Once Upon A Time …
We often make a crucial mistake when reading the account of Abraham and his family in the book of Genesis. When we read the story, we see Abraham and Sarah, Abraham and Hagar, Sarah and Hagar or Isaac and Ishmael. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say, we see Abraham vs. Sarah, Abraham vs. Hagar, Sarah vs. Hagar and Isaac vs. Ishmael.
This story doesn’t feel like a children’s fairy tale with a happy ending. We see battle lines being drawn. We see a broken family. We see wrongs that need to be righted. And, depending on our perspective, those wrongs might look different for each of us. We want to take events that occurred over 4,000 years ago and apply them to current events in order to decide an outcome that aligns with our world view.
However, we make God very small-minded if we think He gave us Genesis as a way to judge who was right and who was wrong.
Instead, everything in Genesis, as well as the remainder of the old testament, is a giant arrow that points straight to this world’s need for the Messiah. God repeatedly told Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that through their seed, all the nations would be blessed. (Genesis 22:18, 26:4 and 28:14) And then, to make sure we don’t miss His point, He follows up with us in Galatians 3:16.
Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. (For further study, read Galatians 3:13-16 and verse 29.)
This is where the fairy tale gets its happy ending. This story is not about what things went wrong, and what was broken, but how God made things right. The story is not so much about Abraham and his descendants, but rather, just one descendant. The only one that ever mattered. Jesus, The Messiah.
Often, when considering the Middle East conflict, we as believers take our notions of right and wrong in Genesis, and filter our opinions through that. But this is exactly why Hope for Ishmael chooses to not be political in our support of efforts in the Holy Land. Genesis was not just about a broken family, but a Promise. A Promise for the whole world …
John 3:16, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.