Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 24, 2022

“For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis chapter 16.

“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar.  So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children.  Please go in to my maid;  perhaps I will obtain children through her.”  And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.  After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife.  He went in to Hagar, and she conceived;  and when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress was despised in her sight.  And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done me be upon you.  I gave my maid into your arms, but when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her sight.  May the LORD judge between you and me.”  But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your maid is in your power;  do to her what is good in your sight.”  So Sarai treated her harshly, and she fled from her presence.

Now the angel of the LORD found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.  He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from and where are you going?”  And she said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”  Then the angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself to her authority.”  Moreover, the angel of the LORD said to her, “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count.”  The angel of the Lord said to her further,

“Behold, you are with child,
And you will bear a son;
And you shall call his name Ishmael,
Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction.
“He will be a wild donkey of a man,
His hand will be against everyone,
And everyone’s hand will be against him;
And he will live to the east of all his brothers.”

Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God who sees”;  for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?”  Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi;  behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.

So Hagar bore Abram a son;  and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.  Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to him.”  Genesis chapter 16.


“Tell me, you who want to be under law, do you not listen to the law?  For it is written that Abraham had two sons (Ishmael and Isaac), one by the bondwoman (Hagar) and one by the free woman (Sarai).  But the son (Ishmael) by the bondwoman (Hagar) was born according to the flesh, and the son (Isaac) by the free woman (Sarai) through the promise.”  Galatians 4:21-23.  (Parenthetical identifications added by Bill.)

“nor are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants, but:  “through Isaac your descendants will be named.”  That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.  For this is the word of promise:  “AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON.”  Romans 9:7-9.

“But what does the Scripture say?


“For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise;  but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.”  Galatians 3:18.

“For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.  For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;  for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.”  Romans 4:13-15.


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