In these 8 verses, the psalmist acknowledges that our life depends on God’s grace and that His grace is needed to illumine His Word. God must guide our understanding of His Word. Our true home is not earth, but with God and our soul should long for God at all times. God rebukes those who wander from His commands. Also, as followers of God, there will be times we are scorned and plotted against. We must call out to God for His help. If we remember God’s Word and delight in it, the Word will be our counselor in our times of trouble.
To sum up these verses: God grace and His Word are what our soul longs for and His Word is our counsel – no matter the situation.
Sons and Heirs
Verses 1-7 Paul tells us that God sent His Son Jesus to redeem us from the law and we have received adoption as sons (children) of God. And God sent the ‘Spirit of His Son’ – the Holy Spirit into our hearts and we cry ‘Abba! Father!’. We are no longer slaves but sons (children) and heirs through God. What an undeserved privilege this is – the Grace of God – just as we learned in the Psalm above.
Verses 8-21 Paul reminds the Galatians that they came to know God, ‘or rather, to be known by God’ and they (us too) were not to return to whatever slavery held them in bondage before the liberty of salvation through Jesus. False teachers were twisting the prior words and work of Paul in the city. Paul’s deep love for the Galatian believers and his anger at their turning to false teachings reflected the seriousness of task of preserving the truth of the gospel.
Verses 21-31 Paul uses the example of Hagar and Sarah and their sons, to further drive home the danger and consequences of listening to false teachers. Hagar and Ishmael represent the law and slavery to it – the ‘Old Covenant’. Sarah and Isaac represent the ‘children of the promise’ – The New Covenant. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection – those who receive Him as Savior and Lord, are no longer slaves to the Law, but free because of His unimaginable grace.
There is much symbolism in the example of Sarah and Hagar, Mount Sinai, Jerusalem above, slave woman and free women, etc. and I am not well studied enough to do justice to what this would have meant to those who lived in the city at this time. But I do know that we are to test what we are told to the Word of God and to reject false teachings. False teachers are as plentiful today as they were in the Galatia at the time of Paul. We have been given freedom through Jesus Christ and He has given us every gift and tool needed to remain free. Study of the Word of God is as important as the air we breathe. His Word is Life, Freedom, Hope, and Love. — Mary Mauderer