“He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”
I dashed into that sandwich shop (that one) the other day with frozen limbs and blood drained extremities. I had to get a hot soup or coffee or something that would thaw my iced vessel. The real feel of the weather was a far cry from the actual temperature and once again I was caught of guard. As I waited on-line, I rummaged furiously inside my handbag, for what exactly I do not remember. Maybe the money to pay for the expected warming element…who knows? Anyway when I finally lifted up my head, there were two young men more than happy to take my order. The one on my left had a broader smile and the managers cap on. So naturally off to my left I scooted. No sooner had I done that than recognition dawned on me. He was an avid blog reader from months back who had recognized me at this same store. A very remarkable and hard-working College student I must say, of whom the Lord had started to do a work in his heart.
As he ladled soup into the bowl for me, we chatted about the weather, his school and of course God. He thought I was funny and was able to pinpoint his favorite blog moments as he informed his co-workers that indeed this lady was a star as far as he was concerned (bless his heart!). I was a tad bit worried that I had given him that impression, but was relieved to hear him say (to another co-worker), she comes in acting like a nobody… As he packaged my loot (to go), he asked me what I thought about the ‘church burning craze’ in Nigeria, West Africa. He said he was very disappointed when he read about it and would like to know my thoughts about the situation. My real thoughts are actually more heated, lambasting and thorough. But I would spare humanity my vent, simply because it cannot handle it. But this is the biblical, refined and edited version of what I feel. And I dedicate it to that fine soon-to-be Ambassador for Jesus (even though he does not know it yet). Every worker behind the counter stood and waved me off as I left with my bag of soup, sandwich, coffee and chocolate chip cookie all for no charge at all. Hey, do not hate, it is called favor…
I cannot tell you how many times I have faltered at believing God to come through with what He promised. One second I believe and my faith is strong, the next second I take my eyes of the Lord as I suddenly sense the absurdity and impossibility of ‘walking on water‘, as I begin to sink. Thank God for His tenderness and mercy, that picks me right back up again. Sarah must have felt the same way and besides her self in anxiety, when she suggested Abraham go in into her maid. One wrong decision in moment of doubt, and the world is still held hostage thousands of years later. Yes Sarah faltered, but no where in the bible was it recorded that Abraham vehemently refused to comply with an action that in no way collaborated with what God had initially or previously told him as the head of the household. Anyways let us move on.
“He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.”
In the ‘triangle of trouble’ a son is born and he is named Ishmael. In a little over a decade of existence and satisfying Abraham’s desire for an heir (howbeit not completely). I say that (not completely), because nothing can quite fill you up and bring you to a place of peace aside from the will of God for your life. At the appointed time of life as promised by God, Sarah is pregnant with the child of promise and covenant. “But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” Genesis 17:20-22 But before that while Ishmael was growing up, Hagar became confused about her real role so trouble begins to brew in Abraham’s household (polygamy will do that to you). God wasn’t confused though and He gently told Hagar to resume her calling and stay in her place. He would take care of her son, but she could not eclipse the vessel bearing the seed of covenant that was Sarah her mistress.
“Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” Genesis 16:8-10
The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.” Genesis 16:9-11
Eventually, Isaac the covenant son is born, Abraham is happy, Sarah is fulfilled and Ishmael is in a heated state of bitterness. The bible does not tell us if he actually expresses what irks him, but could it have been having to be circumcised as a teenager, who knows? Well Sarah the matriarch catches him in a disdainful glare towards Isaac and tells Abraham it was time to clean house (which she caused to be overloaded in the first place). Abraham is distressed. They are both his seed therefore: “can’t we all get along?” Well one seed was the work of the flesh and impatience which is often heralded by conflict. The other seed was the work of the Spirit of God and patient obedience, the result of a covenant (symbolized by circumcision) and the fulfillment of a peaceful promise. Flesh and Spirit cannot dwell peaceably together, because each one wants to be in control and lead. Although God will not strive with flesh (it has to die), He (God) will not share His glory with another.
“The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring] will be reckoned. I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.” Genesis 21:8-13
Also Ishmael is always around to act as a deterrent, heartache and a vehicle of derailment for the chosen of the Lord, as in the case of Joseph. “So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.” Genesis 37:27-29 Well, seemingly happily ever after, God makes a nation out of Ishmael and multiplies his seed also. You see God had initially blessed Abraham, and blessed he remained. Provision had been made in advance for human error, but that did not erase the fact that there would be grievous consequences for disobedience and sin. Ishmael would live forever like Abraham had foolishly and unwittingly prayed. “And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!” Genesis 17:17-19
Ishmael knew and still knows that Isaac was the long-awaited heir of covenant and that he was and is still irrevocably blessed. Ishmael believes that he came first, therefore Isaac was unnecessary and deserves to be extinct. To aggravate Ishmael even more is the fact that because the covenant of innumerably seed lies with the child of promise, he is indeed being increased rapidly. You see apart from the natural seed, there are the spiritual seed being grafted in by faith. In fact when God showed Abraham the stars in the sky as an example of the vastness of his future seed,a huge percentage of those were going to be grafted in by faith. Abraham had been called the father of faith. His blessing was to come by faith and keep growing by faith.
“If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,” Romans 11:16-18
Now Ishmael had a major predicament and another group to contend with; the heirs of Abraham by faith. It appeared the furious lad could not catch a break. He was there before every one else, and would be there after everyone else was eliminated, or so he thought. Like the prophecy in the beginning verse; Ishmael’s hand will be against everyone… To pretend this is a fairy tale and skirt through the issues in this day and age in order to be ‘politically correct’ is the ultimate foolishness. Ishmael is angry and bitter and does not know nor propagate peace. He has only one desire; to extinguish every one else but his descendants. And he believes he is doing it as a warped and sick favor to god. Actually now more than ever before, Ishmael is planning his biggest attack yet as the ‘infidels’ blindly and stupidly give him grounds, opportunities and leeway.
Why would God not protect Isaac and the non-Ishmaelites alike you ask? Always in the scripture God has allowed and used the enemy to correct and discipline His children. So one more time, Ishmael will be allowed to create incredible havoc and untold chaos of which the Prophets of God foretold. Then maybe, just maybe natural Isaac will unite with spiritual Isaac as the non-Ishmaelites run to and fro for answers and for much-needed deliverance and respite…
“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation. “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” Matthew 23:33-38
.“When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.“ Luke 21:19-2
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord/ Baruch haba bashem Adonai/ אשרי מי שבא בשם ה ‘