A Father’s Promise
A wealthy father promises his 14-year-old son, “On your eighteenth birthday I will buy you a car!” To this the young lad moaned, “That’s four years from now! I know: I will build a car myself!” Immediately the boy set to work. He gathered bits of metal here and there… empty tin cans, discarded appliances, bits of metal shelving, whatever he could find. “When I gather enough I will melt it all down to shape into an auto,” he thought to himself.
He gathered also any old car parts he might chance upon. He scoured accident sites for useful bits, pulled out discarded retreads from the dumpsters and piles behind service stations. By the time he was fifteen a huge pile of metals, plastics, rusted auto parts and rubber hosing mounted in the yard.
At about this time the boy’s father, amused by all this, gifted his son with a book… a very big book. The book described the process of automobile construction with pictures and sketches of the operations of a huge auto manufacturing plant.
The boy was both thrilled and dumbfounded! “Wow! That’s a lot more work that I imagined,” he thought, “but it does show me more precisely what I must do,” so he was grateful.
Soon the boy realized he need some very big and complex equipment to melt metal, shape forms, and install components. “I’ll need a lot of money to build those,” he reasoned. So… he got a paper route!
Well, you can imagine how all this turned out. It wasn’t long before the boy threw up his hands and sighed, “I can’t do it! I just can’t do it!” The boy was very sad. But the boy’s father was not surprised at all.
Finally the big day came, the fullness of time had arrived! It was the boy’s eighteenth birthday. “You no longer need to keep trying to build a car yourself,” said the father. “Here is the car I promised you so long ago!”
“But what about the book with all the instructions that you gave me?” asked the boy. “Why did you give me that?” The father answered, “I knew you could never succeed at making a car yourself,” he said. “I gave you that book and let you try so you would learn how impossible it was, and finally come to rely upon my promise.”
This is essentially the story of Galatians 3:15-25, Pastor Andrew’s text this past Sunday. The salvation of God is ours only by trusting upon the Father’s promise, that “Seed” promised through Abraham: Jesus, the God-man Christ. The Mosaic Law came only to demonstrate our personal inability to be righteous (holy) by personal effort. The Father knew all along we could not succeed. Salvation comes only when one relies fully upon the promised Messiah of God!