“Now the Lord had said unto Abram (Abraham), Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.”
Both Jews and Arab/Muslims regard Abraham as the father of their people. How did that happen?
When Abram (later to be known as Abraham) was told by God to leave the country of Haran and go to a land that He would show him, he was 75 years old. Of course he did as the Lord told him. He took his wife Sarah, who was then 65 years old, and his nephew Lot, along with their possessions and a number of “…the souls” they had with them in Haran. They did not take their children with them because at that time, they had NO children. So, they travelled as led and eventually made their way to the land of Canaan (part of which is today known as Israel). Once there, God told Abraham:
“…Unto thy seed will I give this land:”
But wait! Abraham was 75 years old and his wife Sarah was 65 years old and they had no children! How could God give the land of Canaan to his “seed” (children) when he didn’t have any and he and his wife were so old? In God’s ultimate Wisdom He reiterated to Abraham later AFTER Lot moved to Sodom in the land of Jordan the Promise He had previously made:
“For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to THY SEED (capitals mine) for ever.”
Finally, still being childless, Abraham just had to question God’s Promise in Genesis 15:3 “And Abram said: Behold, to me thou has given NO (capitals mine) seed; and, lo one born in my house is mine heir.” God then gave Abraham what is now known as the Abrahamic Covenant when He Promised his descendants the land and outlined its boundaries in Genesis 15:18-21:
“In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto THY SEED (capitals mine) have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”
It made no difference the land was then occupied by different tribes and peoples. God gave the land to the seed of Abraham! I am sure if you are like me, you would have been ecstatic God found such favor in you but would still wonder how it could happen if you were old and childless. Well, when Abraham was 86 years old (and his wife was 76 years old), Sarah came to him, knowing the Promise God had made to Abraham and to his (their) seed. Since she thought she was incapable of having children, she offered her Egyptian hand maiden Hagar to bear Abraham’s child (seed). Thus, Hagar did as was instructed by her mistress Sarah. After she became pregnant and Sarah (perhaps through jealousy) became angry, Hagar was sent out from their home. Amazingly though, an angel of the Lord found her and told her to go back and submit herself to Sarah. More than that, however, the angel made a prophetic promise to Hagar:
“And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.”
If simply left there, one would automatically assume the son that Hagar would bear would be the father of a great multitude of people with no ill affects. Notice, however, the angel DID NOT promise the land to the son of Hagar. Also interesting to note, the angel went on to say: “And he will be a WILD man; his hand will be AGAINST every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren (capitals mine).” Genesis 16:12. Since Abraham took it upon himself (with his wife’s endorsement) to have a son and DID NOT simply wait or believe in the Promise God had made to him, his son Ishmael was NOT to be the son God promised Abraham but would still be the father of a large group of peoples that would ALWAYS be in conflict with each other. If you question who these people are today just think of the Ottoman Empire, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, PLO, Hamas, Sunni vs. Shiites, the Kurds, and Arab country versus Arab country (e.g., Iran vs. Saudi Arabia or Pakistan vs. Afghanistan).
If Ishmael was not the son God had promised to Abraham and Sarah (not Hagar), then who was? Later, when God again told Abraham that Sarah would bear him a child, she laughed because she was so old. God replied:
“Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.”
When Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 and at the previously APPOINTED time, God fulfilled His promise!
“For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac.”
I find it interesting that in the case of Ishmael, the angel talking to Hagar in the wilderness named her son while Abraham himself named his own son Isaac when God’s Promise was fulfilled. This, I believe, gives legitimacy to the fact that Abraham’s seed that would inherit God’s Promise was NOT Ishmael, but was in fact Isaac. Later, when Isaac was weaned, Abraham threw a celebration which Ishmael, as a young teenager, mocked! Sarah told Abraham to throw Hagar and her son out because she did not want her maid’s son to be a co-heir with Isaac. This disturbed Abraham but God intervened and made THE decision that ultimately resulted in Ishmael losing any and all rights to the land God Promised to Abraham and his seed Isaac:
“And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad (Ishmael), and because of thy bondwoman (Hagar); in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; FOR IN ISAAC SHALL THY SEED BE CALLED (capitals mine).”
Here God doubled down with His choice as to who would be Abraham’s son and the heir to the Abrahamic Covenant. It was Isaac, not Ishmael according to God Himself!! Not only here but in a number of other places, God reaffirms his decision: Isaac was Abraham’s God-appointed son (for example Genesis 22:2, Genesis 22:12) but could not have been any clearer and erasing any remaining doubt when He said in Genesis 22:16-18:
“And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son (Isaac), thine ONLY (capitals mine) son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.”
Ultimately, the Jewish people were born of Isaac and the “Arab” people descended from Ishmael. Even though many might argue the first born son is legally entitled to be the heir to his father’s “estate”, that does not apply here when God determined it would be the son HE gave to Abraham, not the son that Abraham tried to substitute in his human impatience. The net result is now a 3,000 year war between the Jews and the Arabs (now mostly Muslim) each proclaiming their right to the Promised Land of Israel. Of course, you would have to read and believe in the Bible 100% to side with Isaac but it is in the Bible where God says He will make Jerusalem His home. As such, Jerusalem is mentioned 700 times in the Bible to show its significance. How many times is Jerusalem mentioned in the Muslim Quran? ZERO!!!! Not once! But because the Arab/Muslims are against the Jews, they feel they must take control of the land God gave to Abraham. So, I believe you will agree with me that Abraham screwed this one up! This always seems to happen when we go against the Will of God or are impatient with His timing!
In 2016, the U.N. passed 24 Resolutions. Of those 20 were condemnations of the Nation of Israel! Not of Syria, North Korea, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, etc. but 75% of ALL Resolutions are against the Jews, God’s chosen people! Of prophetic significance is the United Nations Resolution 2334 passed on December 23, 2016 when the U.N. members unanimously voted to declare the Israeli Jews as “illegal” occupiers of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This resolution could have easily been defeated by the previous U.S. administration IF it had vetoed it but due to their 8 year long running anti-Israeli sentiment, they abstained letting it pass empowering a group of world leaders that are historically anti-Semitic and anti-Israel . Ultimately, this establishes the right by the U.N. to eventually use a global militarily force to make Israel to give up their land and Jerusalem. Why else would the Bible declare the battle of Armageddon, the last great battle before the return of Christ, with ALL the nations of the earth be held in little, old Israel?
“For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”
Unlike Abraham, and learning from his lesson, we all need to BELIEVE and WAIT FOR the promises God made as recorded in the Bible. If we do this and know that God has said He would bless those that bless Israel and curse those that curse Israel, we will ALWAYS be on the right side of that battle. I find it very comforting to know my God will win regardless of what I think! And it is this message that we all need to “…comfort one another with these words.” God’s Word is perfect and will not change! If you agree, please continue to Like/Share this on Facebook and/or LinkedIn or forward your subscriber emails to your friends and family. Let’s get the Word out because we are seeing these things spoken of thousands of years ago come to be TODAY! May God Bless you all!!