The Son of the Promise

Josh Wanner40DOD, Devotions

Today’s reading: Romans 9:1-18; Psalm 1:3

This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

Romans 9:18

The Bible speaks about the significance of the difference between the two sons of Abraham. On the one hand, Ishmael is the firstborn son; he’s the one through whom Abraham’s inheritance should be passed on. But then there is Isaac, his son through his wife. The significant difference is that Isaac is the son of the promise. Remember, God promised that Abraham and Sarah, though she was barren and late in life, would have a son.

So to be a son of the promise is to be a son of Abraham. Paul says that even Gentiles (in his letter to Galatian Christians) are able to be considered Sons of Abraham by holding on to the son of the Promise. Isaac is the archetype of the promised Son, the Seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15) who would crush the serpent’s head and redeem us all.

Paul is saying the same thing here in Romans 9:1-18, but with a twist. The people of Israel have lost their way and have taken the Son of the promise and moved it to being son of the flesh. How? They trusted in their DNA, their genetic connection to Abraham through Isaac, to make themselves sons of Abraham. The Jews missed the point that Isaac was only pointing to Jesus as the true Son of the Promise.

But the gentile believers in Rome were brought in to share in the story of the promise of Jesus. And so have we! You and I are sons and daughters of the Promise. Not because of any genetic connection to Abraham, but because of holding to the Promised Son Jesus.


God, thank you for making me a child of the Promise through Your Son, Jesus.

Contributed by Rev. Andrew Bartholomew