Monday, August 11, 2014
The Middle East- Will Peace ever Come?
Peace in the Middle East- Since 1947 the land of Israel has been filled with violence and wars. One wonders if peace will ever come to the land of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jesus. How did all of the violence get so out of hand? Who does the land really belong too? Can Muslims and Jews ever really live in peace?
To gain a good understanding of what is happening today we need to understand yesterday. Only, this yesterday is four thousand years ago. It might be hard to imagine and some readers might disagree with me, but my hypothesis is simple. The hatred that brings death today comes from the strife of four millennia ago.
Abraham was chosen by God. The sovereign plan of God was to bring to life a people who would be peculiarly His. From His people he would bring forth the promised messiah, the Christ of God. God chose Abram to be the father of this peculiar group of people. I use the word, peculiar, because in the land of polytheism the worship of a single God made them peculiar. God spoke to Abram and Abram recognized the voice as that of God. [His name is Abram until later.]
God instructed Abram to leave the land he was living in, now Iraq. He was to travel to a land he had never seen before. Abram, his wife and his nephew, along with all of their possessions began the journey from Haran. They walked the 1500 miles to the land of Canaan. Genesis the 12th chapter gives us the story of their journey.
Upon arriving in Canaan God appeared to Abram and informed him that his offspring would inherit the land. There was a famine in the land and Abram must travel to Egypt. While traveling to Egypt he asks his wife Sari to lie to the Egyptians by telling them that she is Abram's sister. It is a half truth as she is in fact his half sister. Abram was afraid that the Egyptians would kill him in order to have Sari. She lies and the Egyptians face the curse of God.
Abram and Sari leave Egypt with gifts of livestock and treasure from the guilt ridden ruler of Egypt. A note; it is important to remember that Abram is a man, with flaws and issues, but chosen by God. When Abram and Sari enter Canaan again Lot heads towards the plains of Sodom and Gomorrah.
God appears to Abram and tells him that as far as he can see to the north, south, east and west, all of the land is his. And, his offspring will be as numerous as the dust of the earth. Abram struggles with the promise from God because he is childless. The importance of children can not be over emphasized in understanding the culture and time of biblical settings.
Not only was Abram without a child, he was aware that a servant child in his household would inherit his possessions and position. God comes to Abram and gives him assurance that he would have a child of his own. In spite of his circumstances in regards to posterity Abram believes what God had said. Righteousness by faith is established as it is noted in Genesis 15:8, "Abram believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness."
The issue of God establishing a covenant with Abraham is the absolute foundation of the relationship between the Jewish nation and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
This is the first in a series about events of today in regards to the violence in the Middle East. The articles will take a Biblical Perspective that lay the groundwork in understanding the present circumstances in Israel.
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