GOD'S PROMISE TO THE BARREN WOMAN

                
    Introduction

    GEN 21:9  And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.   10  Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.   11  And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.  

Ishmael is a young man by this time. Because of the length of time they breast fed, 1-5 years, he could have been 17 or 18. He was confident that he would be the heir. He had received all of Abraham's attention for many years. He had been treated as the only son. All of the servants treated him like the heir. Let me draw some parallels.

    1.    Our flesh has had sway for many years
    2.     We have interpreted the Word in the literal for a long time.
    3.     Our flesh has grown confident in it's power and position.
    4.    Many ministries teach and encourage the natural interpretation of the promises of God.
    5.    It grieves us to have to go another way. We would like to be able     to keep the old ways and expectations. Our cry is that surely there is some validity to them.

All of the above seem, to the natural mind, valid. Seniority, in the world's eyes, is valid.

IN GOD, THE ONLY VALID THING IS HIS CHOICE!!

Isaac was God's choice.

    GEN 21:12  And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.  
     13  And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.  

In this matter God sides with Sarah. The normal spiritual interpretation of this passage is taken from Paul's letter to the Galatians.

    GAL 4:22  For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman.   23  But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.   24  Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar.   25  For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.   26  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.  27  For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.   28  Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.   29  But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.   30  Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.  31  So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.  
    
We often apply this to the principles of Law and Grace, and it does apply. It has been applied to the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. There is a sense in which we can hide in these interpretations. They keep us from applying the truth to ourselves.

    APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES

There is at war within us the principles of literal interpretation and spiritual interpretation. Also at war within us, are the principles of Law and Grace.

In order to understand either of these we need to follow a basic law of interpretation. It is this;

    "The Law was a schoolmaster to bring me unto Christ."

Stated in another way we look at it this way.

    The literal interpretation is a guide to bring me to the understanding of the spiritual interpretation."

In order to come to these things we must remember that we go through the first in order to reach the second. Many get stuck in the first. When we do we become legalistic. Only by continuing on through the land of the law or literal into the land of the spiritual will we be able to truly live. In many points of our lives we have this journey. It is not a one-time thing, it is a continuous journey.

When we have been given an understanding {hearing} heart (Solomon 2 Kings 3:9) we will hear the literal and understand the spiritual and apply both in the proper manner.

Notice that the Jerusalem from above has the promise in Isa. 53:1.(Gal. 4:27)

    ISA 54:1  Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD.  

Those of the free woman, although, at this time, for an extended time, seemingly barren, are going to see a tremendous outpouring of God's Spirit. The barren will bring forth more than she who already has children. If the analogy follows through, she who now has children, would be equal to the Law or Literal, and that of the church, which appears not to have children, but is focusing on coming to maturity, is Grace or the Spiritual.

Lest there be any danger of misunderstanding let me clearly state the principles involved.

That which Grace brings forth will be greater than anything the Law has ever produced.

The power of interpretation of the spiritual is and will be greater than the power of the literal or anything it has produced.

    ISA 54:2-6,11-14,17  Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;  3  For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.   4  Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.   5  For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.   6  For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.  .....11  O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.   12  And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.  13  And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.   14  In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.  ...17  No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.  

In the above passages it describes the condition of the Bride of Christ in the last days. The literal of this passage applies to Israel, the spiritual of it applies to the Bride of Christ.

    1.    Because of the promise of Isa 54:1, we are told to enlarge the skirts of our tents.
    2.    Stretch the out the curtains of your habitations:
    3.    Do not spare in the preparation
    4.    Get longer cords
    5.    Get stronger stakes. Ancient landmarks.

    If we do these things then:

        a.     You shall expand to the right
        b.     You shall expand to the left
        c.     Your descendants will inherit nations,
        d.     You will inhabit the desolate cities.

These things will arise when we look at them, and God speaks to them.

    1.    Because God says do not fear, we can be sure  that fear on none productivity will be there.
    2.    Fear of shame will be there.
    3.    Fear of disgrace will be there, remembering  that barreness was considered a curse.
    4.    There will have to be sufficient time to have had children for barreness to be evident. It will also look like having children is an impossibility, thereby others will try to place  disgrace and shame on you.
    5.    Reproach will be a problem for it will seem that  God has forsaken His marriage vows to that particular church or congregation.
    6.    There will be a grieving in spirit.
    7.    Rejection will also be a problem.
    8.     Affliction will be with the barren church.
    9.    It will seem like they are tossed with tempest.
    10.    It will seem like there is not comfort.
    
When God decides it is time to visit these are the things that will happen in the Bride.

    1.    Their Maker is their husband.
    2.    The Lord of the armies is His Name. In other words this is going to be in the days of warfare.
    3.    He will evidence Himself as our Redeemer. There will be situations that need redeeming. HE WILL DO IT.
    4.    You are called of God, both as a individual and as an assembly.
    5.    I will gather you.
    6.    I will have mercy upon you.
    7.    I will lay your stones with colourful gems.
    8.    You foundations will be the stones of the throne. This speaks of authority, relationship,  and power. This will not be delegated authority but that which comes out of the throne will be the foundation of our lives, both as individuals and as a church.
    9.    I will make your pinnacles of rubies, speaking  of the power and visibility of the Blood of Jesus.
    10.    Your gates will be of crystal. The gates of Praise will be transparent. Everyone will be  able to see that your praise is genuine.
    11.     Your walls of precious stones. This speaks of the walls of salvation that protect your flock will be precious experiences found in the depths of the Darkness where God dwells and gained by going through the darkness and finding the treasures.
    12.    The children that you do have, (more than the one who already had children) will be taught of the Lord.
    13.    Great shall be the peace of your children.
    14.    You shall be established in righteousness.
    15.    Oppression shall not be able to reach you.
    16.    You will not fear.
    17.    You will not be terrorized or know terror.
    18.    No weapon formed against you shall prosper.
    19.    You will have power and authority to call all words of death and life generated from the  tongue, wrong and see their power negated.
    20.    This is your heritage because you are a servant of The Lord.
    21.    God will both attribute to you and work in you His righteousness.

Because we are children of the freewoman, we have the above heritage. What a blessed people we are.