The Endless Conflict Began With Fear. It Continues With Death.

When Abraham’s wife, Sarah, saw her son, Isaac, playing with Ishmael, the son of Hagar, she knew that Ishmael, being older, had an advantage in years that Isaac would never have. She was afraid that Ishmael could end up with everything Abraham owned, and demanded that Abraham send Hagar, her former maidservant, and Ishmael away.

Both were stunned, shocked, and afraid that their eviction from Abraham’s wealthy, well-ordered, safe establishment would end in their death. Hagar went from being close to the richest man around to living in the desert, and was prepared to let both her and her son, Ishmael, die.

God had other plans. He sent an angel to provide them with sustenance. As time went by, Hagar found an Egyptian wife for Ishmael from her native country. Ishmael’s twelve sons went on to rule the land between Shur and Havilah, the area between Gaza and the head of the Persian Gulf. They expanded throughout the Arabian Peninsula, and have targeted the world, motivated by hatred of their neighbors, beginning with the anger of Hagar and Ismael at their exile.

Their hatred was so strong it became Ishmael’s main motivating factor. Genesis 25;18, “He (Ishmael) set himself to defy his brothers.” Their hatred was magnified by the better treatment Abraham provided to his many later children. When they grew, he set them up with enough to establish their own families, clans, and tribes “in the east”, giving them far more than the “bag of water” he gave Hagar and Ishmael before exiling them. They, too, became targets for the sons of Ishmael, whose eternal anger continues to be aimed against all of his brothers’ children.

Why would God have wanted to engender such permanent hostility?

One answer is apparent, today. The Catholic Church and those who spring from it are the family of Abraham, many descended genetically, all spiritually, from him with whom God still loves. Their opponent, the wrath of Ishmael passed on to his children, is still centered in the Middle East, and expanding rapidly as Abraham’s other children sink, as usual, into idolatry, worshipping themselves and their taxing authorities’ endless idols more than the God who created them.

Ideally, those descended from Ishmael and Abraham’s other children will join together, combining faith and obedience with love for God and each other with hatred for sin. Stranger things have happened.