God promised Abraham and Sarah a son from whom the Israelite nation would stem. However, after waiting a few years, Sarah, knowing how old she was and perhaps believing God would not give her a son, offered her maid to Abraham to have his son. To Hagar, the maid, Ishmael was born, and from him sprang the Ishmaelite tribes that spread from Egypt to modern day Iraq. Many Arabs believe that they are the descendants of Ishmael.
What seems to be the tragic part of the story, is that God rejected Ishmael and chose Isaac, born to Sarah thirteen years after Ishmael, to be the father of the Israelite nation. This has been taken by many people to be an insult and considering Ishmael to be inferior in some way. However, this is not the reason that God chose Isaac. God had made a promise to give Abraham a son through Sarah, and because Sarah was ninety years old when she bore Isaac, this was a miracle birth. God needed a miracle birth in order for Abraham to plant the seed of salvation to the nations.
God ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, for the forgiveness of his sins. This is where the Harvest Principle was used to recreate this sacrifice 2000 years later, with all the same elements, just as God planned. Below is a chart showing where all the elements in Isaac’s sacrifice was present in the sacrifice of Jesus.
(1) Isaac was intended to be sacrificed On Mount Moriah for the forgiveness of his father’s sins. Jesus was sacrificed on Mt. Moriah for the forgiveness of his Father’s sins, that were taken from mankind.
(2)Isaac was made to carry the wood for his sacrifice to the place of his sacrifice on Mt. Moriah.
Jesus carried the wood (his cross) to the place of his sacrifice on Mt. Moriah.
(3) Isaac was his father’s only son. Jesus was his Father’s (God’s) only son.
(4) Isaac was a miracle birth, born to a 90 year old woman. Jesus was a miracle birth, born to a virgin.
(5) Isaac was replaced by a ram caught by his head in thorns. Jesus was the lamb, and a crown of thorns was placed on his head by soldiers to prove it.
(6) From Isaac would the nations be blessed. From Jesus came the blessings to the world.
(7) Abraham believed that even if he sacrified Isaac, God would resurrect him to fulfill God’s promise to him. Jesus was resurrected, and fulfilled the promise.
In offering her maid to Abraham to bear him a child, Sarah was derailing God’s plan for Salvation. But God carried out His plan, just as He had intended. And as we can now see, the enmity between Arab and Jew is imaginary and has no foundation. God loves all people, and has provided salvation for all, despite the meddling of an old woman.
We must not continue to be enemies. Through Christ, we are all children of God, and all are equally loved.