G-d’s Heart for Isaac and Ishmael
The Celebration of Purim (March 4-5) is a good time to remind everyone that we must rid ourselves of any inkling of prejudice…..
Robert Stearns, founder of Eagle’s Wings Ministries and the Jerusalem Day of Prayer, recently responded in a Jerusalem Post Oped to World Vision vice-president Steve Haas’ attack on Christian Zionism. The Simon Wiesenthal Centre accused Haas of making comments “that malign Israel and undermine her very right to exist.” The executive leaders of World Vision have since distanced themselves from Haas’ anti-Semitic remarks.
(World Vision is one of the largest Christian relief agencies in the world.) Here are excerpts from Robert Stearns Oped article in The Jerusalem Post (02/04/2015) Listed below are suggestions on how to best pray for Isaac and Ishmael.
Steve Haas’s misrepresentation of Israel is coupled with an all-out assault on Christian Zionists. The toxic mix of lies, ignorance, and half-truths that drive the global movement to delegitimize Israel have washed up at one of the most widely known international Christian aid organizations.
Last week, an Evangelical publication excerpted a speech delivered by Steve Haas, the vice president of World Vision, to students at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Haas – drawing on his authority as a leader of a Christian relief agency that operates in nearly 100 countries with a $1 billion annual budget – called for a radical course correction within the Evangelical Movement, away from supporting Israel…..
There is deep pain on both sides of this conflict. That’s why those of us in positions of Christian leadership have a sacred responsibility to advance real education, real dialogue and real facts. In a situation that calls for depth and thoughtfulness, Steve Haas’ narrow and dangerously one-sided presentation is quite far from what one would expect from a “Christian peacemaker.” Read more….
PRAYING GOD’S BURDEN FOR ISAAC AND ISHMAEL…..
The hour in which we live is crucial. It is time for the Church to carry God’s burden for both Jews and Arabs in our prayers. So how do we effectively pray for these two peoples? We must first understand how God feels about Isaac and Ishmael. God’s love for both brothers was evident in the fact that He not only named them, but also spoke awesome prophetic words over both.
- As for Isaac, “…..I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him” (Genesis 17:19).
- “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation” (Genesis 17:20).
- Yahweh repeats Himself in verse 21, “But My covenant I will establish with Isaac…..”
We must carry God’s heart for the Jewish people! Jew-hatred (anti-Semitism) is as old as the Jews themselves and is often referred to as the longest hatred. Because the people of Israel and the land of Israel are central to the end-time purposes of God, the devil will continue to fight, doing his best to delegitimize and destroy the nation and people of Israel.
We must pray that Jewish eyes would be opened to Yeshua, their Jewish Messiah. The Bible clearly states that because of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah, they have experienced a partial spiritual blindness, giving the nations (the “wild branches”) an opportunity to be grafted into the Jewish tree. The natural outflow for those of us who believe that Jesus is the Messiah ought to be a burden for the salvation of Israel.
Similarly, we must carry God’s heart for the Arab nations surrounding Israel. There is yet an unfulfilled destiny for the descendants of Ishmael, and God is still looking for a people who will embrace his people and speak new life into them (Genesis 21:17-18). We must pray that Arab eyes would be opened to the true Messiah, and not Islam’s Mahdi. The same Yeshua, who supernaturally revealed Himself on the Damascus Road to Saul of Tarsus, also desires to make Himself known to the descendants of Ishmael. For over a decade, Yeshua has been going behind the Islamic Veil and leading Muslims to the Cross. This has become the fastest growing harvest among the nations (Joel 3:13-14).
While God loves the Jews and Arabs around the world, we must remember He has a unique covenant with His chosen people, Israel, and there are blessings or curses for however the world responds to the Jewish people (Genesis 12:3). The Bible also clearly mandates that we pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), and relentlessly pray until God establishes Jerusalem “a praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:7). Shalom! Happy Purim!
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