“As he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.” – Galatians 4:29
Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Hagar, a “bondwoman” or servant of Sarah (Genesis 16:15, Galatians 4:22-23). Isaac, however, was the promised son of Abraham and Sarah, a “freewoman” (Genesis 21:2-3, Galatians 4:22-23). How was Isaac persecuted? On the day he was weaned, Ishmael mocked and scoffed at him (Genesis 21:8-9). So Sarah told Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son, for [he] shall not be heir with my son” (21:10).
Ishmael’s mockery isn’t the only biblical example of persecution. Cain killed his brother Abel after God rejected his offering (Genesis 4:3-8). Jacob fled from his brother Esau after taking his birthright and blessing (27:41-28:5). After hating, envying, and “conspiring against him to kill him,” Joseph’s brothers sold him as…
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