The irony of the story about the two sons of Abraham is coming around full circle in these last days just before the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble” takes place.
The two sons were Isaac, who was born of Sarah and Abraham, and Ishmael, who was born of Hagar and Abraham. Hagar the Egyptian was the handmaiden of Sarah.
This biblical story is a very familiar one and an altogether amazing one as well.
One son was born to fulfill a prophetic promise, and the other was born out of a spirit of doubt and perhaps a touch of impatience. Yet, both Isaac and Ishmael were born with the foreknowledge of the Holy One of Israel, and each son was born with a role to play in the future plans of God Almighty.
God’s promises to Abraham can be found in the book of Genesis.
The first promise that was made by God to Abraham happened years before either son was born. It happened when Abraham was still known as Abram. It was and still is a mighty promise, and it has played and still plays heavily into the relationship between the descendants of the two sons of Abraham.
The first promise God made to Abraham can be found in Genesis 12:1-3, and this is what God said, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all families of the earth will be blessed.”
This was an amazing promise but also an important one to remember as the centuries rolled by. This promise is still in effect to this very day.
Abraham was 75 years old when, as Hebrews 11:8 records, by faith, Abraham believed this promise, and with God leading the way, embarked on what would become a journey that would shape all of world history. Along the way, God would reveal to Abraham events that were certain to happen sometime in the future. Abraham trusted God by faith that these events would occur. And occur, they did indeed.
Upon arrival in the land of Canaan, after trekking about 1,000 miles from the land of Ur, God made this revelation to Abraham as recorded in Genesis 12:7, “To your offspring, I will give this land.” God expanded on this promise in Genesis 13:14-17 by saying to Abraham, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
Abraham was about 85 years old at this point, and his wife Sarah was barren.
Genesis 15:3 explains how Abraham assumed that any offspring of his would have to come through a maidservant or perhaps a concubine. But, in Genesis 15:4-5, God says to Abraham regarding such an assumption, “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” God took Abraham outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—If indeed you can count them.” Then God said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Neither Abraham nor Sarah could quite believe or imagine how, in their advanced years, and with her being barren, together they could conceive a child together. Sarah then grew impatient and decided to take the matter into her own hands. She told Abraham he must go in to Sarah’s maidservant Hagar and lay with her. In those days, this was not an unusual thing to do, and lo and behold, Hagar became pregnant and gave birth to Ishmael (Genesis 16:3-4). Remember, in Genesis 15:4-5, the Lord told Abraham, “This man will not be your heir.”
Thirteen more years went by as Ismael was growing into a young man when God said this to Abraham, as revealed in Genesis 17:5-8: “No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you a father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings will come from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
The literal meaning of Abraham is “father of many.”
The Lord then confirms to Abraham that these promises and blessings would come through his own flesh and blood son, the one who would be born to his wife Sarah and not the son born to Hagar.
These early promises that God gave to Abraham are of vital importance today, as we live in a time when individuals with ulterior motives have no shame in rewriting history to suit whatever agenda they are attempting to push on everyone else, especially in regard to the Jewish people and the land of Israel, formerly known as Canaan. (More on this later.)
And then, sure enough, Sarah gave birth to Isaac, the son of God’s promise, in her 90th year after a lifetime of being barren.
Isaac means, “He laughs.” It is God who laughs at our unbelief. God knows He can do anything, even if we humans, like Sarah, don’t know or believe that.
This was a miracle of God – a miracle along the lines of the Virgin Mary being with child by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit – as a barren woman 90 years of age cannot ordinarily get pregnant nor give birth to babies.
It is quite safe to say that the God of Israel is God, that He has an amazing sense of humor, and that He is a God of miracles.
As Abraham and Sarah’s flesh and blood son Isaac began to grow, Ishmael was behaving in wild ways, and Hagar had become resentful and jealous. This was making life miserable for Sarah. Sarah asked Abraham to banish Hagar and Ismael, and although Abraham loved Ismael, he, with God’s admonition, agreed to do so.
In the wilderness, Hagar called out to God on behalf of her son, and God told her, “As for Ishmael, I have heard you, and I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and multiply him greatly. He will become the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation” (Genesis 17:20).
Ishmael was described to Hagar in Genesis 16:12 like this: “This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey. He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. He will live in open hostility towards all of his relatives.”
These character traits were first noticed when Ismael was about 13 years old and Isaac was just a toddler. Ishmael would utter insults, mockeries, and generally just say rude things (Genesis 21:9-10).
Genesis 21:9-21 reveals that following their banishment, Hagar the Egyptian and her son Ismael landed in Paran, an area between Canaan and Sinai, where Ishmael became a great archer and desert chief.
When Abraham died at age 175, Ishmael met with his half-brother Isaac to say farewell to their father, Abraham, and they buried him in the Cave of Machpelah. Ismael was 90 years old at that time.
Ishmael lived to be 137 years old, but history is unsure where he died (Genesis 25:17).
Ishmael fathered twelve sons who became the founders and rulers of tribes collectively known as the Ishmaelites.
They populated large and mostly desert areas from the Red Sea to the Euphrates River (Genesis 37:25-28). Genesis 39:1 says this about the Ishmaelites, “their hand against every man and every man’s hand against them.”
As the centuries have slowly rolled along, a valid question might be: has this attitude and these character traits of Ishmael and the Ishmaelites and their descendants changed much, or at all, over time?
Could a feud over the birthrights of the firstborn last not just centuries but millenniums? Apparently, the answer is yes to both questions.
Fast forward for just a moment to modern times to read a poem entitled “The World’s Longest Feud.”
From Saudia Arabia to the Sudan,
Egypt, Iran and Afghanistan
From Syria, Iraq, and Libya,
to Lebanon, Gaza and Pakistan;
From Indonesia and Turkey, it is all too true
with all of the -stans and Jordan too,
Every nation with Islamic rule,
hating the Jews with a hate so cruel.
This hatred has raged over 3,000 years,
Long before Muhammed was even here.
It goes all the way back to Abraham,
and to the day that Ishmael was exiled from Canaan.
Ishmael, as the Bible recalls,
was a wild, stubborn man who was hostile towards all.
Ishmael sired twelve strong sons,
and they all lived in hostility towards everyone.
Even their own, it did not matter,
as all throughout the Middle East, they did scatter.
The only thing that has united them, and it’s sad but true
Is their unending and unbending hatred for the Jews.
And it’s not going to stop until the Jews are wiped out
Or until the Lord returns with a mighty shout,
And with His two-edged sword slays bad attitudes
And puts a welcome and final end to the world’s longest feud.
Getting back to the chronology, we know from history that the promises made by God to Abraham, as well as the ones made to Hagar, have come to pass.
We know that Isaac was the father of Jacob, that God changed the name of Jacob to Israel, and that Jacob (Israel) fathered the twelve tribes of Israel. Isaac, the son of Abraham, is the grandfather of the 12 sons of Jacob (Israel).
We also know from history about the amazing journey of the Israelites and their hot and cold, on-again, off-again relationship with the God of Israel, who chose them in the first place by making that covenant with Abraham.
We know of the many miracles God manifested on their behalf, such as:
- the 10 supernatural plagues on Egypt to convince the Egyptian Pharoah to free the Israelites from bondage.
- the parting of the waters of the Red Sea to provide an escape route from Egypt.
- the Ten Commandments that were written on stone and given to Moses by the “Great I Am” to share with the Israelites and to the whole world.
- the raising up of Prophets who foretold of future events with 100% accuracy.
- the Ark of the Covenant and the supernatural powers kept within.
- and so many more, too numerous to mention in any one article.
Most importantly, our Heavenly Father gave to us, through the nation of Israel, His only begotten Son Jesus, the Messiah (Savior) for all of planet Earth. He did this to reconcile fallen humanity back to Himself by allowing His Son Jesus to take upon Himself the punishment for yours and mine and everyone’s sins.
Those same prophets raised up by the God of Israel, as well as Jesus Himself, also provided details and signs to watch for regarding the soon-to-come second coming of the Messiah.
The history of Israel is fraught with ups and downs, from the glorious times of King David and King Solomon to the splitting up into two kingdoms, and having the northern kingdom of Israel conquered and taken captive by the Assyrians around 722 B.C., and then the southern kingdom of Judah taken captive by the Babylonians around 586 B.C., with the temple Solomon had built being destroyed in the process.
Though the temple was rebuilt with help from King Cyrus the Great of Persia, Jerusalem once again came under siege a few centuries later, and the rebuilt temple was defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes (a foreshadowing of the antichrist) in the 1st century B.C. during the times of the Maccabees.
Not long after that, the land of Israel came under Roman rule. This was the time period when Jesus appeared on Earth.
About 40 years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the Jews were scattered by the Romans into nations far and wide after the Roman general Titus destroyed the Jewish temple once again in 70 A.D. and thus ignited the Diaspora.
Adding insult to injury, Roman emperor Hadrian changed the name of Israel to Palestine and the name of Jerusalem to Aelia Capitolina.
Palestine is derived from the word Philistine, and we know the Philistines were ancient enemies of Israel during the time of Goliath. Changing Jerusalem to the name of Aelia Capitolina was also part of the insult, as Hadrian turned Jerusalem into a pagan city. Hadrian was attempting to wipe out Jewish history and any connection to the land God gave to them.
It didn’t work, as proven by the mighty miracle of 1948 when Israel, upon their God-given ancient land, became a sovereign nation once again.
Jewish history is so filled with pogroms and persecutions and fraught with seething hatred toward the Jews that many thick books have been written to document all of it. The Holocaust alone, in the late 1930s and 1940s, fills the pages of entire books.
The term “Jews” came into existence when Israel split into two kingdoms around 931 B.C., and the tribes of Judah (Jews) and Benjamin became the southern kingdom. Israel, comprising the other ten tribes, became known as the northern kingdom.
In modern times, the terms Jews and Israelites are often used interchangeably.
Meanwhile, the history of the descendants of Ishmael was also plodding along. For centuries, it all moved with the speed of a camel. For literally hundreds and hundreds of years, nothing much changed for the desert-dwelling nomads known as Ishmaelites.
The sons of Ishmael each formed and ruled tribes that roamed the deserts of the Middle East in the Arabian Peninsula and were eventually known as the first Arabs. They were not known for keeping detailed chronological records of their ancestry as the Jews did, and so less is known about their existence over those hundreds and hundreds of years, though the history of their forefather Ishmael, the firstborn of Abraham, and Ishmael’s banishment, as well as his younger brother Isaac receiving the birthrights and the promises of God, were passed from one generation of Ishmaelites to the next.
Nothing much changed until Muhammed came along in the seventh century A.D. It is said that the bloodlines of Muhammed can also be traced back to Ishmael.
The religion of Islam began to spread all through the Middle East and in all the areas where the ancestors of Ishmael dwelt. This happened at a time when the Jews had no physical nation of their own and were scattered all over the world. Although there were always some Jews inhabiting the land of their forefathers, mostly they remained scattered all over the world until 1948.
Islam, meanwhile, from the 7th century right up to modern times, steadily subdued the entire Middle East and became the main religion as well as the main political force.
As time passed by during this period of history, probably few, if any, knew that some of the Islamic teachings that vilified Jews would be like a ticking time bomb.
Also, as alluded to earlier in this article, some historical facts were altered over the centuries, in this case by ancestors of Ishmael who had become hard-core Islamists, either out of resentment of what happened to Ishmael, or possibly jealousy, or perhaps just being influenced by the father of lies.
Some of the historical alterations were, for example, stating that Abraham was a Muslim even though Abraham lived over 2,000 years before there was such a thing as Islam.
Another one is that Abraham and Ismael built the Kaaba in Mecca together.
One other one is that everyone in the bloodlines of Isaac was also Muslim, including Jesus.
The Koran states that Jesus was a prophet but not the Son of God, for they have been taught that God (whom they call Allah) has no son. These are just a few of the fabrications that contradict Bible history and only scratch the surface in regard to false narratives perpetuated by various leaders of Islam over the centuries.
These are things that can easily be proven historically inaccurate by just a minimum of honest research.
However, millions of people have had these teachings ingrained into them over many generations and have been threatened with death by the Imams and Mullahs if they dared to question the teachings of Islam.
In World War 2, the citizens of Earth witnessed the unthinkable. Adolph Hitler, inspired by the supreme Jew-hater Satan, murdered over six million Jews and confiscated all of their properties and possessions. Some of the Jew-haters in the Middle East, like Yasser Arafat’s uncle (the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini), were Nazi sympathizers and cheered Hitler on. Yasser Arafat proved to be a chip off of the old block of his Uncle Haj.
Then, after the war ended, the Balfour Declaration came into play, and the allied powers, led by England, on May 14, 1948, awarded the land of Israel back to the Jewish people. The state of Israel was proclaimed by David Ben-Gurion, who was the executive head of the World Zionist Organization, Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, and first Prime Minister of Israel.
It was at this moment in history that the time bomb, which had been ticking for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years and fueled by Islamic teachings, exploded. The 20th-century descendants of Ishmael went berserk with Jew hatred.
All of the worst character traits of their father Ishmael began boiling over as if on steroids, and it has not stopped to this very day.
There were the wars of 1948-1949, 1956, the 1967 Six-day War, 1973, 1982, and 2006. All of these wars were started by various coalitions of Arab forces, many of which can trace their heritage back to Ishmael.
So here we are today. Israel is now in the process of wiping out Hamas.
Hamas is an Islamic jihadist army made up of cold-blooded murderers, rapists, kidnappers, and baby killers. They use their own population as human shields, and then, through a very well-oiled worldwide propaganda machine, they lie, accusing Israel of having no compassion and committing genocide on Palestinian civilians. They do this to incite Jew hatred worldwide, and it works.
They are aided by the leftist-owned fake news. This is a tactic they share with the globalist/Leftist/Marxist Democrats, accusing your enemies of what you and not they are actually doing and getting millions of ignorant fools to believe you, support you, and commit to hating whoever it is that you hate.
The word Hamas, by the way, in Hebrew, means violence, violent person, wrong, false, false prophet. Just another bit of irony.
Think back to the biblical description of Ismael and his twelve sons. “A wild man, like an untamed wild donkey,” “He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him.” “He will live in open hostility against all of his own relatives.”
Islam itself is split into two factions, the Sunni and the Shiite. Although they are at odds with each other over Islamic issues, they are united in their hatred of the Jews.
The traits of Ishmael and his sons are magnified in today’s Ishmaelites through radical Islam.
The living God, the God of Israel, foresaw from long ago how the saga of Isaac and Ishmael would eventually play out. He foresaw the roles that the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael would play in the last days, right before the return of His Only Begotten Son Jesus.
God knew that each line of the descendants of Ishmael and Isaac would play a huge part in setting the stage and igniting the sparks that would lead into the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble.” The Time of Jacob’s Trouble is also known as “The 70th Week of Daniel” and “The Seven-Year Tribulation.”
One more ironic twist to the whole saga is this:
The Jews, who were scattered all over the world, have been taking part in Aliyah since 1948. Aliyah is the return of Jews to live in Israel. It is prophesied that this would happen. In Ezekiel 36:24, speaking prophetically about the scattered Jews during the end times, God says, “For I will take you out of the nations, I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land.”
Meanwhile, the descendants of Ishmael, who are now nearly all Muslim, in the last couple of decades, have been in a kind of a Diaspora of their own, with mass migrations into mostly Western nations. As Muslim populations increase in Europe and other Western nations, so do their demands.
Like their forefather Ishmael, they don’t seem to be able to blend in or get along well with the folks in the host nations, even establishing no-go zones where citizens of the host nation go only at their own risk.
These migrations are sometimes due to displacement by wars but are also encouraged and enabled by the globalists who are attempting to destroy Western civilization so they can “build back better” with them in control of everything and everyone. These mass migrations are, sadly, contributing greatly to the demise of these Western civilized nations.
The hordes of Islamic “migrants” are right now very loudly protesting Israel’s dismantling of Hamas in Gaza (the place where Samson slew 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of an ass), and they have lots of support from brainwashed useful idiots supplied by the Marxist globalist leftists. Useful idiots that have bought into the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda hook, line, and sinker.
Right at this very moment, thousands of American college students are putting forth their best efforts to prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that there is actually such a thing as “single-digit IQ human beings.”
These angry, noisy mobs are threatening violence against Jews globally while chanting along with the many Islamic descendants of Ishmael that genocidal refrain, “From the river to the sea, all of Palestine will be free.”
The irony is that this dangerous situation is causing even more Jews to join the Aliyah. It is actually accelerating the complete fulfillment of Bible prophecy (Ezekiel 36:24).
The Holy God of Israel is in control and always has been.
Only the Rapture stands between the end of what Jesus called “birth pains,” acting as signs that are revealing the time of the conclusion of the Age of Grace and the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation. The Book of Revelation describes in detail the things that will happen on Earth during those seven years.
What Jesus refers to as the worst seven years in all of history or that ever shall be will also lead to the salvation and total reconciliation between Yahweh and His beloved nation of Israel. That same nation that was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Promises that were and are eternal in nature and never to be broken.
No matter how hard the devil attempts to cause these promises of the Holy God of Israel to be broken and no matter how many ways and lies his minions come up with to inspire hatred and destruction upon God’s chosen nation of Israel, God’s will shall continue to be done. “Behold I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:2).
While in these last days, Jesus is personally saving some of Ishmael’s descendants by visiting them in dreams, and while some Jews are coming to Him also, the majority of both lineages still look back to their common father Abraham rather than to Jesus.
The time will come when all will know that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. All will know that Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Until that day arrives, much prayer is needed both for the Israelites and the Ishmaelites.
Ishmael and Isaac, Isaac and Ishmael, who knew?
Only God knew, and He knew it the whole time.
Your brother in Jesus and adopted son of Abraham,
Come to Jesus today, for only God knows what tomorrow may bring.
Eternal salvation awaits all who trust in Jesus. Romans 10:9-10 teaches how to pray for Jesus to become your Lord and Savior.
“If you confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”