Northwest of Eden # 14 – THE KINGDOM OF ISHMAEL (Gen. 16; 17; 21; Qualben; IDB; I.R.)

Ishmael (Ismael) was the son of Abraham a Semite and Hagar Sarah’s maid an Egyptian.  Sarah became envious when Hagar prided herself while pregnant and began to mistreat her.  Hagar fled into the desert and a messenger from God sent her back to Sarah and told her to endure the abuse for the sake of her child; for God had great plans for the child’s descendants.  The angel gave Hagar a glimpse of what her son would become. “You are now with child and you will have a son.  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 will be against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”
Hagar believed the angel and returned to her cruel mistress.  On the day she gave birth to a son, the eighty-six years old father Abraham named him “Ismael.” He, too, believed that “God had heard” and answered his prayer for an heir.  Thirteen years later, Sarah did give birth to a son and they named him “Isaac.”  Sarah could no longer see Ishmael as a possible co-heir with her son.  She made Abraham send Hagar with Ishmael away into the wilderness where they had to tend for themselves.  The two ended up in a desert area and began crying out to God.  Again God came to their rescue, He provided a well of water and reasserted His promise that her son would become the father of twelve rulers and a great nation.  Ishmael married an Egyptian and fathered twelve sons and a daughter.  The angel’s prediction continued to unfold when Abraham fathered six more sons with Keturah after Sara’s death and one was called Midian that formed a bond with Ishmael’s descendants.  Ishmael’s son had commonality with Essau who was swindled out of his heritage by his mother and his brother Jacob, both were sons of Isaac.  Jacob became “Israel” and the father of twelve sons.  The eleventh son Joseph, his own brothers sold him to Ishmaelite and Midianite traders on their way to Egypt where they also sold him into slavery (Gen. 37). 
The unfair treatment of children by their parents had drastic consequences in Biblical history.  This bad omen began with Eve and Cain, continued with Noah and Canaan, with Abraham and Ishmael, with Rebekah and Essau, with Bathsheba and Salomon’s brothers and many others.  Maternal favoritism has caused hostility and bloodshed and it continues without end.  The right to inherit has been the major disagreement between Sarah and Hagar.  The children of Sarah insist that God gave to them the land of Canaan but so can Hagar’s children.  After the Romans dissolved Judah, the children of the two mothers coexisted for seven centuries.  In 570 A.D., Muhammad or “The Praised One” was born.  His mother died at his birth and his father died five years later.  His nurse and an uncle raised him.  In spite of his epilepsy, he distinguished himself as a shepherd, a herdsman and as a trader.   A wealthy widow-merchant employed and married him.  After her death, he became a polygamist and married fourteen more women.  That was no longer acceptable to Christians and Jews.  The moral problem was overshadowed by theological confusion and turmoil.  The Jews never stopped denying the Christian Christ and Christians among themselves where confused over who the Christ really was.  The Latins differed from the Geek believers and both had their hands full with schisms and heretics.  No one had rallied behind a decisive authority.  These trying times drove Muhammad to meditate, fast, dream and hallucinate.  During this time, he formed a picture in his mind of what a true religion should be about and who should be in charge.  At the same time, he felt to be that prophet for a God (Allah) that demanded absolute surrender (Islam) and obedience to His laws.  In comparison to the Hebrew Yahweh and His Laws, Muhammad was more of a Jew than the Jews and more of a Christian than Christians. 
Like all new movements, the establishment had no room in their “Inn.”  In fact, Christians, Jews and Muhammad’s idol worshipping Arabs answered with persecution.  He fled and hid in a cave where he was spared.  It was then that he came to the conclusion that Allah, like Yahweh to the Israelites, commanded His followers to use the sword, if necessary, to convert the unbelievers.  It was a “Holy War” (Jihad) for Allah and Muhammad was His last messengers and commander of His army.  Jesus was only a man, he had preceded Muhammad and so did all the other Jewish prophets, like Abraham and Moses.  Muhammad became the “Paraclete” (Spirit Counselor) that Jesus had promised (Jn. 14:15-31).  The door was left open to an Imam or Elijah in the future.  Within four centuries, the fear of Jihad had subdued Christians and Jews in Western Asia and North Africa.  Islam’s attempt to conquer Europe turned into bitter defeat at the Pyrenees.  A second Muslim attempt on Rumania was thwarted by a European military alliance.  The Latin Christian endeavor to recapture Jerusalem with crusades also failed.  Up to that point, the sword had brought nothing but suffering and death.      
Christians always regarded themselves as sisters to Israel as God’s people. Islam, to the contrary, became a mortal enemy.  Sarah’s denial of Hagar’s rights began to plague Sarah’s offspring.  The sons of Ishmael began to trample on their half-brothers and those that supported them for thirteen centuries.  This coincides with Daniel’s prophecy of Jerusalem being trampled for 1290 days, rather than years.  The trampling ended in 1948 when Israel was re-established.  Israel and her alley, the U.S.A. have become Islam’s major targets.  The two stand in the way of Muslim supremacy.  To render a military power helpless, one has only to deplete her economic base by costly and senseless domestic policies and involvements in foreign disputes and wars.  Such policies and involvements have to be encouraged by a national leadership that regards Islam as a peaceful friend.  A world organization must be filled with people that favor a Muslim theocratic democracy.  To divert the world’s attention of the formation of an absolute Allah theocratic brotherhood, some nations like Iran must make a nuisance of themselves.  In the end, ten such Muslim brotherhoods shall be powerful enough to rule two thirds of the world.  According to the Book of Revelation, in the Christian Bible, these newly formed nations will eliminate the world body of nations (Babylon) and subdue all those that were allies of Israel and the White Serpent.  The forceful seduction of one third of humanity, in addition to their third, shall deplete and weaken the kingdom of Ishmael and it too shall suffer the same fate it had imposed on others.  They, like all the other systems before them, shall gain prominence by feeding on their subjects and eliminating those that oppose them.  They too shall reduce the base that shall sustain them.  Then they too will fall to a much weaker enemy that has been wise enough not to fall for a religious plot.  We shall have more to say at the end of our studies.