Ishmael, Esau, and the Armor of God


 

 What ISIS Really Wants

I was going to do this one later.  It came to me this morning, while I was sort of half awake and half asleep.  I’m still trying to get completely over this pneumonia thing – it’s a real pain.  Then I saw an interview with Graeme Wood who wrote an article for The Atlantic with the title What ISIS Really Wants.  Then I thought – I really need to at least get the shell of this out.  There’s an article I did a few years back on the amazing parallels in the “End Times” scenarios in the Christian Bible and the Islamic Qur’an.  Equally amazing are the different interpretations.  I’ll look for it and put it up later.  But this article starts to get into the “End Times” goals of ISIS.  As much as some would like to deny it – this is real.  Right or wrong – only God knows.  But it’s their philosophy – and we ignore it at our own peril.  Interestingly enough – I also think by ignoring it – we are also ignoring God.

So – I’ve written about Ishmael and Esau before.  You can search this site for Esau to find the posts.  I’ve said before I think there will come a time when Muslims – who trace their roots back to Ishmael – will have to make a choice between Ishmael and Esau.  The article doesn’t go into that detail – but it does point out that ISIS is very much trying to eliminate the middle ground between what we in the west call moderates and extremists.  ISIS, of course – considers every Muslim other than themselves to be apostates.  Again – right or wrong – only God knows.  But this is their belief.  And it’s a very strong religious belief – that they are doing God’s will.

I believe they are taking the path of Esau.  Remember from Malachi –

 Mal 1:1 An oracle: The word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi.

Jacob Loved, Esau Hated

Mal 1:2 “I have loved you,” says the LORD.
“But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’
“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” the LORD says. “Yet I have loved Jacob, 3 but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.”
Mal 1:4 Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.”
But this is what the LORD Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD. 5 You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the LORD—even beyond the borders of Israel!’

As prophesied, ISIS is attempting to rebuild those ruins.  

Mal 1:4 Edom may say, “Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.”

But look at what comes next –

But this is what the LORD Almighty says: “They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD. 5 You will see it with your own eyes and say, ‘Great is the LORD—even beyond the borders of Israel!’

Again –

They may build, but I will demolish.

The “I” there isn’t us.   It’s God.

What are we doing to get God involved?

Nothing!

We pretend this isn’t religious.  But it’s not our choice!  ISIS has made it religious.  Their goal is to bring about the End Times scenario in the Qur’an – which says they will win.  Interestingly enough – the very same scenario they are looking to create puts them on the losing side in the Christian Bible!  That’s what my earlier article was about.  The details of it are almost unbelievable.  Almost.

So what about Ishmael?

Again – remember – Ishmael was the one that God promised to make into a great nation.  God also saved Ishmael’s life when he was about to die from a lack of water.

Ge 21:14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
Ge 21:15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob.
Ge 21:17 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.”
Ge 21:19 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.
Ge 21:20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.

God provided water for Ishmael.

There’s another example of God providing water – not from the well next to the people talking – but from God Himself –

Jn 4:4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
Jn 4:7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
Jn 4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. )
Jn 4:10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
Jn 4:11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
Jn 4:13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

This living water from Jesus is available for all who truly ask for it.

At some point – I believe – Muslims will have to make a choice between Ishmael and Esau.  ISIS is trying to force that time to be now.

Muhammad initially wanted his followers to be fluent in the Jewish and Christian Scriptures.  Having that knowledge and looking at what’s happening in the world right now is something that we all need to pray about.  
For Christians – don’t just assume that all Muslims are “bad”.  While some of our leaders don’t want to talk about it – there is a basis in the Qur’an for much of what ISIS is doing.  They are a minority.  We need to pray for the majority.
For Muslims – look at all the Scripture.  Decide where you want to be – who you want to follow.  Ishmael or Esau?  Look at the End Times scenarios in both the Qur’an and the Bible.  The similarities are there.  So are the differences.  One is from Ishmael – who God will make into a great nation.  The other is from Esau – who God promised to destroy any attempts to rebuild what he had made.  Esau made his choices – choices specifically designed to anger his elders – and therefore also anger God.  Is that where you want to be?

Jesus – Isa – has the offer of living water outstanding to all who truly desire it – just as God had water to keep Ishmael alive in the desert.
Hagar accepted the water from God.
Will you accept the living water from Isa?

 

 

image from slideshare.net

Please leave a comment - it's nice to hear from you