Ishmael

Ishmael, a character in my book is about to read my story.  That’s not his real name, but it suits him.  He is a Moslem.  Before reading it, I was at pains to explain who “the King,” the main character in my book is.

“We worship the same God,” he replied, wanting peace between us.

Are God and Allah same

Really?  I heard the same thing from my new age publishing consultant.  She believed the market would be fine with my story as “any deity could play the King.”

“You mean, Jesus could be the same as Allah?” I asked, to clarify.

“Well, yes – as the Bible and the Quran contain many of the same elements” she replied.

It is true that Islam’s warlike prophet Mohammed did include parts of the Bible in the Quran.  The Gospels had been around at least 500 years before Islam.

But both books can’t be right.  I made it quite clear before publishing the book that I would not change the name of the King or dilute his persona or character – not for anybody.  He is who he is.

wpid-who-do-you-say-i-am-question

“Who do you say I am?”  Jesus asked. 

“What is truth?” Pilate asked. 

These are the questions we all have to decide.  I only hope my book “The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams” presents the King as he is in the Bible; the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God. 1 Timothy 1:17

For Ishmael’s sake, I did try to read the Quran years ago.  I got through a good part of it before stopping at the part which advocated killing Jews and infidels.  There are over a hundred verses in the Quran dealing with Jihad or holy war.  That’s why we’re having so many problems with terrorism, which would be better named “Muslim fundamentalism.”

At his arrest, Jesus, the King in my story, told Peter “Put away your sword, for those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”  Matthew 26:52.

Jesus fought with a different sword – the word out of his mouth.

After praying for wisdom, I tried a different tack with Ishmael.  I looked at who Jesus, Isa is in the Quran.  Much to my surprise, in the Quran Jesus is called “Spirit of God” and “Word of God.”  And he is mentioned more in the Quran than Mohammed, their prophet.

But it’s like the truth is veiled from Ishmael.  His religion is designed to keep them away from Christ.  Knowing that only the true God can remove the veil.  I presented Jesus, Isa to him as the “Spirit of God.”  I can remember Ishmael referring to Jesus as such.

The Bible explains that with the Lord, there is freedom; “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:16-18

This poem is for Ishmael.  Although we are related through Abraham, peace cannot come through compromise.  To agree that God and Allah are the same is to break the first commandment, which says;  “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  “You shall have no other gods before me.”  Exodus 20:1-3

Ishmael, my brother,
 How long shall we fight each other?

My brother from times bygone,
 My brother - Hagar's son,
 My brother the wandering one.

One angel was sent to us both,
 One angel watched over our growth -
 There in the wilderness, death threatened through thirst,
 I a sacrifice on the alter, Sarah's first.

Ishmael, my brother, hear my plea:
 It was the angel who tied you to me. . . .

Time is running out, put hatred to sleep.
 Shoulder to Shoulder, lets water our sheep.

Here is a Moslem who was asked “who is Jesus?”  It’s 3.31 mins.


God is fussy about His name.

Islam has 99 names for God and they don’t match up.

How Muhammad Broke the 10 Commandments – #1 I am the Lord thy God

Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’  Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4:11-12

The covenant

Abraham's promiseWhen God made Abraham gaze into the night sky, He had stars in his eyes. “He took him (Abraham) outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  Genesis 15

God made a land covenant with Abraham that starry night, promising Abraham a son.  Abraham and Sarah decided to give God a little ‘help’ with that promise, as Sarah was too old to have a child.  Abraham had a son named “Ishmael” through Hagar, Sarah’s handmaiden.

Ishmael means ‘God hears’.  Abraham asked for his first born; Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!”

 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. 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 17:17-21

When Sarah laughed, the Lord asked “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18:14.  Isaac means ‘laughter’.

Ishmael became the father of the Arabs, and Isaac the father of the Jews.  There is emnity between them to this day.  Ishmael’s descendants founded the religion of Islam, and they believe they are the rightful owners of the land of Israel.

I believe that God has not forgotten about Israel.  It states it quite clearly in Romans 11;
1 “Did God reject his people? By no means!
2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew.
11 Again I ask: Did they stumble as to fall beyond recovery?  Not at all!

The Church does not supplant Israel or take her promises.  Romans 11:28 makes it clear that Israel has a separate covenant with God, which still stands.  I love the Jewish people.  How could I not?  Jesus was a Jew.  The church was born in Jerusalem.  In Romans 11:17 it says that Israel is the olive tree, and the ingrafted branch of the Church is nourished from the root of that olive tree.God's Kingdom

 In the New Testament the Apostle Paul explains how Sarah, the mother of Isaac, and Hagar the mother of Ishmael represent two covenants; 

There is the covenant of the law.  God gave us the 10 commandments at Mount Sinai.  Its been a law that none of us can keep. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

The new covenant is provided by Jesus who could keep the law.  He has been the only man born without sin, and He fulfilled the law to save us.

“For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman.  His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.

These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. One covenant is from Mount Sinai and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar.  Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children.  But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.”  Galalations 4.

Even though Abraham is the father of the Arabs and Jews, and spiritual father of the Christians – we don’t all get along.  How can two walk together unless they are agreed?  I was friends with an Arab man, a Moslem from Iraq.  He wanted more than a friendship, but that I could not give him.  I belong to a different covenant, and I will not bow to Allah.  I encouraged him to return to his wife who had left him (by the way, it had nothing to do with me).  We have remained friends.  In the Kingdom story, his name is Ishmael.  I wondered why had I attracted Ishmael?  Why had my life been a desert?

God wanted me to trust Him.  He told me I was the one who chose the desert, and that is why Ishmael appeared.  I was trusting in myself, rather than God’s promises.

Ishmael always appears first.  Like Abraham, we are told to get rid of the son by the slavewoman, because he doesn’t share in the inheritance God has under the new covenant.

 “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”  Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.”  Galations 4:30.

This does not mean that God has forgotten the children of Ishmael.  Jesus has been appearing to many Moslems in dreams.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jhtxqpAQQE

They can and do come to Jesus, and when they make Him Lord they also come under the new covenant.  I believe God had that in mind when He saved Hagar and Ishmael from the desert.  The sons of Ishmael have this in common with the sons of Isaac;   they both have difficulty understanding the new covenant, which began in Jerusalem on the night of Passover;LastSupper2 resized

At the last supper, Jesus took the cup saying  “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 

I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”  Matthew 26:28-29

The new covenant is available for all who believe and accept Jesus.  Will you believe and drink from the cup the King has provided?  Think about it this Easter.

 

Chapter 61 Ishmael and Isaac

god-quote-pictures-life-quote-pics-sayings-images-600x337Ishmael was on the mind of the Princess, and she let something slip about him when Prince Mentor walked into her lab later on in the day.  Prince Mentor slowly said “That is significant. I have been told about Ishmael”.  She replied “I never meant to say anything about ‘Ishmael’. I don’t even know how that came out”.

Smiling he replied “I understand how it came out. I was meant to hear that. It will be a test of your trust in me.” She hated it when men demanded her trust, but she let it pass. The things the King had shown her were kept to herself. She was not ready to reveal all she knew. Wary, she waited to see how he would treat her before she decided about trust.

The Princess asked “What does Ishmael mean to you?”   He replied “Ishmael was conceived before God had made the covenant of circumcision with Abram. This covenant marked the point at which Abram became Abraham. The addition of the H denotes the breath of God, and by implication the holiness of God. Abraham asked God to bless Ishmael, which God did. God’s covenant was with Isaac though.   The Hebrew meaning for Ishmael is, ‘God will hear.’   Isaac means laughter”.

From his reply the Princess could see that the King had not given him anything specific about her Ishmael, and relaxed, choosing a safer subject.  She spoke of the others she had met on the path; “The only difference is that with the others, I have picked and chosen who joins me, lately I haven’t been given a lot of choice!” Smiling, he replied “You mean He has chosen for you!”

Why did he say the King had chosen for her? She shot a quick look at the King. Had he revealed anything to him about being chosen? Prince Mentor continued “He’s bringing you to a point where you will have to face some issues. When you chose who walked with you it was possible to avoid those issues”.

She could not ask what the chosen meant to him, instead asking “What are you talking about? My gut feeling is you are normally open and honest, but you are holding something back. I can and I will figure it out”. He replied “As for holding something back … yes and no. As you start to understand the prophetic gift you will realise why this is so. He has shown me stuff that I can’t tell you, He will in His time.”

He continued “I can tell you that His revelations help me from taking offense. Essentially it gives me grace to handle the ‘tantrums’.”

He revealed “I’m sharing part of a prophetic word over me, which should also give you more insight into what is happening. “….God says ‘…. For you have the ability to touch those that others can’t reach. You have the ability to really reach out to some that others don’t even want to be a part of.’….””….For God says ‘I’m releasing even within you the healing anointing that you can be able to walk with the heart that needs to be mended, needs to be made right, needs to be made whole.’ For He’s taken away the hurts, and the pains, and the sorrows, and the frustrations….” So as you can see, I’m only following part of His calling for me.”

Need Direction  Jesus is the way  John 14:6The King bid her step forward and reveal herself. Gingerly coming out of hiding, she revealed who she was. She showed him her map. “At the start of my journey the Lord told me to set up signs and mark the road, and I did. I used the bible to do it; I use it as a map – that’s how I know where I am, and what this is. I use a Kingdom story, which is my safe place where I can go to work out stuff with Him, interpret the signs, get rid of dragons, and correct my walk”. Prince Mentor replied “His word is the Atlas. He gives me dreams and visions as mud maps.”  He smiled as he added, “So that’s how I know where I am. He also gave me a good dose of discernment.”

Stunned, she said “I feel like I am going into a different world a part of me knows, but never dreamed would come true. The Kingdom was a place where I could go, hear from my Father, and work out stuff in the outside world – it was a story!!!   I am shocked to see it become real. Oh, what have I done?” Prince Mentor replied “You haven’t done anything. Remember this saying;  ‘Courage is fear that has said its prayers’.”  She described Isaac, but kept hidden the fact that the King had told her to ask from him, just before she had met him for the first time five years ago.

“In the story – Isaac is the one who knows the King, bows to Him, is taught by Him, understands scripture, wears armour, and has conquered the dragon in bloody battles, yet laughs easily. Isaac knows the desert, for he has lived there too. He’s Ishmael’s younger brother, but the inheritance is his. He is my equal.”

“I met Ishmael while I was walking through the desert. Ishmael won’t inherit what the King has, for he believes the King’s book has been changed, and so cannot accept the truth. I tried to help him towards the truth. I know the Father’s word never returns empty, and pray that He will come to know the King like we do.”

She showed him the places where she existed and walked with the King.  “The desert is a harsh place; it leads to places like Samaria and Ishmael. I had been choosing the wrong places to go for water. The only well I knew was at Samaria, and I did not want to go back there, nor could I go to Ishmael.   The Lord took me back to Samaria, showed me the woman there, taught me about living water, and showed me what to drink. I said ‘the well is deep, and there is no cup’. So anyway I seem to have ended up here, with a bucket – when a cup would have done, a mentor I have to get close to, and a well that I did not trust because I thought it was deceptive. I didn’t trust you, so I had to test the waters. I am sorry for the bad temper, but I am wary, and here be dragons. I don’t know who I am yet, in the Kingdom story I write, I have no name.”

Isaac replied “That confirmed most of what I had been shown. I did miss a couple of details, though I wasn’t surprised because they fit the scenario”. He said “Remember, Isaac has fought those dragons too”.

Cautiously testing the waters, she said “I know who you are”. He replied “Prince Mentor. There’s an irony to this that makes me laugh each time I see Him work like this.” Then he indicated where he wanted to go with her, “Some of Isaac’s mentors may appear to be dragons at first. You may be required to give them trust as well. Only time will tell on that score. To be scared is fine; just don’t let a spirit of fear take control. He never intended our walk to be a stroll in the park. We will have mountains and valleys to traverse; we just have to ask Him to be there with us.”

What did he mean by ‘Isaac’s mentors’?   She grew uneasy. Where was this going?   Then he went completely off track.   “You realise, that when things develop further with my lady friend, I will have to let her know about the ‘mentoring’. NOT THE DETAILS, just the fact that it is happening, and perhaps who is being mentored. You don’t need to worry about this, but you do need to know where I stand. I will be making myself accountable to pastoral / eldership oversight on this. No details, but my accountability person will know who it is. I’m praying who that oversight should be. If this is unacceptable, let me know, and mentoring will cease forthwith.”

She realized that although he heard nearly everything, he understood nothing, and was still focused on his imaginary lady friend! She had shared nearly every precious thing the King had given her, and watched him trample it underfoot. Who did he think he was? After the grief came anger. How DARE he try to take control?   What did he want to construct, another triangle?

Growing angrier by the minute, she threw the bucket down the hill and snapped at him, “What are you talking about? I only need you to mentor me at work!  I can look after myself, and I don’t need anybody to rescue me!”

After putting him in his place, she retreated into fuming silence and sulked.   He could see the door was closed, and misunderstanding his role he said “I believe you are missing it as far as the mentoring thing is concerned. I recognise it is my role to show you where healing can be found. Perhaps give you some insight as well. We obviously have different definitions of mentoring.”

“Obviously” she fumed. This prince thought she needed rescuing, not courting. Angry, she went to look for the King. “Where are you?” she cried.

The King replied while her daughter was watching the Princess Diaries, saying;

My dearest daughter,
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all. From now on, you will be travelling the road between who you think you are and who you can be. The key is to allow yourself to make the journey   –   the Princess Diaries

fear-has-two-meanings

Chapter 49 The band of gold

Hosea 2-19

The wedding band and my bible

The Princess talked to the King about Ishmael.  It was a go nowhere romance.  She looked at the King with tears in her eyes. “I hate this. I cannot have him by my side, for he is married to another, and not from this Kingdom.

He belongs to that terrible prophet who cared nothing for women and had all those wives, the youngest of who was only nine. You had no one, for you gave yourself for us, to save us. If only he could see the difference between you.”

She felt she had been put in Ishmael’s life to be a friend, and a witness for the King and the Kingdom. Everything she could do for him, she had done – but instead of wanting the King, he had turned around and wanted her.

She should dismiss him as a liar and an unfaithful person and walk away without a backward glance. If she took that road, she would shrug him off and walk away – but she would hate and despise the memory of him.

He had been her friend.  She did not want to go there. If she could not hate him then the only other choice was to feel something for him.  It reminded her of the affair that Silver-tongue had lied and manipulated her into.  She gritted her teeth. Why did he have to act like that? She had been content the way she was.

Justin's 13th birthday 2002

Justin’s 13th birthday 2002, shepherd’s staff in background

She was sick of the emptiness, the loneliness, struggling through each day on her own, the unwanted advances from men, and the children being fatherless.  There were no male relatives on her side, and the young Prince Justin had grown nearly as tall has her.  Although she made sure her children spent as much time as they could with their father’s parents, her son needed someone while his father was not around.

There was this one thing she was glad of, the regard for her she had seen in Ishmael’s eyes. He esteemed her.  In her heart she treasured it. Love was love, even if not from the right man.

At work she looked at Ishmael’s empty desk and although she missed him, she realised it was the King she wanted.  He had to be number one.  She called out to the King loudly and powerfully in her mind; “It is you I want, you. It’s got to be you!   I choose you, not Ishmael.”

As soon as she could, she ran into the Kingdom, seeking the King. Finding Him in the desert, she bowed saying “Jesus, Lord.  It is you I want, you I need, you I choose”.

The King drew near and spoke;

Therefore I am now going to allure you;
I will lead you into the desert
And speak tenderly to you.
There I will give her back your vineyards,
And will make the valley of Achor (trouble) a door of hope.

Then you will respond as in the days of your youth,
As in the day you came up out of Egypt.
In that day”, declares the Lord,
You will call me ‘my husband’;

You will no longer call me ‘my master’.” Hosea 2:14-15

Soon after the day the Princess made the King first in her heart, she was sitting with her children in front of the fireplace, where they found two rings on the chair.  One was a gold wedding band, the other a smaller ring with a diamond chip.  Putting them away, she asked everyone who had ever visited the house if they had lost the rings.  No-one came forward for them, and the gold band became hers.  She kept the smaller diamond ring for her daughter to wear when she was older. It was a mystery where the rings had come from.  She held the gold band it in her hand and studied it.  It fitted her third finger perfectly.

She spoke to the King.  “Lord, this jewellery is a puzzle to us, for the rings seem have appeared out of nowhere.  Did you give these rings to us?”

The King nodded, saying “Now we are on the same page, read further.”  She read the next lines of Hosea.

I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me
In righteousness and justice,
In loving kindness and mercy;
 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
And you shall know the Lord.
  Hosea 2:19

Chapter 47 Why drink water from the River?

broken-pot-300x225Why go to Assyria to drink water from the River?” the King asked, eyebrows raised and eyes glinting. “What?” asked the Princess, puzzled.  “I know of your thirst.  I heard you tell Ishmael he was like water for you in a desert” He growled,  jealous for the Princess.  He said

“I remember the devotion of your youth,
How as a bride you loved me,
And followed me through the desert,
Through a land not sown.  Jeremiah 2:2

Long ago you broke off your yoke
And tore off your bonds;
You said ‘I will not serve you!’  Jeremiah 2:20

You of this generation,
Consider the word of the Lord:
Have I been a desert to Israel?
Or a land of great darkness?

Why do my people say
‘We are free to roam;
We will come to you no more’?

Does a maiden forget her jewellery?
Or a bride her wedding ornaments?
Yet me people have forgotten me,
Days without number!  Jeremiah 2:31

My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
The spring of living water,
And have dug their own cisterns,
Broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”  Jeremiah 2:13

The King repeated His question,
Now why go to Assyria to drink water from the River? Jeremiah 2:18

Knowing the King was displeased, and anxious to answer Him, the Princess looked up the borders of Assyria, a nation that no longer existed.  She jumped clean out of her chair in shock at what she suspected she would discover, and got to her feet.  Iraq, the land that Ishmael came from, was once part of Assyria.  The King was asking why, forsaking Him, she would go to Iraq to satisfy her thirst? He was waiting.

She responded.  “Yes, I admit it. I did forsake you for men, and there is a risk I still might. You do not have arms that you can wrap around me or a body that can comfort me. I cannot even see you. Not long ago you wanted to be my father, and that was bad enough after I thought you let my brother die. Now you are sounding like some jealous lover! So I do prefer men to you. I admit it!

To love you means denying my needs!  For four years now I have tried to please you, by being on my own and not taking lovers, but I cannot live like this anymore! So you tell me, what can I do? What more do you want of me?”

The King looked at her in sadness. “Why don’t you trust me?  Have you forgotten my promises?  Who said I wanted you to stay in the desert?  I long to bring you into a good land!  I have not forgotten you or forsaken you, and I have not ordained for you a lifetime of being alone. I tell you, I love you too much to leave you in this place.  Trust me and learn what I want for you.  You are the one who chose the desert, and that is why Ishmael appeared. ”

With tears in her eyes, the Princess bowed before the King, asking “Help me to want you more.”