Editorial - History Repeats Itself

The aspect of history that began when God revealed to Abraham and Sarah that He would not recognize Ishmael as the heir – the child born of their own arrangement with Hagar – continues to this day. God also instructed the matriarch Rebekah, that of the twins within her womb the one born first would be subservient to the second: "the older shall serve the younger" (Genesis 25:23).

The effects of these Divine choices continue to this day to have repercussions amongst the descendants of Ishmael and Esau. Ishmael was indeed born to Abraham first, but God chose Isaac, the child born of His miraculous intervention in Sarah's body. Likewise God chose Jacob, the second of the twins born to Isaac and Rebekah, rather than Esau.

The covenant of blessing that God made with Abraham He repeated to Isaac and then to Jacob. The covenant involving the inheriting of the Land was established too with Abraham, then with Isaac, then with Jacob. (Genesis 12:2-3; 15:18; 26:3-4; 28:13-14).

It's not that God didn't promise the descendants of both Ishmael and Esau, mainly the Arab peoples,

great blessings: "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. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year" (Genesis 17:20,21).

But it was God's purpose to bless "all the families of the earth" (Genesis 12:3) through the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This He has already done in sending the Messiah, the living Word, through them, and by bequeathing to the world His own written Word, the Bible, through them. The full blessing of "all the families of the earth" will surely follow.

The controversy about the possession of the Land will not cease until all the descendants of Abraham, Jewish as well as Arab, recognize the sovereignty of the one true God, who sent His dear Son to bring redemption to all mankind, Gentile as well as Jew.

In the meantime history continues to repeat itself, and we have a seemingly never-ending conflict in the Middle East and in many other parts of the world. This is a conflict instigated and perpetuated by God's enemy, Satan, because he "opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped . . . " as recorded in the New Testament in the Second Letter to the Thessalonians 2:4.