Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Middle East- Will Peace ever Come/2

The land of Iraq is of great historical significance in understanding the Old Testament and the story of the Jewish nation. Abraham followed the impress of God and walked to the land of Canaan, a journey of about 1500 miles.

God promises Abraham that he would be the father of a great nation and his seed would be as numerous as the stars in the sky or the sands on the seashore. As he is childless he brings his condition before God and is assured that he would have children of his own. Abraham's wife, Sarah, is barren and convinces Abraham to have a child by her handmaiden, Hagar.

Abraham does not seek God's guidance in regards to Hager and he takes her as his wife. Hagar becomes pregnant and give birth to a son. Abraham names him, Ishmael. As time passes Hagar and Ishmael taunt the childless Sarah. Sarah wants her handmaiden and child driven from the camp.

Genesis 17 - God appears to Abraham 13 years after the birth of Ishmael, when he is 99 years old. God tells Abraham that he is going to be the father of many nations. God establishes the covenant with Abraham in that, God will bless Abraham, give him the entire land of Canaan, make him a great nation and the entire world is to be blessed through him. Abraham is to obey the covenant by the circumcision of all male children.

Again, God promises Abraham that he will have a male child who will continue the Promise of the Covenant. Abraham laughs at the thought that a man close to a hundred years old will have a child. Abraham asks God to accept Ishmael as the heir-apparent and holder of the covenant. God promises him that Ishmael will be a great king and that he would be the father of twelve princes. But, God says, "I will establish my everlasting covenant with the child that Sarah will give you."

Genesis 18 - Gives the story of an extremely rare occurrence in the Old Testament. While Abraham is at his tent he sees three men walking towards him. one of the figures is identified as, The Lord. This occurrence is known as, theophany. Theo, meaning God, and phany, meaning appearance. So, the Lord himself comes to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre. 

After Abraham has prepared food and his guests have eaten the Lord asks Abraham where Sarah, his wife is. Abraham tells him that she is in the tent and then the Lord lays them flat by announcing that this time next year Sarah will be pregnant. Sarah laughs to herself at the preposterous news. She knows that her body is no longer able to become pregnant.

The Lord challenges Abraham as to why Sarah laughed and she is afraid. She insists that she didn't laugh. The Lord, revealing his omniscience, simply tells her that she did laugh. The Lord reveals to Abraham the destruction that is coming to Sodom and Gomorrah. The truth that God would listen to Abraham as he tries to interceded for the righteous that might be in the cities gives clear indication as to Abraham's position.

Due to Abraham's intercession Lot is spared from the destruction of the twin cites. He escapes and lives in the mountains with his two daughters. During the night the daughters get Lot drunk and sleep with him. Both daughters give birth to sons who are to become the father of the Moabites and the Ammonites. [significance comes later]

God's promise to Abraham and Sarah comes to pass and Sarah gives birth to a son. Abraham names him Isaac. On the eighth day Isaac is circumcised as the sign of the covenant. Sarah remembers all of the taunting that came her way by Hagar and her son. Sarah insists that Abraham kick them out of the camp. God assures Abraham that it is ok and that He is going to make Ishmael into a great nation. Hagar and Ishmael walk into the wasteland.

Hagar and Ishmael are near death and an angel appears to Hagar and promises them life and posterity. Ishmael is to become the father of the, Twelve Princes of Arabia.

More to follow the first of the week. Check out my website  Place the blog on your favorite tab for easy access. Comments always welcome.

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