HomeVisionStatement Of FaithArticlesPhoto GalleryEditor's NoteLinksContact

The Reconciliation Of Isaac & Ishmael

Ezekiel 47: The Dead Sea Alive Again!

The only solution to the Middle East conflict is the reconciliation of the two brothers, Isaac and Ishmael.

The ongoing ancient war between the Jews and the Arabs will only end when the Messiah returns to make perfect peace.

Isaac and Ishmael were half-brothers, and the sons of Abraham. Each was given promises from God Who never changes. He is the Only One Who knows the details of how the conflict will ultimately be resolved. This however will not include the eradication of one group to the advantage of the other.

We know very well of the promises of God to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. However, the divine promises concerning Ishmael are less well known, though they are equally valid.

The first such promise was given to Hagar, Ishmael's mother, in Genesis 16:10-13:

Then the Angel of the LORD said to her, "I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude." And the Angel of the LORD said to her: "Behold, you are with child, and you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has heard your affliction. He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man, and every man's hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren." Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, "Have I also here seen Him who sees me?" (NKJV)

Therein God promised Hagar, speaking directly to her, that He would greatly multiply her descendants and make them too numerous to count.

Likewise, in Genesis 17:20, immediately after promising Abraham that Sarah would bear him a son, Isaac, with whom He would make an everlasting covenant, God promised Abraham that He would also "bless" Ishmael, make him fruitful, multiply him exceedingly and make him the father of twelve princes, and will make him a great nation.

In Genesis 17:25-26, both Abraham and Ishmael were circumcised at God's command before the birth of Isaac. Therefore, Ishmael was included in the covenant of circumcision.

In Genesis 21:13, after telling Abraham to drive Hagar and Ishmael out of his camp, God promised Abraham that he would make a nation of Ishmael too, because Ishmael was also Abraham's son. This promise has not and will not broken.

To simultaneously fulfil His promises concerning Israel and Ishmael, God will have to reconcile these two brothers.

God is very fair. The Dead Sea is being shared by the Jews and the Arabs with River Jordan as the dividing line.

While I was floating on the Dead Sea (22 Sep 2002), in a recent trip to Israel, the Lord spoke to me that this Dead Sea would live again. I prophesied this word during the devotion that morning. The same afternoon in the coach and on our way to Jerusalem, our Jewish tour guide told us that there was a prophecy in the Old Testament about the Dead Sea coming alive again. I checked it out and found that it was Ezekiel 47 about the River of God. Wherever it flows, life springs forth.

In Ezekiel 47:8-12, the river flowed EASTWARDS towards THE JORDAN VALLEY to the Dead Sea healing the bitterness and making the waters fresh and pure:

"He told me: "This river flows east through the desert and the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea, where it will heal the salty waters and make them fresh and pure. Everything touching the water of this river shall live. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will be healed. Wherever this water flows, everything will live. Fishermen will stand along the shores of the Dead Sea, fishing all the way from Engedi to Eneglaim. The shores will be filled with nets drying in the sun. Fish of every kind will fill the Dead Sea just as they do the Mediterranean! But the marshes and swamps will not be healed; they will still be salty. All kinds of fruit trees will grow along the riverbanks. The leaves will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit. There will be a new crop every month-- without fail! For they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for medicine." " (TLB)

This precious Dead Sea shared between the two brothers will be healed, taking away the bitterness and the pains.

In Genesis 33, we witnessed the reconciliation of two other ancient brothers Jacob and Esau. Both are the sons of Isaac but Esau is also the son-in-law of Ishmael, Isaac’s half-brother (Genesis 28:9).

When Jacob saw the face of Esau, he said, "inasmuch as I have seen your face as though I had seen the face of God, and you were pleased with me. " (Genesis 33:10, NKJV)

How does Esau have the face of God shining through his face? Maybe he had seen God personally - like Moses of old. I strongly believe that many sons of Ishmael and of Esau will come to know God through revelation and life-transforming salvation experiences, worshipping Him in truth and in spirit.

In Isaiah 19, God first proclaimed that He would bring judgment on Egypt. But this judgment is not one that will last forever so as to destroy that land or its people. Instead, something remarkable will happen, and Egypt will repent and return to God. God will send them a Saviour to deliver them:

"In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them. Then the LORD will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the LORD and perform it. And the LORD will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the LORD, and He will be entreated by them and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria-- a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, "Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance." Isaiah 19:19-25 (NKJV)

God will heal the Egyptians and called them His people.

This is the ultimate reconciliation and restoration of the two ancient brothers!

God is a righteous Judge, and He "does not show favoritism." (Romans 2:11, NIV)

In Jeremiah 9:25-26, when Israel and her neighbouring nations pursued after other gods instead of the LORD God Almighty Himself, God punished all of them:

"Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised; Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart." (KJV)

As they were punished together, it is clear that they will be restored together as in Jeremiah 12:16-17:

"And it shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, to swear by My name, 'As the LORD lives,' as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people. But if they do not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation," says the LORD." (NKJV)

God has a place for everyone who is called by His name in His Holy Land:

"Distribute the land as an inheritance for yourselves and for the foreigners who live among you with their families. All children born in the land-- whether or not their parents are foreigners-- are to be considered citizens and have the same rights your own children have. All these immigrants are to be given land according to the tribe where they now live." Ezekiel 47:22-23 (TLB)

From Jerusalem to all Judea and Samaria, the gospel had moved to Europe, to the Americas, to Asia and Australia, and is now moving to China and India. It is moving back to Jerusalem! The first will be last, and the last first.

But many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Matthew 19:30)

But before revival breaks out and lands in Israel again, which people groups will be touched and changed by the Spirit of God? The sons of Ishmael are now positioned strategically for a great move of God. They will be transformed and changed by the power of His love! They will provoke their ancient brothers to jealousy!

But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! (Rom 11:11-12)

When the Prince of Peace reigns in Jerusalem, there will be true perfect peace with the Jews and the Arabs dwelling together in unity with brotherly love (Psalm 133:1).

"The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" Rev 11:15 (NKJV)