Last week, we left off talking about two brothers: Isaac and Ishmael. The descendants of Ishmael are the Arabic people (Muslims) and the descendants of Isaac are the Jews. They despise each to this very day. The entire Middle East is in constant turmoil because of these two brothers! It’s all over the nightly news every evening.
When the Bible speaks of Ishmael, it says, “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Another way of saying that verse is, “He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers" (Genesis 16:12). Doesn’t that sound exactly like what is happening in the Middle East right now?
Notice, “…and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” That is a prophecy that the descendants of Ishmael will always be in the midst or dwell in the presence of their brethren, the children of Isaac. And so it is today. Down through the years the children of Isaac and Ishmael have dwelt together. But, they have never gotten along. The Jews and the Arabs have never gotten along together and that is a matter of proven historical fact.
Genesis 25:18 says of Ishmael, “His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt… And they lived in hostility toward all their brothers.” (NIV). The NAS translates that last part of the verse, “he settled in defiance of all his relatives.” Again, you need only watch the evening news tonight to see that this is true.
On another note, as a result of this, the Bible says in Zechariah 12:2, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about….” This verse is being fulfilled before our very eyes. Any man who has difficulty believing the Bible should not have to look any further than the Jew. The Jew and his homeland of Jerusalem has already become the “cup of trembling” to the nations. The whole world thinks that if they could just bring peace to Jerusalem, the world be a better place. Biblically speaking, that is not going to happen until King Jesus returns.