Do you ever stop to think about the ramifications of writing something and posting it on the internet? I haven’t, in the past. That’s what blogging is, right? Just spouting off whatever is on your mind. And then I wrote that blog about the argument between radio and record labels, and I realized people are reading this and it affects them. So I decided to stay away from controversial things unless I felt God had a specific purpose for it. I think He has a specific purpose for today’s promise. It may be difficult to wrestle with at first, but please stick with me and let’s walk through it together. Take a deep breath. Here we go.
If Israel and Palestine went to war, if the nations of Judaism and Islam fought, which side do you think would be the fulfillment of the promise of God? To bring it closer to home, if the United States is at war with Iraq or Afghanistan, the Christian nation versus the Muslim nation, which side is the fulfillment of God’s promise? We find an amazingly unique and overlooked promise of God in the 21st chapter of Genesis.
We have already looked at God’s promising to make a great nation from Abram’s offspring. But in Genesis 16, Sarai, his wife, has borne no children, so she offers her servant Hagar to Abram. Hagar becomes pregnant and bears a son, Ishmael. After his birth, God tells Abraham that his wife Sarah will still bear him a son, named Isaac. Hagar fears for the well-being of her son, and God speaks to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation” (Gen. 21:17b-18 ESV). God promises that Ishmael will be made into a great nation.
Guess who most experts say that nation is? Right, the nation of Islam, that heritage is from Ishmael. So, both sides are the fulfillment of the promise of God. Now, I am not trying to make any commentary on the war. I am not trying to say whose side God is on. I am merely noticing that sometimes even those we count as enemies are children of the promise, children of the Promiser, as well. And maybe that is why God not only says love your neighbor, but also love your enemy.