An Unlikely Trio

President Obama stated in his address to the world’s Muslims, “All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when…the Holy Land of three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed…joined in prayer.” And once again, this statement played very well with Obama’s Muslim audience.

The story of Isra refers to a “journey” that Mohammed was said to have taken in 621 AD. According to tradition, this journey began when the archangel Gabriel visited Mohammed in Mecca. Gabriel brought with him a winged horse named Buraq having lightning speed. Gabriel then whisked Mohammed off on Buraq to Jerusalem to the al-Aqsa mosque and then on to heaven where it is said that Mohammed talked with Moses and Jesus. The al-Aqsa mosque was originally built on the same location where the Dome of the Rock, Islam’s third most holy site, is located today.

President Obama’s reference to the story of Isra brings out some interesting questions. For example, how likely is it that Mohammed would meet and pray with Moses and Jesus? And how likely is it as President Obama stated in his speech that the land promised to Israel will someday be jointly occupied by Jews, Christians, and Muslims and called “…the place of peace that God intended it to be…” and lastly, how likely is it that Jerusalem will someday be a “place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together…?”

Muslims correctly trace their heritage back to Abraham through Ishmael. Jews and Christians also trace their heritage back to Abraham, but through Isaac.

The Bible is undeniably clear about the inheritance of these two sons of Abraham:

“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 as for Ishmael…I 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…” Genesis 17:19-21

And sure enough, Ishmael was the progenitor of twelve sons and the beginning of the Arab nations as recorded in Genesis 25:12-16.

God revealed to Hagar, Sarah’s maid, what her son Ishmael would be like even before he was born.

“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…’”
Genesis 16:11-12

This scripture reveals that Ishmael would be wild; he would hate and be hated by all. That is the ancestor of Mohammed.

From the very beginning Ishmael and Isaac were at odds with each other to the point that Hagar and Ishmael were expelled from the home of Abraham and Sarah.

“And Sarah saw the son of Hagar (Ishmael)…whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing (mocking the young lad Isaac). Therefore she said to Abraham, ‘Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.’”
Genesis 21:9-10

This animosity was recognized in the New Testament many years later. The significance of these two sons of Abraham is confirmed by Paul.

“For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman…Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.’”
Galatians 4:22, 28-30

This passage reveals that the descendants of Ishmael were still persecuting the descendants of Isaac two thousand years after the promise was given, and the Muslims still hate the Jews and are persecuting them even unto this day. Inasmuch as Christians are the spiritual offspring of Abraham through Isaac they are also scoffed at and mocked by Islam.

President Obama’s statement that Jews, Christians, and Muslims will live together in peace in the land promised to Isaac’s descendants is substantiated neither in the Koran or the Bible. President Obama referenced the story of Isra which was about Mohammed, the descendant of Ishmael, taking a journey to Jerusalem and then on to heaven and back on a winged horse. That journey had no witnesses.

However, some day in the future according to the Bible, the whole world will witness a descendant of Isaac riding a white horse.

“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war…He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God…Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod or iron…and on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-16

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