- Do Good and Evil Have the Same Face?
Our Sunday reading was the Genesis account of Abram and Sarai, and I was totally struck by the aptness of the story toward this point: We can act in our own understanding (As Abram and Sarai conspired to produce their son Ishmael from Hagar the serving woman) or we can act on God’s understanding, (as the renamed couple later did when Isaac was miraculously born to 90 year old Sarah and Abraham).
- Two Decisions, Two World-Changing Consequences
From Ishmael sprang the 12 Princes that became the Arab nations, the prophet Muhammad (Mohammed or Muhammed), and the whole of Islam. From Isaac came down the 12 tribes of Israel, Moses the OT prophet and law-giver, and the line of King David which led to Jesus Christ, and to the whole of Christendom today.
- Islam vs Christendom
Present world conflict consists largely in the Jihad, or holy war that Islam appears to want to impose on Christendom: The ongoing Taliban conflicts in Afghanistan; the never-ending Palestinian battle; the September 11 outrage and its endless aftermath of copycat terrorism and skirmishes with Al Qaeda. These are the visible outworking of that fundamental conflict. Hardline Muslim clerics preach endless messages themed around “death to Christians”; and the saying, “that the only good Christian is a dead Christian”, is usually attributed to the followers of Islam.
- Good Thoughts or Bad?
It is apparent to me that if we act in our own understanding we run the risk of making decisions with possible far-reaching and terrible consequences – likewise if we act on God’s understanding, we court the possibility of doing acts that can have equally far-reaching consequences, but they will be the outworking of God’s love in the world, as we obey.
- 4000 Years on…..
Abram’s own decision, the one that produced Ishmael, taken 4000 years ago, is continuing to have a major impact on the world events of today. This is a very clear illustration of the promise God later made to Moses that the sins of the fathers would be visited on the later generations. It is a chilling reminder that we are called to bear the consequences of ALL we decide to do; and it is a timely reminder to be very sure that what we do do, is in direct response to the will of our Loving Heavenly Father!