Saturday, September 15, 2012

Peace in the Middle East

There will be two times of peace in the middle east.  The first will be under a great world wide ruler that will be able to bring peace on earth for the span of 3 1/2 years.  This great leader is the one the Bible calls the Anti-Christ.  The second, and final peace will be brought under the Prince of Peace during the millennial kingdom when He rules and reigns over all the earth for 1,000 years.

To understand the events of this week, and for that matter, the last 1,500 years you must understand Genesis 22.  I personally believe that without a firm grasp of Genesis 22, Christians may find themselves on the wrong side of history.

Before we begin, we must understand that Islam is not at war with Jews and Christians because of cultural differences or issues of free speech or even modesty of women.  At its core is the fact that as long as Christianity and Jews are allowed to exist on the earth, Islam's core religious tenets will be in question.

For the purpose of understanding the conflict, we will combine Christianity and Judaism into one faith, that we will call the faith of the Bible. (The Jewish Old Testament combined with the Christian New Testament.)Or as it has been called the Judeo-Christian ethic.   The link between these two world religions and by extension the nation of Israel and America cannot be underestimated.

The First Conflict: Isaac or Ishmael (The Jewish Conflict)
The root of the conflict between Islam and Biblical Faith exists in the account of Abraham on Mount Moriah.  This is the place where in Genesis 22 the Bible states that Abraham sacrificed his son Isaac.  For Jews this is a key historic event and for Christians this is a major picture of Isaac as a type of Christ and the lamb as a sacrificial substitute.  (This also explains the constant battle for Jerusalem and specifically the Temple Mount)

In Islam, Abraham's first born, yet illegitimate son Ishmael was the one in the story.  Ismael, the son of the Egyptian slave Hagar, is the forefather of the Ismaelites, of which Mohammad claimed to be a descendant.  This conflict is core to understanding why these two worldview will always be in conflict.

The Second Conflict: Jesus or Mohammad (The Christian Conflict)
The root of this conflict between Islam and Biblical Faith exists in who's narrative of God you will accept.  Though Islam claims that Jesus was a prophet, their mantra is that "there is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is His prophet."  The exclusivity of Mohammad is as central to Islam as the exclusivity of Jesus is central to Christianity.  There is no way to find an amicable resolution to this conflict.

For people of the Bible, there are some choices.  Will you accept the narrative of the 24 hour news cycle that makes this about oil, or land, or insults? Will your loyalty be to the Bible, and Jesus? Will you stand with Israel?  Will you accept the idea that Islam is peaceful, or that peace can be achieved through a two state solution, or by democratizing nations in an Arab Spring?