As we hear about the impending disaster wherein the principal enemy of Israel is the nation of Islam, it would be useful to consider the fact that the nation of Israel and the nations of Islam both had their origins in Abraham. The Bible establishes the basis for that fact.
As God prepared to call out this nation, eventually to be called Israel, He called Abram (Abraham) to move from the land of Ur to a place God would reveal to him. To put this event in perspective, Adonai (called Adonai due to reverence for the name of God, written as G_D in many cases) called Abraham to form a new nation (not called Israel because Jacob whose name was changed to Israel had not yet been born). This event occurred two years after Noah died. The Bible does not say that any person but Abraham was called to fulfill the purpose of establishing a new nation. In fact Abraham had to move away from “his people” in Ur in obedience to God’s command.
This historical timeframe is so important that I will quote exactly what happened.
Genesis Chapters 16 and 17
1 Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar.
2 So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go in to my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai.
3 Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife, after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan.
4 So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes.
5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “My wrong be upon you! I gave my maid into your embrace; and when she saw that she had conceived, I became despised in her eyes. The Lord judge between you and me.”
6 So Abram said to Sarai, “Indeed your maid is in your hand; do to her as you please.” And when Sarai dealt harshly with her, she fled from her presence.
7 Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur.
8 And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”
9 The Angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit yourself under her hand.”
10 Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.”
11 And the Angel of the Lord said to her: “Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the Lord has heard your affliction.
12 He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, And every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”
13 Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”
14 Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
15 So Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.
2 And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”
3 Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying:
4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.
5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.
6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.
7 And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.
8 Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
9 And God said to Abraham: “As for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.
10 This is My covenant which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male child among you shall be circumcised;11 and you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised, every male child in your generations, he who is born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant.
13 He who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money must be circumcised, and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14 And the uncircumcised male child, who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.
16 And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.”
17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!”
19 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.
20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.
21 But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.”
22 Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.
23 So Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very same day, as God had said to him.
24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
25 And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
26 That very same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael;
27 and all the men of his house, born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
This chapter is entitled, The Seed of Abraham. As you just read, both Isaac and Ishmael are of the seed of Abraham. Only Isaac was the son of the covenant. As strange as it may sound, given the current situation, there will eventually be reconciliation between the Arabs and the Jews, both being the seed of Abraham. This quotation from Isaiah clarifies the issue:
Isaiah 19:19-25 NKJV
19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border.
20 And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them.
21 Then the Lord will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the Lord and perform it.
22 And the Lord will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the Lord, and He will be entreated by them and heal them.
23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.
24 In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria — a blessing in the midst of the land,
25 whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”
None of us are in a position to declare God’s intention regarding other nations and other faiths. We do know that Adonai is a God of Love, declaring that we are to respond to that love with great dedication to His principles, expectations and laws. I thank God that His expectations are crystal clear and I pray for forgiveness of sin, mine and yours, among all people everywhere. The Scriptures say that the Mercy Seat sits above the Ark of the Covenant and I pray, hopefully with you, for God’s mercy for every creature created in His image. This is what God told Abraham:
Genesis 12:1-3 CJB
Now Adonai said to Avram, “Get yourself out of your country, away from your kinsmen and away from your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
Notice the last sentence of the quotation. “…by you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” All means all, thus Abraham is the father of a new nation, a nation that was to become the oracle of God to the world. Thus Abraham is father to many nations, transmitting God’s Word to the entire world. It was God’s will that Israel, His chosen people, receive and preserve the Holy Scriptures for all mankind.
That brings us to a question that begs an answer: If God created man in His own image and if the Holy Scriptures state that it His express will is that no man perish, how can we who are so imperfect ever rise to the perfection of the Prophet, the Messiah, the One sent by God to redeem those who are sons of the living God? How can we stand, as a sinner in the presence of our Creator?
The answer is that we cannot, as an uncleansed sinner, stand in the presence of God. From the beginning to the present, God’s people were told to look forward to the moment in time where a Deliverer, Yeshua, the Messiah would enter history and change things forever. The Scriptures promise that no longer would God measure the condition of the soul by adherence to the Law and sacrifices of animals that were to be a “stand in”, an atoning sacrifice for the sinner. It was the shed blood of animals, sacrificed to cover the sins of the people, that was initially commanded by God.
If the sacrifice of animals was to atone for the sins of Israel, then what atonement for sin is available now? Even with the movement, by some in Israel, to rebuild the Temple, there is talk of “virtual sacrifice”. Those persons want to obey the law but they do not want to actually return to the practice laying their hands on the head of animal to be sacrificed for their sins. Whether that attitude is one of mercy towards the animal or convenience to oneself, it matters not. The ultimate sacrifice has already been made and the only sacrifice needed now are “sacrifices of righteousness” not to cover our sin because certainly the sacrifice of animals can not atone, ultimately, for the sins of man.
Every person created in the image of God should be asking themselves, “What will allow me to stand in the presence of God, one who will not look upon sin?” Certainly not our own worthiness, our own perfection and our own righteousness qualifies us for entry. There is only One who is able to reconcile us with the Father, there is only One who provided for our atonement and that One, along with His angels will, on Judgment Day, separate the saints from the sinners, the sheep from the goats. That One is our only hope. I doubt that a single person reading this feels that they are a saint. And we are not! Only by being cloaked in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the promised Yeshua, the One who gives meaning to A.D. and B.C. (Anno Domini and Before Christ), can we be delivered into the Presence of the Holy Father.
Fortunately, God provided the perfect sacrifice for sinners. His unblemished Son, the Messiah, Yeshua, went to the cross as a final and ultimate sacrifice for the sins of Man. From that time forward, no further sacrifices for sin are needed or wanted by the Father. By the sacrifice of one Man, the sins of a repentant person, committed to turning away from sin and obeying God, are forgiven. It seems too good to be true that an act of sincere repentance followed by acts of love and kindness to all persons will allow you to enter into the presence of the Holy Father, for eternity.
It is critical that Christians and others acknowledge that they are not the chosen people but as a result of Jewish history, have been “grafted into” the root of Israel. Christians, in particular, see what they see, in light of the God of the Jews, whose message, delivered by the Jews, shape the views of all worshippers of God. Without the Jews, our faith would not be based on the facts of the Old Testament. God’s relationship to Abraham, Isaac and Joseph form the basis of our understanding of the Scriptures. Prophecies, precisely fulfilled, and prophecies yet to be fulfilled, shed light on the past and give us a roadmap and hope for the future.
The title of this chapter is the seed of Abraham and the blessing is assured:
…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Genesis 12:3 NKJ