Ishmael

(God speaking to Hagar) “This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.” (Genesis 16:12)

It all started with a promise. God told Abraham and Sarah that they would bear a child and through him God would bring forth His people (descendants as numerous as the stars).

And like many of God’s chosen in the Bible, Abraham slipped up—BIG time. He grew impatient and decided to take things into his own hands. So he took Hagar (Sarah’s Egyptian slave) and conceived a child with her, named Ishmael.

Years later, Sarah finally became pregnant and Isaac (God’s promised child) was born. This created a problem that Abraham was forced to solve: which child will his descendants come from?

8 …on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham(B) was mocking,(C) 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman(D) and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”(E)

11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son.(F) 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring[a] will be reckoned.(G) 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation(H) also, because he is your offspring.” (Genesis 21)

There are two things I want to clarify by God’s words here: the first, is that He loves Ishmael and Hagar. Just as Abraham loves them (Ishmael is now 13 years old).

Hagar took her son into the desert and when their water ran out, they began to cry. God was with them:

17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

God continued to protect and bless Ishmael who grew up in the desert, became an archer, settled in Mecca, and married an Egyptian woman.

The second point we can glean from these passages is that God gave Ishmael his own inheritance and promise. He is so faithful that even in our mistakes—He forgives and pours out blessings upon us. Abraham made a mistake in sleeping with Hagar but Ishmael was not a mistake!

Abraham was forgiven and Ishmael would be blessed with a great nation just like Isaac. In essence, God expanded upon His promise to include Ishmael because he was Abraham’s son. The only divide was that his descendants would not become the Israelites (God’s chosen people).

Instead, they would become the Arabic nation.

That is why the Quran (the Islamic holy book) holds Ishmael as a prophet and messenger. Although, even there, little is said about him except (in their words) that he helped Abraham build the Kaaba, regarded as the most sacred structure on earth to those of the Muslim faith (britannica.com).

Other Islamic books give more information—contradictory to what the Bible explains. For example; that Abraham tried to sacrifice Ishmael instead of Isaac.

In the back of your mind I know you are probably thinking; “the sins of the father weren’t quite forgotten..” To look at the Arabic nation today, we have seen hostility, death, destruction, and pain—very much like what God said of Ishmael before he was born.

But, Ishmael still had a choice, as did his descendants. They might not have been God’s chosen people in the beginning but nor were we. When Jesus came, He brought salvation and reconciliation to all people from all nations (Jew and Gentile alike).

Would his descendants become one family again? Would they let go of the belief that they were supposed to be “the chosen ones” the “fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham?”

No. But that doesn’t mean that God isn’t working to save them. Many are giving their lives to Christ even now amidst so much strife and fear. They are fighting against this deep-seated hatred that has been passed down through generations and trying to find peace and freedom.

I say all of this to remind us, as Christians, to love our neighbors. Even our enemies. In many ways we are being dehumanized—it is so vital that we do not do the same to those we are called to love. Or did Christ not love us even when we were still His enemies?

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Our battle is a spiritual one and our commission is still to save as many lost souls as we (Christ in us) can until Jesus returns.

So please, brothers and sisters, now is the time to pray for Afghanistan and those who have converted to Christianity and are currently hiding. Pray that the transforming love of Christ would reach more and more, and for divine protection against the devil’s schemes (working through the hearts of man).

Pray for the children (the future), that their eyes would be opened and they would finally put an end to the slaughter and generational sin of their people and find Jesus.

Pray even for the Taliban, that they would be radically saved and lay down their weapons.

There is still hope that many more will come to know Christ and a revival will spread throughout the region despite the spiritual battle against it. That is one unique attribute of Christianity—it grows under pressure.

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5 thoughts on “Ishmael

  1. Reblogged this on Zero Lift-Off and commented:
    I know we are on the same wavelength regarding this subject and Ishmael had corrupted seed which is generationally passed onto today’s decedents some being demonically influenced for sure! Like Cain and Abel the same instigator, as I see it is working from the very beginning in the Garden to disrupt and be divisive to divide us while drawing out animosities and hate! I’m not a bigot, I know I’m not, but I must say those who are repelling and hating Christians as we touch on here, are dooming themselves to eternal damnation being antichrist in their thinking, behaviors and most important in some of their hearts; that are cold to Jesus!
    You might enjoy what I had to say here in a short blog essay today about this general subject.

    Very beautiful articulation and overview of this matter of extreme importance that is a huge festering wound among these peoples in a variety of locations around the planet and very much so in Afghanistan! These following excerpts drive home for me the nature of what is going on within these factions bringing into sight the conflicting nature at work!

    As you state in these excerpts Hope that I then follow with my commentary we can readily see the seething hostility and revenge that is the underpinning of many of these peoples in the region.
    “In the back of your mind I know you are probably thinking; “the sins of the father weren’t quite forgotten..” To look at the Arabic nation today, we have seen hostility, death, destruction, and pain—very much like what God said of Ishmael before he was born.”

    “No. But that doesn’t mean that God isn’t working to save them. Many are giving their lives to Christ even now amidst so much strife and fear.
    They are fighting against this deep-seated hatred that has been passed down through generations and trying to find peace and freedom.”

    “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

    As I understand this Hope the Devil has been working against us all using every trick up his metaphoric sleeve and then some; to cause division and hatred amongst God’s children; to literally put the different peoples at each other’s throats and even now in today’s day and age where we would think humans can at least try to all be civilized or humane and not barbaric to the point where we still have seen some of his decedents rise up to be Jihadists and behead or burn Christians alive which is truly Satanic; and such persons are controlled by those unseen powers and forces of darkness having hardened their hearts while giving allegiance to the father of all lies!

    This statement is of course what we thrive and pray for as any good Christian should; because Jesus Christ saves sinners that is His ultimate goal, so there is always hope and even when some of the most derelict persons have turned from evil and opened their hearts to Jesus!

    I’d like to include some of my thoughts regarding this matter that I added to another recent blog posting that do correlate well, along with the link to my own blog essay.

    Think of how America has been called the “Great Melting Pot” only for a couple of hundred years, but then consider how such vastly differing cultures or ideologies have since ancient times had to assimilate with one another or sadly conflict and perhaps use lying as a tool to overcome the other guy before he does you!

    From my own not firsthand or direct experience of the overall region that you apparently have along with history study; I can at least say with confidence from my own discernment and study but by more importantly my faith that the leadership over all in Turkey is not good at all, and very brutal or getting worse with Erdogan being more Fundamentalist Muslim now pushing such policy and strategy more than previous times in a fundamentalist intolerant direction, along with the fact that China having massively large ambition of global conquest and control how it would and does look at some of these nations leaders as well peoples, as does Russia also; as useful idiots to do their bidding or even one hand helping the other sort of arrangements to eventually like the snake does to have its prey in its grip, and then slowly crush or choke the life out of it by having total control! I don’t trust anything about the Atheist CCP megalomaniac China leadership just like I don’t Russia with its Putin/communist party, now making energy deals with Germany and the EU only looking to future dominance and control; again like the snake taking the time and opportunity to eventually strangle what it sees as victims or useful idiots!

    For the most part that is all the Muslim nations can be to Russia or China not having any vast weaponry power to use as a bargaining chip, although the last I knew Erdogan in Turkey did have an America NATO stockpile of around 50 nuclear warheads maintained there; though I’ve lost track of what the status is of that dangerous potential problem; the point being it wouldn’t take more than just one nuclear weapon falling into the wrong hands to then use it to trigger a massive regional or even global response along with AI being huge in the Strategic Weapons Systems in place globally; I see a no doubt huge potentiality of something going very wrong or bad very quickly with just a certain nefarious element being engaged in the situation! My point being I don’t see the Muslims over all as a peace-loving and seeking group in that entire region Vis-a-Vis Iran’s overly zealous desire to acquire Nuclear Weapons Capability which I don’t doubt they would use because at some point leadership such as the narrow minded ideological Ayatollah or Mullahs, would take the opportunity to destroy Israel! I see a clear cut defect in the Muslim religion or let’s say it “invites racialism and eventual hatred” that festers to levels that are diabolical as we all have seen in the last couple of decades, that the Muslims themselves don’t seem too concerned enough in putting an end to such horrific thinking and indoctrination; and with splinter groups and especially now again the Taliban resuming its old stature of dominance in Afghanistan in the ready to prepare camps for training Jihadists; which can and will absolutely only spell trouble and more hostilities to brew throughout the entire region.

    My point is things are not going to improve or ever reach a satisfactory balance of those nations all collectively seeing eye to eye or work toward a common goal of peaceful coexistence! Why, because what we are talking here is many different human beings all having very differing ideological and religious views on who should be in charge and seek dominance over all others! The two superpowers Russia and China are looking to gain utter control at some point in the near future as I see it but all of these other factors but especially like Syrian’s Assad and Erdogan of Turkey are serious wild cards that will absolutely play into the building coming conflict, with of course the EU and all of its members needing at some point to assert and defend themselves against any massive plans being pushed down their throats. Israel or the Jews won’t and shouldn’t roll over either, so they I believe will always be in the ready to defend themselves against any such developments as they occur.

    But, my main thrust or hopeful purpose in talking about this is to get back to Jesus Christ, who I have no doubt at all is absolutely who He claimed to be, and the mountain of evidence along with the uniformity of all the Holy Scriptures gives us much certainty that what happened with His birth and death being “the most unprecedented and profound event” in all the history of mankind, while prophecy is also real; and these factors give plenty of reason and opportunity for anyone who cares or wants to discern TRUTH, to not use lies to trick others as Muslims do and others like the Russians or China’s CCP; I’ll bank on the Truth of Jesus hands down any day of the week on all of what Jesus Christ told us, over anything these failed humans or any modern technology and science try to tell us otherwise! The obvious thing to me is how stupid or foolish, arrogant and blind to the Truth so many people are, even with so much exposure of the facts and historical record being discerned and supported now; yet so many turn from Truth and prefer Hate or Darkness more while pushing their own failed human agendas to do harm to others and have control over everyone they can! That is pure evil and comes from Satan; this is all so obvious to me and I wish multitudes of other humans could see things as I do; but sadly too many do not!

    A giant storm is brewing and it will strike upon humanity like nothing this world has ever seen before! The bullshit stories and arguments are hopeless and have festered far too long; causing more divisiveness not any unity and love which in and of itself demonstrates just how flawed and hopeless the human race is left to its own devices and this goes along with all the Biblical teachings or record! This is all a battle between Good and Evil, Heaven and Hell. Each of us has to decide which do we genuinely really want to be spending our eternity in, “Live by the Sword and Die by the Sword;” which is sadly exactly what the world has done far too long and is still looking to do going forward!

    Jesus Christ is the only Human who actually is God; to have shown the world what the answer to all of this is, not Muhammad or any modern day leaders and or men of science! This is all Vanity and will not bring us to the Promised Land or Eternal Peace; that is something only God can provide and will to those that believe His Son Jesus Christ!

    For now I want to leave this link to one of my recent Essays to give a bit more definition and clarity to what the Bottom Line is and must be. Thank you for the personal accounting here! God bless you and yours! Amen.
    Brother in Christ Jesus,
    Lawrence

    ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, as always, for your insight brother Lawrence. I do agree with you, I believe possibly there is a misunderstanding in my post. Biblically speaking you are correct in that the Arabic nation will always be against Israel and God’s people—in Revelations it is quite clear how things will transpire before Christ returns. In all honesty, Israel and Christians will be “attacked/oppressed/even killed” more and more as this world slides into it’s inevitable demise. The Muslims have a zealous hatred for us but there are many who hate us, which fulfills the promise of Jesus when He said the world would hate us because it hated Him (John 15:18). That being said, as a Christian I must see the world as ground to be conquered for Christ and not as ground already lost to satan. If we write people/nations off as irreparably lost then no one will be saved (and Heaven celebrates even when just one comes to salvation). We are the ones who can speed up the coming of Christ because ultimately He is waiting for everyone who “will” be saved to “be saved.” It is like refusing to pray for the poor because Jesus said the poor would always be among us. The issue of poverty may not be solved but we have been given an opportunity to love people like Christ for this short span of time and we can give the coats off our backs to at least a few poor people and be a warm beacon of hope that points to a better reality (Heaven’s reality). Saul was once just like the zealous hate filled Muslims. He killed many Christians and thought in his heart that what he was doing was right and just. God transformed him and opened his eyes to the truth and if He didn’t do that we wouldn’t have gained such a selfless, compassionate apostle who diverted his gift of zealous fire toward the ministry of Christ as Paul. Such stories exist today even inside the darkest regions where Christians are being brutally killed. Our government and nation should definitely seek to protect and defend, and I am not against that. Nor am I an open border coexist-er since I know how damaging that has been to our nation and to the overall Christian culture. The Israelites are a prime example of this in the Bible. Pagan ideals and gods only invite trouble. I am not against the death penalty and fully believe that there are monsters who openly choose hell and evil. But I also have known of satanists that gave their lives to Christ. The government and the church serve different functions and have different roles/goals. Both are vital and both should be separate and respect the other. The church is to love recklessly, sacrifice freely, give generously, and care for the poor, widowed, needy etc in America and beyond (wherever the Spirit leads). You are right —at the end of the day, “we” don’t save (Christ does), and the people we reach have to make a decision. Many have already decided but so long as they live there is hope. It is admittedly hard for me to understand how God could forgive someone who (for example) cut off the heads of my brothers and sisters in Christ. But if anyone truly repents of their sin and believes in Jesus—salvation is theirs. We were all deserving of death once…and we are all guilty of the murder of Jesus. He forgave us. I’m not saying that our sins won’t have to be answered for but the matter of our salvation is a sure one. One that I hope reaches as many Arabs and even Israelites as possible before it’s too late.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WOW HOPE!!! Sister in Christ Jesus; You’re incredible and I couldn’t’ respect you more as a Christian, Woman and Human Being even if my life depended on it! What a most beautiful and forthright reply commentary that I’ve never seen in any of my interactions online especially when it comes to Jesus Christ, our Father in heaven and His will being done on earth as it is in heaven!

        This portion of Scripture you mention is so telling!

        “Fulfills the promise of Jesus when He said the world would hate us because it hated Him” (John 15:18).

        Hate is a very common commodity in this selfish take and grab what I can while I can secular culture of death world we live in; even where persons engage in selfish pleasures producing a child that they can write off as basically trash, or when I’m ready maybe then I can love that Unborn child of God’s! No; not ours but God’s or not even the inclination to at least allow a creation of God’s to live; so I can find it a loving wonderful home? Actions have consequences and that is each person’s responsibility to live up to our own!

        Modern society has all these amazing blessings and gifts to help us live a better life in the material needs, but, it can be so destructive to our spiritual need deflecting us away from God and into a world of vanities overnight. Being so vain and caught up in anything lustful due to the flesh and carnal mind is a trap which we mustn’t fall into, because it leads to destruction, which once in that snare the hope of escaping it is exponentially more difficult than perhaps being not as faithful as we should be, but at least being a trying Christian means we have our basic priority established. And building that faith and turning our lives over to the Lord is a daily and continuous process to not lose sight of! So my idea is why would I allow myself to fall into a lane of travel that will most likely bring me head on with destruction and the Devil a massive crash; to lose it all because I let myself go off the rails and there was no need for that, if I remain mindful and obedient to our Father in heaven through Jesus Christ!

        Any human being has a built-in need for love and can express genuine compassion and love for another so to be so far away from Christ that a man takes innocent harmless people and burns them up is to be doomed, unless I not being God can’t see how God sorts out all the minuscule aspects involved and comes to a decision to save a soul from hell! I hope that can be; but while I live my life I must discern with a mind of reality and clarity being sober while shunning the detestable going on around us, or placing condemnation where it belongs having rule of law or thumb, based on God’s word, which is absolutely a paramount necessity or I may become deluded, accustomed to sin and living in a fantasy world, say like many Democrats along with some faker Republicans do daily accepting it all; abortion is fine even at the moment of birth! Are they thinking they fool me and so many others, but, perhaps fooling themselves with that rubbish not being an abomination? They sure won’t fool God!

        I quote again:
        “God transformed him and opened his eyes to the truth and if He didn’t do that we wouldn’t have gained such a selfless, compassionate apostle who diverted his gift of zealous fire toward the ministry of Christ as Paul.”

        Yes Saul was transformed by God and I must say with certainly that was God’s plan but I won’t take that concept to mean that, hey I can go be a devil and God will find a way to work that into His plan to save my behind when I finally kick the bucket; that would be grave presumption or error that Jesus is the fool, and cuts slack wherever needed; because we sinners want to tie one on and have a wild time or sow some wild oats then all is forgotten; as if we get to manipulate Salvation to our own purposes! There are so many so called Christians in any of the many denominations that live that way; trying to pull the wool over the worlds eyes and maybe even God’s if they be that ridiculous! We must be living with so much discernment and caution while not Testing God, but being Obedient and fearing Him as He knowing all things the Almighty, and being the one in Jesus, who will send us to hell or take us into heaven; because we go left or right and once it is finalized after judgment there is no redo, here is where we get our chance or shot to succeed. And my life is tiny and I know nothing, so I should be in fear of the consequences of wrong and totally insulting actions that I can take against God. I mean to say, I see that we are on eggshell while simultaneously we are walking in HOPE of his overpowering unfathomable “love and grace” being all around us; so there is so much to be thankful for, and we can have some joy along the way of course; in knowing that!

        To quote you again;
        “Truly repents of their sin and believes in Jesus—salvation is theirs.”
        That is wisdom because repentance is an ongoing action which gains grace and forgiveness and it is readily available to all. But sadly not all will ask for it and even care! Individual choice comes into play for any coherent person with basic mental faulty and a conscience!

        A person so interested in worldly material wealth or power and influence that comes with it is so burdened down and succumbing to the flesh that his soul is so disconnected from what matters most in the universe, which is the Divine, that what we call God the Father, and as Christians we know that we “MUST reach the Father only through the Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” who is the One who always knows what is best for each of us! But, putting so much stock in the material and becoming blinded to the Truth then the heart is truly cold to Jesus and those are souls who Jesus will say, I do not know you, because they don’t know him!


        “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matthew 7:21–23).

        “A person can seem like a Christian in the eyes of other people, yet still be an “evildoer” in God’s sight and sent away from His presence (verse 23). Only those who do the Father’s will and who are known of God will enter heaven.”

        “They asked him, ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent’” (John 6:28–29). God wants us to have faith in His Son: “This is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ” (1 John 3:23). Those who are born again by faith in Christ will produce good works to the glory of God (Ephesians 2:10).

        So if a butchering pagan murderous Jihadist who hates all Christians with a passion enough to chop their heads off and burn whole families of them alive with gasoline is already so hell-bent and possessed there is not really a hope he will be able to unload that burden of enormous sin, transgression against God or shall I say even want to because the heart is so cold and empty of God; before it’s too late! It’s not for the one who walks with the Lord to step down into the world of debauchery and sin to carry a wretched soul to safety from condemnation, which nobody can do for another only Jesus can if it is the Father’s will, but it is for that one who is already condemned by his own “free will” to climb up out of that pit he placed himself in to join the walk with the Lord, along with his brother! We cannot be our brother’s keeper but must tend tour own life responsibility and to try doing otherwise is a fool’s errand for sure; not up to us, but only God has these answers! Is there a modicum of HOPE why of course who am I; just a sinner like you and the rest of the human race, but discernment tells us that in order for that soul to be free of the enormous evil force upon it, will take a miracle and God does provide miracles as we know! As well He is the only one in the end who can sort out with preciseness the worthiness of any soul and nobody can fool God nothing will escape His attention and Judgment!

        So my; point is the slippery slope that some venture off onto with these horrible hell-bent tirades enter upon a ground that is so full of traps and satanic evil that it’s a quagmire of the most satanic lies and snares which makes it virtually impossible for we mere human beings to escape from once down that road to destruction; Perdition! I speak about these extreme cases that are seemingly hopelessly lost. But sure there a Christian woman who had a home invader attack her with a lust to rape or kill her as well, then was turned from his horrible evil ways when she spoke to him relating to the book she just read by the Christian author and pastor Rick Warren “The Purposeful Driven Life” which detailed how God is working at all times with us in this terrible struggle between Good and Evil; and how we are lost sheep that are hopeless without our Great Master, Teacher and Shepherd; we can make no mistake about it, without Jesus Christ there is no Hope , no Salvation, no Eternal Life in heaven with our Maker!!!

        But you are so correct and insightful as I know we see eye to eye understanding what God wants us to by means of His Holy Spirit that reaches out and speaks to us when we are genuinely asking or ready for His help!

        This book and author explain what a life in the Lord is like. As well this woman who read it was a living testimony as I just mentioned she a woman being attacked spoke to that crazed wicked man the way Jesus wanted her to; and everything changed!

        God bless you and yours Hope!
        God’s Mercy and Grace be with all of you! Amen.
        Thank you very much.
        Brother in Christ Jesus,
        Lawrence

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “Pray even for the Taliban, that they would be radically saved and lay down their weapons.” Amen! I have been praying daily for terrorists since 2005, and I have collected a folder full of articles and stories of would-be terrorists whose plans were frustrated, and who eventually became followers of the true God.

    Liked by 1 person

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