"Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more." Psalm 83:4
Prompted by an address by Lisa Miara of Springs of Hope - concept used with thanks.
A conflict between peoples can be viewed in different ways. How far back is it possible to trace the Arab – Israeli conflict? Is it possible to trace back family animosity, jealousy and hurt?
Visit the Palestinian Media Watch or Middle East Media Research Institute website and see how a new Arab / Muslim generation is being brought up on the hatred nursed by parents and elders. How far back has this been going on, and what was the origin of such anger, hatred and resentment?
It could be said that God’s plan for world redemption started in the Garden of Eden, but that it really got under way when He called Abraham Genesis 12 1
The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."In Genesis 15 v4 we read of God’s promise of an heir through whom the promise was to be fulfilled,
Then the word of the LORD came to him: "This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir."
But all did not go smoothly! In Genesis 16 you can read how Sarai gave her Egyptian maid Hagar to Abram to help God along with the promised heir. Once Hagar became pregnant, the trouble began,
“ When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. Sarai complained to Abram who replied, apparently callously, "Your servant is in your hands," "Do with her whatever you think best." Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
We read how the Angel of the LORD found Hagar and told her to go back but gave her a prophecy about the child she was carrying,
You shall name him Ishmael, for the LORD has heard of your misery. 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."
In Genesis 17 from v17 we read of Abraham’s discussion with God about his heir. God agrees to bless Ishmael but points out that the covenant plan is still through the child that will be born and is to be called Isaac.
v20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21But my covenant I will establish with Isaac,
In Genesis 21 from v11-21 there is family discord again and Hagar and Ishmael are sent away, but God gives assurances to Abraham,
“Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring."
Hagar has an encounter the angel who repeats God’s promise about Ishmael becoming a great nation. We read that
v20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.
Note his mother’s choice of an Egyptian wife; there appears to be the beginnings of a racial divide.
In Genesis 25 v7-18. We read of the death of Abraham, how both his sons buried him and how God blessed Isaac. When the death of Ishamel is recorded, the names of his descendents are listed and the fact that they lived “near the border of Egypt, as you go toward Asshur. And they lived in hostility toward all their brothers. “
These descendants of Ishmael are reckoned to be the Arab people.
In Genesis 27 we read of the impending death of Isaac and the deception by which Jacob supplanted Esau and received the blessing,
So he went to him and kissed him. When Isaac caught the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, "Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the LORD has blessed. May God give you of heaven's dew and of earth's richness-- an abundance of grain and new wine. May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed."
When the deception came to light Esau was, predictably, angry.
v34 When Esau heard his father's words, he burst out with a loud and bitter cry and said to his father, "Bless me--me too, my father!" But he said, " Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing." Esau said, "Isn't he rightly named Jacob? He has deceived me these two times: He took my birthright, and now he's taken my blessing!" Then he asked, "Haven't you reserved any blessing for me?" Isaac answered Esau, "I have made him lord over you and have made all his relatives his servants, and I have sustained him with grain and new wine. So what can I possibly do for you, my son?"
v38 Esau said to his father, "Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father! " Then Esau wept aloud. His father Isaac answered him, "Your dwelling will be away from the earth's richness, away from the dew of heaven above. You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother. Be lord over your brothers, But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck."
v41 Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, "The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob ."
Remember that Jacob became Israel.
Esau’s anger influenced his decisions - Genesis 28 v6
Now Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and had sent him to Paddan Aram to take a wife from there, and that when he blessed him he commanded him, "Do not marry a Canaanite woman," ………. v8 Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac; so he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael son of Abraham, in addition to the wives he already had.
Genesis 36 details how Esau then acted upon his anger; indeed, his whole life was influenced by this as was his location and his line.
v2 Esau took his wives from the women of Canaan : Adah daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah daughter of Anah and granddaughter of Zibeon the Hivite-- also Basemath daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth. Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, Basemath bore Reuel, and Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam and Korah. These were the sons of Esau, who were born to him in Canaan.
v8 So Esau (that is, Edom) settled in the hill country of Seir. ….. v12 Esau's son Eliphaz also had a concubine named Timna, who bore him Amalek. These were grandsons of Esau's wife Adah. …….. These were the chiefs among Esau's descendants:
The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, Korah, Gatam and Amalek.
Remember the name of Amalek and notice what is said of him elsewhere; Numbers 24v20
Then Balaam saw Amalek and uttered his oracle: "Amalek was first among the nations, but he will come to ruin at last."
Amalek reappears in the story of the Exodus ; chapter 17
v8 The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands." ….. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. …… 14 Then the LORD said to Moses, " Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."
This was not forgotten; it is recorded in Deuteronomy 25
v17 Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and cut off all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. When the LORD your God gives you rest from all the enemies around you in the land he is giving you to possess as an inheritance, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven. Do not forget!
See also Psalms - Psalm 83 begins
O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still.
See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads.
With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish.
"Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more."
With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you-- the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre.
1 Samuel 15 records the downfall of Agag
v32 Then Samuel said, "Bring me Agag king of the Amalekites ." Agag came to him confidently, thinking, "Surely the bitterness of death is past. " But Samuel said, "As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women." And Samuel put Agag to death before the LORD at Gilgal.
Notice also that the enmity surfaces again in the time of Esther, with Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews. (Esther 3) The downfall of Haman is remembered in the feast of Purim.
“After these events, King Xerxes honored Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, elevating him and giving him a seat of honor higher than that of all the other nobles.”
Notice also the enmity from the inhabitants of Esau’s territory at the time of the Exodus; recorded in Judges 11.
v17 Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, `Give us permission to go through your country,' but the king of Edom would not listen. They sent also to the king of Moab, and he refused. So Israel stayed at Kadesh..
Also in Numbers 20
v14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying: "This is what your brother Israel says: ……………..v18 But Edom answered: "You may not pass through here; if you try, we will march out and attack you with the sword."
God did not forget this, as we read in Ezekiel 25
v12 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: `Because Edom took revenge on the house of Judah and became very guilty by doing so, therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will stretch out my hand against Edom and kill its men and their animals
Note also Balam’s prophecy - Numbers 24
v18 Edom will be conquered ; Seir, his enemy, will be conquered, but Israel will grow strong. A ruler will come out of Jacob and destroy the survivors of the city."
Also other prophesies such as Psalms 60
v8 Moab is my washbasin, upon Edom I toss my sandal; over Philistia I shout in triumph."
v5 My sword has drunk its fill in the heavens; see, it descends in judgment on Edom, the people I have totally destroyed. ……… For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah and a great slaughter in Edom.
Isaiah 63 v1
Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson?
Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength?
v7 Concerning Edom : This is what the LORD Almighty says: ………8 Turn and flee, hide in deep caves, you who live in Dedan, for I will bring disaster on Esau at the time I punish him. ………. 10But I will strip Esau bare; I will uncover his hiding places, so that he cannot conceal himself.
v22 O Daughter of Zion, your punishment will end; he will not prolong your exile.
But, O Daughter of Edom, he will punish your sin and expose your wickedness.
How much pain must have been suffered by the descendants of Ishmael and Esau, down the centuries, because they nurtured feelings of rejection and resentment instead of accepting the roles God determined for Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau?
God chose the Jews (the descendants of Jacob/Israel to be His special people, to bring salvation and knowledge of Himself to the world. Just think how often the Jews have wondered, “why me” concerning this choice as they have been persecuted. Being chosen does not seem to have been for their benefit, and yet the non-Jewish world reacts in jealousy and spite; instead of accepting the ministry of the Jews for their salvation.
If you look up the location of Edom and the territory of the Amalekites, you will notice the coincidence with the people who are even now seeking the destruction of Israel and fighting the purposes of God in Israel.
Notice too that the campaign to wipe Israel (the state of the Jews) off the map and replace it with an Arab / Muslim state originates with the Ishmaelites and those who have adopted the Ishmaelite religion and worldview. (Iran is not an Arab people – the connection is Islam; the Arab religion)
Consider how the sense of rejection that has been nursed down through the many generations. Consider too how the Ishmaelite Mohammed sought to establish a faith for the Ishmaelites in place of that of the descendants of Isaac.
In Islam, Ishmael replaces Isaac in the event known to the Jews as the Akedah, or the binding of Isaac. Also, many other stories in the Qur’an come from the Bible but differ from their Bible equivalent. It is also important to notice how Mohammed’s views of the children of Israel changed after the Jews rejected him as a prophet.
Wildolive Position Statement
Wildolive is written primarily from the Israel viewpoint - to counter the torrent of hatred directed against Israel by the Arab nations, Islam and western anti-Semites. However, the viewpoint of born again Arabs is also very important.
One significant voice is that of Taysir Abu Saada and his "Hope for Ishmael" ministry.
He says of Hope for Ishmael, ......
At Hope for Ishmael, we believe the answer to the Middle East turmoil is not political. It is spiritual. The only peace that can truly be achieved is through Jesus Christ.
As a former PLO Fatah fighter under Yasser Arafat, Tass has experienced this first hand. He tells his story in his book, "Once an Arafat Man." Part 3 of his book is entitled "Road Map to Reconciliation." is essential reading, as it explores the issues from the Arab side through born again eyes. His story is also told on the DVD, "Forbidden Peace " from Jews for Jesus.
Many other Arabs and Jews have come to experience the same peace and reconciliation to the Father and each other through this vision. The Center for Ministry to Muslims reports there are only 2.73 missionaries per million Muslims. We have no records of the number of missionaries to the Jewish people. The number of missionaries to Muslims is the lowest among any religious group. The need is GREAT! Will you support his work?
Hope for Ishmael's Vision is:
It is more difficult to trace links of hatred through the history of Persia (modern Iran – led by Ahmadinajad, who is seeking the nuclear capability to wipe Israel from the map) and the mention of the Prince of Persia mentioned in Daniel, when the messenger angel tells Daniel, (Daniel 10 v12)
Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty- one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.
It is clear that the prince of the Persian kingdom who was resisting the angel who spoke to Daniel is a demon with a territorial remit (Ephesians 6:12) , and we know Michael is the archangel with responsibility for Israel. (Daniel 12:1, Jude 9, Revelation 12:7)
In Persian, Zorastrian, theology the opposing spirit would have been identified as Arimanius, the Death-dealer--the powerful and self-existing evil spirit (fallen angel, expelled from heaven for his sins)
Daniel was one of the Babylonian exiles, inherited by Persia at the fall of Babylon. His visions cover the rise and fall of kingdoms including Persia, but generally Persia is not obviously hostile to Israel. Indeed the Persians sent Israel back to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. 2 Chron 26
v 20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his sons until the kingdom of Persia came to power. ……. 22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfil the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation this led to the Temple being rebuilt. (see also Ezra)
The events recounted in the book of Esther took place in Persia – although Persia was not the villain of the piece .
Iran is, today, motivated against Israel by virtue of being a Muslim theocracy even though it is not an Arab land.
Other Muslim, non Arab, nations have bought into the Arab hatred of Israel as a part of the package of Islamic belief. This effect can be seen in varying degrees in nations that are only partly Muslim. (eg in Europe)
An equally strange phenomenon has been pointed out by Daniel Pipes. In many western nations activists on the left and militant Islamists, who one might expect to be enemies, are joining forces against Israel. When one considers what a Muslim government would do to the leftists on coming to power it is strange to see them making an alliance, but there are many examples. See www.danielpipes.org/5720/the-islamist-leftist-allied-menace (extracts below)
First, as British politician George Galloway explains, "the progressive movement around the world and the Muslims have the same enemies," namely Western civilization in general and the United States, Great Britain, and Israel in particular, plus Jews, believing Christians, and international capitalists.
Second, the two sides share some political goals. A mammoth 2003 joint demonstration in London to oppose war against Saddam Hussein symbolically forged their alliance. Both sides want coalition forces to lose in Iraq, the War on Terror to be closed down, anti-Americanism to spread, and the elimination of Israel.
Third, Islamism has historic and philosophic ties to Marxism-Leninism. Sayyid Qutb, the Egyptian Islamist thinker, accepted the Marxist notion of stages of history, only adding an Islamic postscript to them; he predicted that an eternal Islamic era would come after the collapse of capitalism and Communism.
This goes some way towards explaining the hatred of Israel that is so prevalent in academia and the media in the UK, USA and other nations.
Consider whether the church is being driven by its own left wing and if that left wing is following the world's left wing. Is the church too obsessed with FairTrade products, cancelling third world debt and slavery of 200 years ago? (sessions of national self loathing instead of rejoicing that Christian men put an end to the trade and a commitment to seek an end to slavery as it exists today) Is this the driving force behind the WCC and general church antipathy towards Israel and individual Christians who hate Israel?
At the 2008 ICEJ Feast of Tabernacles, Christine Darg spoke on "Binding up the Wounds of Jews and Arabs." The CD, code FY-13 is available from ICEJ Resources. Highly Recommended.
"The continued existence of Jewish people, despite over two millennia of man's attempted destruction is the only concrete evidence that God has any veracity"; Karl Barth - theologian.
Perhaps, in the final analysis, man's attempts to destroy the Jews, and their nation, stem from his hatred of God and the demands God makes on our lives. The Jews (God's chosen nation of priests) are a constant and unwelcome reminder of God's standards and His purposes for mankind.
The root of hatred of Israel is Anti-Semitism, and the roots of anti-Semitism are spiritual.
If Israel can be destroyed, God can be proved to be non-existent, ineffective or a liar!
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