Galatians 4:27 and Eschatology

“For it is written:

Rejoice O barren one, you who do not bear;
Break forth and shout, you who have no birth pangs;
For more are the children of the desolate than of her who has a husband.”

This text is taken from Isaiah 54 where the prophet, by prophetic vision, sees the consequences of Zion’s Babylonian captivity. The captivity is tantamount to a barrenness where Zion is bereft of all her children. In the midst of this misery, Isaiah brings a message of promise and cheer. Captive Zion, though barren, will yet be magnificently fruitful.

The Apostle Paul quotes this passage and finds its fulfillment in the book of Galatians to the growing Church (Jerusalem that is above). The Apostle cites the passage in connection with his ongoing dispute with the Judiazers who are pushing the Galatian church to return to the captivity and bondage of the Law. The Apostle sees that this return would likewise be a return to sterility and barrenness. The barrenness that is the law is removed and in the Church there are children galore. It is in the Church where the vision of Isaiah is fulfilled.

There is one more fact I want to look at here. I wonder how it is that this passage isn’t appealed to as a Post-millennial passage? Here the prophecy is that ‘the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.’ In the context of the passage there is a clear and ongoing anti-thesis going on between the children of the promise and the children of the flesh. That same antithesis is relevant to the just quoted snippet. What the Apostle is saying is that the children of the promise (desolate Sarah — see context) are more than the children of the she who has a husband and who produces children according to the flesh. The prophecy suggests that numerically speaking the number who are called of God are greater than the number who are not. This promise should give us great hope in our evangelism. God’s word has spoken that the Church is such a fecund wife that she will have more children then those who oppose her.

The Gospel will go forward. Great will be the number of the children of the Jerusalem from above and the size of the tent in which the children of the promise will inhabit will need be extended so that there is room for all the children. Indeed, that tent will be expanded so it covers the whole earth.

Author: jetbrane

I am a Pastor of a small Church in Mid-Michigan who delights in my family, my congregation and my calling. I am postmillennial in my eschatology. Paedo-Calvinist Covenantal in my Christianity Reformed in my Soteriology Presuppositional in my apologetics Familialist in my family theology Agrarian in my regional community social order belief Christianity creates culture and so Christendom in my national social order belief Mythic-Poetic / Grammatical Historical in my Hermeneutic Pre-modern, Medieval, & Feudal before Enlightenment, modernity, & postmodern Reconstructionist / Theonomic in my Worldview One part paleo-conservative / one part micro Libertarian in my politics Systematic and Biblical theology need one another but Systematics has pride of place Some of my favorite authors, Augustine, Turretin, Calvin, Tolkien, Chesterton, Nock, Tozer, Dabney, Bavinck, Wodehouse, Rushdoony, Bahnsen, Schaeffer, C. Van Til, H. Van Til, G. H. Clark, C. Dawson, H. Berman, R. Nash, C. G. Singer, R. Kipling, G. North, J. Edwards, S. Foote, F. Hayek, O. Guiness, J. Witte, M. Rothbard, Clyde Wilson, Mencken, Lasch, Postman, Gatto, T. Boston, Thomas Brooks, Terry Brooks, C. Hodge, J. Calhoun, Llyod-Jones, T. Sowell, A. McClaren, M. Muggeridge, C. F. H. Henry, F. Swarz, M. Henry, G. Marten, P. Schaff, T. S. Elliott, K. Van Hoozer, K. Gentry, etc. My passion is to write in such a way that the Lord Christ might be pleased. It is my hope that people will be challenged to reconsider what are considered the givens of the current culture. Your biggest help to me dear reader will be to often remind me that God is Sovereign and that all that is, is because it pleases him.

2 thoughts on “Galatians 4:27 and Eschatology”

  1. In addition to what you wrote, might not it also be a metaphor for the number of nations or peoples who are children of the promise? For the children of the promise come from every tongue and tribe, etc. Thus not only numerically greater, depth if you will, but also in breadth.

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