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God Sees Ishmael

Ishmael & Hagar in the wilderness, kept alive to be a thorn in the side of the whole world.
Ishmael & Hagar in the wilderness, kept alive to be a thorn in the side of the whole world.

Genesis 16:7-15 And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. (8) And he said: ‘Hagar, Sarai’s handmaid, whence camest thou? and whither goest thou?’ And she said: ‘I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.’ (9) And the angel of the LORD said unto her: ‘Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.’ (10) And the angel of the LORD said unto her: ‘I will greatly multiply thy seed, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. (11) And the angel of the LORD said unto her: ‘Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son; and thou shalt call his name Ishmael, because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. (12) And he shall be a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.’ (13) And she called the name of the LORD that spoke unto her, Thou art a God of seeing; for she said: ‘Have I even here seen Him that seeth Me?’  (14) Wherefore the well was called ‘Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered. (15) And Hagar bore Abram a son; and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.

God sees you. He knows who you are, who you will be. But he sees much deeper than that. He sees your children and your descendants. He knows who they will be 3500 years later.

God knew from the beginning that Ishmael would be at war throughout his generations, and by including this otherwise private interaction in the Torah, he has given the world fair warning.

There can be no peace with Ishmael.

In the collective sense, Ishmael neither understands nor desires peace. He will not be satisfied with democracy, land, prosperity, or the violent death of every Jew in the world. The sooner we believe what God has plainly told us, the sooner we can forget about ridiculous ideas of nation building and exchanging land for peace and focus on strong borders and containment.

Or missions.

Because the one way that Ishmael might find lasting peace is in truly uniting with Israel through her King and Messiah, Yeshua.

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Leaders & Tyrants

Genesis 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued as far as Dan.

Chederlaomer was a conqueror. He raided through Mesopotamia and up and down the King’s Highway, plundering, taxing, and enslaving subdued peoples. Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela were vassal states of King Ched for twelve years. Not having seen him again in all that time, they understandably quit sending tribute in the thirteenth year. In the next warm season, Ched and his allies came to collect, wreaking havoc along the way. They sacked the five cities, taking slaves along with everything else of value. Lot, Abram’s nephew, was among the captives.

When Abram heard about it, he and a band of his own servants attacked the allied kings’ encampment in the night and routed them. He rescued Lot and returned the freed captives and the stolen goods to their cities.

The two men make an interesting comparison.

Chederlaomer Abram
Made covenants of war Made covenants of peace
Gained his wealth through plunder and slavery Gained his wealth through ranching, trade, and gifts
Taxed and abused his servants Trained and armed his servants

Chederlaomer was a tyrant. He ruled and extracted tribute by threat of violence. His servants obeyed him only so long as they feared him. As soon as they thought they were strong enough to resist, they rebelled.

Abram, on the other hand, was a leader. He governed his house with wisdom and generosity. He trusted his servants with military weapons, and he ensured that they were competent in their use. His servants accepted and trusted his leadership so deeply that they would willingly attack a much larger, more experienced military force with no promise of reward except the gratitude of their master.

Whom would you rather serve? Would you follow our President into battle against a massively superior force just because he said to? Does the “leader” you have chosen even trust you with the weapons you would need to carry on the fight?