Scripture: Genesis 21:
11-13 The matter gave great pain to Abraham—after all, Ishmael was his son. But God spoke to Abraham, "Don’t feel badly about the boy and your maid. Do whatever Sarah tells you. Your descendants will come through Isaac. Regarding your maid’s son, be assured that I’ll also develop a great nation from him—he’s your son, too."
Observation: God made two great nations, why does each consider the other one evil?
Application: For millennia the nations of Israel and Islam have been in conflict and war with one another. They simply can not get along because they both claim to have the one true message of God and the one true lineage from God’s chosen patriarch Abraham. We must remember that our scriptures reflect the Jewish point of view when they follow the lineage of Christ all the way back to Abraham through Isaac. But in the Muslim tradition the linage goes back through Ishmael who (although was born from a handmaid and not a wife) was Abraham’s first born son. This position of honor would in fact hold a great amount of sway in a normal family situation. But Abraham’s family was not very normal.
Christians and Muslims have also had thousands of years of conflict between each other because the Christian Messiah Jesus came through Isaac and not Ishmael. But my point today is simply this. God promised Abraham that He would make a great nation from both of his sons. He didn’t say, I’ll make one good nation and one evil nation, he said “I’ll also develop a great nation from him (Ishamael) – He’s your son, too.” If God chose to make a great nation, who are we to call it evil? Who are we to say, “NO – God can only have ONE chosen people, and ONE way of relating to humanity.” I’m not saying that Jesus is not the way. I’m only asking for you to look at things with an open mind and an open heart and know that God did what He did because He saw value in both sons, and in both of the lines of descendants which would come from them.
If each side would stop claiming the other to be the spawn of Satan we might find that we have more in common than we realize and that we are all children of The Most High God!
Prayer: Father of us all,
Grant me the ability to keep an open mind and heart when it comes to those who are from different backgrounds than I am. Help me to realize and remember that you are the creator of us all and that you love every one of us.