Life isn't fair, but it can be blessed

by Kyle
published May 23, 2014


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Life is not fair.

That’s what my mother always told me. It’s probably what your mother always told you, but the lesson never seemed to take.

We always seem to expect some level of fairness out of life, and we count it a tragedy when things aren’t fair.

When we read about slavery in the Bible, we take offense because slavery isn’t fair. When we read about Hagar, the slave Sarah gave to Abraham to have a son with, our “that’s not fair!” alarm goes off. When we read about the way Sarah treated Hagar after her son Ishmael was born, and especially how Sarah treated her after Sarah had a son herself, we cry foul.

And it’s not fair. That’s why God took care of Hagar and Ishmael. He didn’t think it was fair, either.

The simple fact, however, is that Ishmael was not the child God had promised. God had promised that Abraham, despite his and his wife’s old age, would have a son together. Isaac, then, is the child God promised.

Genesis 12-22 tells the story of Abraham’s, Sarah’s and Hagar’s lives. There are two mountains that become important in Abraham’s life.

When Sarah evicted Hagar, she went to live near a mountain called Horeb. It’s the same place Moses saw the burning bush. It’s where Moses returned to with the people of Israel, and they called it Sinai. Sinai, then, is associated with God’s Law and we know that God’s Law does not bring freedom, but condemnation. In fact, Paul has already said, in Galatians 3:24, that the Law’s only purpose was to show us our sin and how we are in slavery to sin.

So here we arrive at the end of Galatians 4, and Paul is showing the difference. Throughout the Bible, there are two kinds of people. There are those who are under slavery to Law, which is typified by Hagar the slave and Sinai where the law was given; and there are those who are under grace, freedom and the promises of God, which is typified by Sarah who received God’s promise and by Jerusalem where Christ died and the Law was fulfilled on our behalf.

Which are you? Which do you want to be?

While so much of life is unfair and while so much of life is out of your control, there is one decision you get to make. There is one thing that always works fair. You decide which mountain you live on.

So now is when you get to make that decision. Will you set your life on Sinai, where you chase your best life by following a list of rules, or will you set your life in Jerusalem, where you find your best life by giving up your lousy life and following a man who loves you and who gave his perfect life up for you. And not just a man, but God.

What do you think?

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