“The Rescue”, sung by Lytrell (Stevenson) Strayhorn
Music Marcello J. Garzillo
Lyrics adapted by Alice Grace Garzillo
Taken from Ezekiel the 16th chapter
(The Two Jerusalems)
Chapter 16 of Ezekiel is all about Jerusalem and how God loved her and cared for her since her birth. The name Jerusalem is mentioned many times in the Bible but at times, it is not clear which Jerusalem is being referred to, the earthy Jerusalem or the heavenly Jerusalem. The Apostle Paul makes the distinction in a clear way.
Galatians 4:22, For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by the bondmaid, and the other by the free woman. 23, But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the free woman was by promise.
The bondwoman referred to is Hagar, a servant to Sarah. Abraham and Sarah knew that God had promised them a son, but in their impatience, rather than wait for God to fulfill His promise, they agreed to try and fulfill God’s promise through their own effort using Hagar, Sarah’s servant. So Ishmael was born. Paul calls Jerusalem Hagar here because she couldn’t bring forth the promised son. This was a hard lesson for Abraham, as well as for all men, God doesn’t need our help in His work, only our willingness to be led by His Spirit.
Eventually, a son Isaac would be born to Abraham and Sarah. This would be the fulfilling of God’s promise, and Isaac would be born of a free woman,not by the efforts of man, but of God and through His Spirit.
Galatians 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are two covenants; the one from mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage which is Hagar. And this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answered to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.
Mount Sinai is where the law was given but the people didn’t want to hear the voice of God for themselves.
Exodus 20:19. And they said unto Moses, “Speak thou with us , and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, least we die.”
The people wanted Moses to speak to them then, and according to what the Apostle Paul says, it was the same way during his day.
Galatians 4:26, But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 28, Now we brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of the promise.
We read that Jerusalem is above, she is free, and she is the mother of us all. Who does the term, “us all” refer to?
Hebrews 11:16, But now they desire a better country, that is, as heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He had prepared for them a city.
This is the new Jerusalem, a city not built by men but by God. Who among us can say that we helped God in building His city. I know of no one. Mans so called help is only a hindrance to God’s work, Ishmael, a son born of human effort, was blessed by God but still rejected.
Hebrews 11:18, Of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called.
The “us”, refers to all those who have the faith of Abraham. These are the seed of promise. The word seed is singular not plural. The first time the seed of promise was made is in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve choose their independence of God, and forced God to close the Tree of Life to them.
Genesis 3:15, and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shall bruise His heel.
Because of Adam’s choice, God had to provide another way to fulfill His promises. God found in Abraham a person who He could work with and reverse the curse that was placed upon the ground, Genesis 3:19. All men as well as women are made of the dust of the ground, so we all came into this world with a curse placed upon us.
The promise to Abraham and Isaac was the first of two covenants as Hebrews 4:24 says. God did fulfill the first covenant through the Fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the growth of this family. This is the family of people who had to be rescued from Egypt, whose history is in the Book of the Exodus. That Exodus rescuing was good, however it only rescued the progeny of Abraham. Abraham was to be a father whose children were as numerous as the stars of heaven and as the sand on the seashore, Genesis 22:17. Mount Sinai is were the descendants of Abraham wanted Moses, instead of God, to speak to them. Where are all the other people of the world, the ones who are called Gentiles? Aren’t they God’s children also? This is the reason why there was a need of a second covenant and there will be a second Exodus much larger than the first Exodus..
Jesus, As The Promised Seed And Tabernacle.
When we read of Mount Sinai, most consider that this is where the law was given. God, in His experience, heard that the people didn’t want to hear Him speaking, so in His love for the people, Moses was directed to build a tabernacle, exactly as the pattern shown to him on Mount Sinai, Exodus 25:9. The people rejected Him at that time but He was not going to reject them. His purpose was to rescue all who were willing. This tabernacle was a tent structure for God to dwell in while on their journey to the promised land. In this tabernacle was placed the Ark with the Law, Aaron’s rod which budded, and other items.
This tabernacle in this journey would find its reality in the promised seed of Genesis 3:15. We read of it in Isaiah 7:14, and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and call His name Immanuel, meaning God with us. This would be Jesus, the seed of promise, who was born of Mary, and in His death would defeat death/Satan, Hebrews 2:14. After His resurrection, He would dispense His life within His disciples, John 20:22.
John 1:14, And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.
The word dwelt means He tabernacled with us.
Hebrews 8:2, A minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man.
In this tabernacle was the veil which was ripped from the top down to the bottom, Matthew 27:51,welcoming whosoever believes in Him, either Jew or Gentile.
Hebrews 8:6, “But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the Mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7, For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for a second.
The first covenant had faults because it was made up of imperfect people, an imperfect priesthood, and those who murmur, complain,and are opinionated.
Galatians 4:30, “Nevertheless what saith the scriptures? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir to the son of the freewoman. 31, So then brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.”
As Christians, we have cast out the bondwoman, rejected the old covenant, and have a new covenant relationship with God. We have gone outside the camp, Hebrews 13:12-13.
Hebrews 12:22, But ye have come to Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to a innumerable company of angels.
In Galatians 4:26, Paul tells us to decide which mother we claim as our own. Our decision will determine if we are an Isaac or an Ishmael. In this case, one’s mother is not determined by genealogy, but like Abraham and Sarah, a matter of our faith.