“What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. For if the inheritance is based on the Law, it is no longer based on the promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of the promise.” (3:17-18)
As a kid, I used to wonder, “If believing that Jesus died and rose again and took the penalty of our sins is the only way to be right before God, what happened to all the people who lived before Jesus?” (Okay, maybe I wasn’t a normal kid) I believe this book addresses that question.
The Judaizers were saying the Law was the only means of rightness with God. Paul, points back and says, “Wait, Abraham didn’t have the Law. Nobody had it ’til Moses. How was Abraham right before God?”
FAITH. It’s always been about faith.
The LORD is not in the same frazzled hurry we are in. We want to see everything resolved in our lifetime, or make some sort of sense in our lifetime, and God just does not care about that. He cares about whether you’re going to believe Him or someone/something else. This ties back into the numerously repeated Biblical theme of fearing the LORD more than men or angels.
“But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” (4:5)
He is a master about timing, since He created it and everything. Time always has a way of reminding me just how out-of-my-control life can be. Do I trust God about that? Isn’t trust just a more approachable way to say faith?
It’s faith in waiting for God to do it. That was the difference between what Abraham did with Hagar and Sarah. Hagar was a young, fertile woman, and Ishmael was a product of taking matters into his own hands. But God’s promise was through Sarah, because that would take faith. He would eventually do it. They had a to wait. Ishmael was thirteen when Abraham finally got Sarah pregnant. Faith and patience go hand in hand.
So then, the righteous are marked by this patient faith. Those who believe God will do something He says He’s going to do, or has already done. This is always a great reminder. I can be so impatient, or fretful when things aren’t happening in the timing I’d like them to. The relationship with God mankind was supposed to have from the beginning was one of trust. We get real busy, anxious and works-based-acceptance-y when we forget that.
What do you need to start trusting the Lord about today?