SN 2022 July 17: Tithing & the Law >> Stone of Stumbling, Rock of Offence? Grace vs Law; Spirit vs Flesh >> Sarah vs Hagar; Isaac vs Ishmael.

SN 17 July 2022


Last we week we looked at Isaiah 58

… as an example of how we should be submitting to God’s righteousness concerning how we take time out to worship Him

… and how not to submit to self righteousness on the same.


There are strong indications that the Sabbath day should , among other things,  be actually a day of fasting and prayer

… where we love God with our whole being – mind, body, soul & spirit

… as well as practice loving our neighbor as ourselves

… and we are indeed warned that the fasting, prayer and worship (our Sabbath’s??), that possibly most of us do today, does not cause our voice to be heard on high!!

… but rather just exposes our sin, hypocrisy and our vain attempt at pursuing God in self righteousness



On the question & debate on Tithing & the Law 

… I believe that this is one of those

… ” Stone of stumbling and rock of offence ” scenarios 

… that we are all presented with to expose the actual condition of our hearts

… ably indicating our positioning in faith and our understanding of God & His Word, 

… as well as our understanding of our life or position in Christ. 

The Word is indeed there to also cause stumbling and offence … Matthew 10:34

… so that it can sift and separate those on the right and the left side of Christ

…i.e. those that are on the right side of Christ  and those that have left the side of Christ!


>>  … and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word , to which they also were appointed… 1 Peter 2:8


>>  For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart …Hebrews 4:12



>>  “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?  I, the LORD,

search the heart ,

 I test the mind,

Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings…Jeremiah 17:9-10


And on the issue of tithing and the law


>>  Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith , but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone;…Romans 9:32

… for anything not of faith is considered sin!!…Romans 14:23

… A debate that I have attempted to explore on a number of previous SN series, 

… such as that of Abel & Cain on June 26 — 

  • Why was Abel’s offering accepted while that of Cain rejected?

… Linked below



Today we just introduce aspects of

Grace vs Law

Spirit vs Flesh


In the context of …

Abraham and his family

Sarah vs Hagar

Isaac vs Ishmael


Scriptural reference…

– Galatians 4:21-31

– Genesis 21:9-21



— Isaac vs Ishmael

>> Son of the slave woman (Hagar) born according to the flesh

… Son of the free woman ( Sarah) born of the promise


— Sarah vs Hagar 

>> Mothers representing covenant of New Jerusalem vs covenant of Mt. Sinai 

>> Freedom vs Slavery 




Operating and birthing things in the spirit is not as easy as that of the flesh and the ways of the world.

— the gate is narrow, the road is difficult and few find it!

… but after the cry and travail (spiritual maturity),

… the children (blessings ) of the (seemingly) desolate woman,

… eventually & into eternity,

… become more than those who took (submitted to) the world or flesh as their husband

… as opposed to waiting on & submitting to Jesus


We like Isaac are also children of promise, born by the Spirit

…  and should not be surprised when persecuted by the son born of the flesh

— blessed are you when persecuted for righteousness and for Jesus sake…

— offence shall surely come!


We should therefore separate ourselves from the ways of the world and the flesh

… indeed, we need to 

—  Expel the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son




Galatians 5 gives us some insight on the issue of Abraham family predicament and our lives today


》》 Sarah vs Hagar, Isaac vs Ishmael

– 4.  You who are trying to be justified by the law have been severed from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

… when we try to work out our own way

– 5.  But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the hope of righteousness.

– 7.  You were running so well. Who has obstructed you from obeying the truth?

– 13.  For you, brothers, were called to freedom; but do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh. Rather, serve one another in love

–  16. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

– 17. For the flesh craves what is contrary to the Spirit , and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are opposed to each other , so that you do not do what you want.

– 18. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

– 24. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

– 25. Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk in step with the Spirit.


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