Apr 17 2019
God named Ishmael ‘God hears’ before he was born. Years later, God heard Ishmael’s cry when he was perishing in the wilderness and opened his mother’s eyes to see a spring of water from which she gave him drink – and he lived!
Islam claims Ishmael as a spiritual forefather. Today’s
Muslims are in the wilderness perishing and crying out for living water. Let the Church pray to the Father to reveal the well of living water, Jesus, so they might live!
Goodness and mercy on my heart
The pendant in the photo was given to me by an Egyptian Christian sister. The Arabic calligraphy says “Goodness and mercy” from Psalm 23:6. I wear it happily, because it reminds me I want to see God’s goodness and mercy manifested in Egypt.
YHWH gave explicit instructions about how Israel’s priests were to be clothed. Exodus 28:15-30 contains His instructions concerning the breastpiece for Aaron, the high priest. It was to be made of twelve precious stones, each engraved with the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel and mounted in a gold filigree setting. They were attached to a finely woven fabric, which in turn was attached to an onyx stone at each shoulder by a chain of pure gold, and to the ephod at the waist with blue cords “so that the breastpiece will not swing out from the ephod.” The cords and chains kept the stones, representing the people of Israel, close to the priest’s heart as he carried them before the Lord.
According to verses 29-30, the breastpiece was for judgment (making decisions): “So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment on his heart, when he goes into the Holy Place, to bring them to regular remembrance before the Lord. And in the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be on Aaron's heart, when he goes in before the Lord. Thus Aaron shall bear the judgment of the people of Israel on his heart before the Lord regularly.”
The Bible says about us, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Pe 2:9-10). In addition, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation, and the message of reconciliation has been entrusted to us (2 Co 5:18-19).
Therefore, as we worship God this Good Friday, overflowing with thankfulness for His mercy to us, can we carry on our hearts Muslims who are not yet reconciled to God, with hope for their reconciliation through the blood of Christ who became our justification?
And as we celebrate with overflowing joy on Resurrection Sunday God’s goodness that we are eternally counted among His people, can we carry Muslims on our hearts with confident faith that they too will know and testify “that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world” (1 Jn 4:14)?
I invite you to do so in whatever way the Lord impresses on you. Take a few moments to ask Him and listen for His response. Perhaps you would like to “carry” …
- A particular friend or family
- A people group
- Muslims in Canada
- Muslims in your city
- Seeking Muslims
- Local imams
“Surely goodness and mercy will pursue [them]…”
(Ps 23:6 The verb can be “follow” or “pursue”).
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