Isaac verses Ishmael Word on the Week 22nd May 2021.
The latest instalment of the age-old conflict has been played out this week in the Middle East ending in an uneasy cease fire. There was friction from the beginning between the two half-brothers and this has been carried on down through the centuries to this day. Isaac from whom the Jews are descended and Ishmael who is the first of the Arabs (Genesis Chapter 21 verses 8 to 20).
The land God gave Abraham to be his descendants “On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates” (Genesis Chapter 15 verse 18). In those days the land was occupied by Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites (Genesis Chapter 15 verses 19 to 21).
It was given to Joshua to possess the land some 500 + years after the promise was given to Abraham. There was a certainty to Joshua’s instructions – “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you”.
Today there may be some lingering longing to once again possess the land. Certainly the events of the last 11 days have echoes of past conflicts. But now we are in the New Covenant times. The Jews are still warring and waiting for their Messiah refusing to recognise that he has come bringing the salvation which they long to experience (St Matthew Chapter 23 verse 37/8).
Here are some of the things that the New Testament brings to the believer in Jesus.
There is a new Exodus. We are delivered from slavery in Egypt to slavery from sin (Romans Chapter 6 verse 18).
The Temple in Jerusalem is gone. Now we are the new temple. (1 Corinthians Chapter 3 verse 16).
We have a new Kingdom. We have come from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Jesus. (Colossians Chapter 1 verse 13).
There is no king in Israel. Our king Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation Chapter 19 verse 16).
May God grant Gospel light to the Children of Isaac and the Children of Ishmael and to all who are seeking a physical solution to a spiritual problem.