. Isaac was the son of promise. Only through the power of God were Abraham and Sarah able to conceive a child and deliver Isaac to full birth. He became the son of promise through the eternal word of the Lord to bring about the impossible. The apostle Paul uses the story of Ishmael and Isaac to show the joy of being a Christian. When Sarah had doubts about the will of God, she encouraged Abraham to have a child with her handmaid, Hagar. This was not the son of promise because he was to be born of Sarah. The Lord worked the mistaken plan of Sarah into His divine will but the son of promise would come through Isaac, not Ishmael. Hagar was a slave wife and Sarah was a freeborn wife. Ishmael was born through the wisdom of man but Isaac was born through the fulfillment of God’s promise. Paul uses the story to show how the Law of Moses (Hagar) and the law of Christ (Sarah) are the two covenants. Ishmael was not the son of promise but Isaac was. Those born under the law of Christ are children of promise because they are brought forth through the will of the Father.
There was nothing man could do to destroy sin. It was impossible for humanity to live a perfect life whether under the law like the Jews or law to themselves like the Gentiles. The sin debt was paid for by the Son of Promise realized in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Unlike Isaac who was offered up as a sacrifice and spared at the last minute, Jesus was offered up as a sacrifice and died for the sins of all mankind. Through the grace of God, all those who are in Christ through obedience to the gospel message of immersion become children of promise. Every Christian should view themselves as children of promise through the love of God who brought about the miracle of redemption through Jesus the Firstborn of all creation. There can be little doubt Isaac was amazed at the story of his birth and how special he felt to be a son of promise. How can any Christian look into the mind of God and not stand in amazement at the hope of eternal life as a child of promise? I am a Christian – I am a child of promise.