In Part 2 of our study of the Allegory of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar’s life I want to present a picture which would give a visual for us to consider. Paul the apostle is challenging the Galatians to not slide back into an old covenant life but remain in a new covenant relationship with our Master (Yahushua) the Messiah. Paul knew if the Galatians relied on Torah observance as a means of salvation they would lose the salvation they had received by belief in our Master the Messiah. Therefore he outlines the life of Abraham as being an allegory of each believer’s personal experience and specifically names Sarah and Hagar as representing the Old and New Covenant. This is also a reflection of Paul’s personal experience which causes him to bear such a burden for the believers in Galatia.
Genesis, the first book of the Scriptures, is where we first find mention of Abraham and the call that came to him from (YHWH): Genesis 12:1 Now had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:” At this time Abram was married to his beautiful wife Sarai and was living with his father’s family in Haran. Terah, Abram’s father, had left Ur of the Chaldees (Babylon, Revelation 18:1-8) with his family and had settled in Haran but YHWH had other things in mind for Abraham so the call came for Abram to go to a land which would show to Abraham by experience, not vision.
Hebrews 11: 8-19 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is YHWH. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore YHWH is not ashamed to be called their Elohim: for he hath prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that YHWH was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
In our world today the study of the old and new covenant opens to us the proper focal point for our lives. Abraham and Sarah were looking for a solution for the problem that they perceived YHWH had in fulfilling His promise to them. Sarah was barren and the promise had been that the “Seed” of Abraham was the One who would be the fulfillment of the promise with descendants innumerable. Therefore Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham as a means of fulfilling YHWH’s promise to Abraham. Abraham was willing to go along with this proposed solution to the problem they perceived YHWH had and thus Ishmael was born into the home of Abraham by the slave Hagar.
I share this well-known story to highlight the fact that it is not for man to solve YHWH’s problems but, for man by faith, to let YHWH fulfill His promise in our lives, thus solving the problems we think we have. In the account recorded in Hebrews it states that Sarah “judged him faithful who had promised” and I love this for it shows belief by action! Sarah, barren and past the time of bearing children, has relations with Abraham fully expecting to become pregnant! Have you and I judged him faithful unto the end in regards to the challenges that lie in our lives? Is there a barren area of your life that needs life? He is able as this next text states.
1 Thessalonians 5:23, 24 “And the very Elohim of peace separate you wholly; so that your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Master the Messiah. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” Is there a need in your life to be separated from something in this world thereby opening the way for the promise to be fulfilled? Our Master the Messiah wants us to be separated totally from the bondage this world has. By faith Abraham had to look to a city which was out of this world to keep his earthly perspective right. When Abraham and Sarah came up with a solution for YHWH they both brought the old covenant into their home. That old covenant brought bondage to their home instead of freedom and love! I am so thankful the story did not end there but many lessons had to be learned in their lives which provide an allegorical avenue of learning for us many centuries later.