RTBY Day 7: Genesis 16, Coexistence and Being Shields While Being Shielded

Coexist.

That’s what Bono wore on a headband at the How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb tour a few years ago. He would also recite a mantra during one of the songs in the set list: “Jesus, Jew, Mohammed, all true.”

I wonder what you think of that?

I wonder how many of you would have a problem with Bono’s statement. Part of me does.

I don’t have a problem acknowledging that all three are real, that they exist.

I also don’t have a problem acknowledging that all three are important, that they should be honored and protected, as opposed to degraded and targeted.

These are the ways Bono meant the above mentioned statement. And I believe Bono was being completely biblical in his statement if he did mean it in those two ways.

Genesis 16-17 tells us about the birth of Ishmael, who would one day become the patriarch of the Islamic faith. And yet, this is really a story about someone greater than Ishmael.

Or Isaac for that matter.

Its a story about the God who sees.

A story about the God who in His mercy intervenes, and puts himself in harms way, between one person and another.

It is also true that while God sees and intervenes in the affairs of life of all kinds of people, He does only establish His covenant with Isaac.

This has more to do with which child comes about through faith in the promises of God (Isaac), as opposed to human impatience and strategic maneuvering (Ishmael).

But while it is true that ultimately God promises to fulfill all of His promises only through the one child (Isaac), that in no way is meant to put down, disregard, or eliminate the other child (Ishmael). Just because the Bible says that ultimate salvation comes through the one and not the other, that does not mean that we should not respect and seek to love the other well.

He is still after all a child of Abraham. And God sees and intervenes on behalf of all his children.

For Further Thought:

No questions today. But it would be worthwhile to read this article about Egyptian Muslims standing in solidarity with persecuted Coptic Christians, and serving as “human shields” from militant Islamic extremists.

Egypt’s Muslims attend Coptic Christmas Mass, Serving as Human Shields.” – Ahram online

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