Summary: Sermon 15 from Galatians series. Like Abraham and Sarah, sometimes we try to "Help" God out with His plan. We especially feel He sometimes needs our help with the timing. What were we thinking!?
“Here, Let Me Help You With That” (Gal 4:21-5:1)
When we use that phrase, “Here, let me help you with that!” we don’t always mean it to merely offer assistance. Sometimes what we are saying is, “I can’t take it any longer, Here, give me back control over this situation!”
Have you ever noticed how addicted to control you really are?
Have you noticed how hard it is to let go of something and let someone else take over?
It comes out and really shows sometimes, like when we teach our children to do some task or chore.
You show them how to do it, how you do it, then you have to stand back and watch as they try it.
The problem is, they do it differently than you do.
I remember the first time I let Alex mow part of the yard.
I showed him how to do it, he had ridden with me a bunch of times.
I showed him the art of the corner. If you do it just right you can do it in one pass, not backing up, no loops, a good clean corner technique. It took me years to perfect that corner technique.
Then Alex gets out there on his own and he whipping right through those corners, leaving a little strip of grass on each turn. Sometimes he throws it into reverse to go back and get that little strip of grass, sometimes, he just keeps going, he ignores the strip of grass. Then when the whole thing is done, he comes back and makes a double pass at a diagonal on the corner and that takes care of those little strips of grass.
Well I’m standing there watching, and I can hardly believe it! Such total disregard for the art of the corner! I am almost shaking, trembling at the shameless display of sloppy lawn mowing. I felt so helpless standing there letting someone else take over. If you had been watching me, you would have seen me using my hands and some body english to try to guide Alex’s turns.
It took every ounce of my energy to NOT go running out there, jump on that mower and take the wheel. I’d say something like, “Here, let me help you with that.”
It’s kind of funny to think about that, but we REALLY don’t like not being in control. And that can be a serious problem.
How about when it comes to God, and His plan for our lives and His timing.
In our passage today Paul brings up a classic example of someone trying to “Help” God out in fulfilling His promise.
Gal 4: 21 – 5:1 (NIV) 21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born in the ordinary way; but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a promise. 24 These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written: "Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children; break forth and cry aloud, you who have no labor pains; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband." 28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son." 31 Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman. 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
In this passage Paul refers to a story from the OT book of Genesis, and in v27 a quote from Isaiah.
This might seem like a strange passage here in the middle of Paul’s letter, but if we look at the context of the passage as part of the whole letter, we will see that Paul is using this story from Genesis to tell the Galatians something about themselves.