A very long time ago back in 1978 I wrote this in a public place and I still feel it is true.  Here is what I wrote “The Middle East: Spawning Ground for the Last Great War.”    It seems as if this part of the world will never find peace.

I know many of you have asked me to make some of my posts longer but the attention span of most people reading blogs is quite short so I have a limited amount of time to make my points.  I hope you enjoy this blog and I hope it will make a difference in perhaps the way you view this conflict.  Pretty ambitious huh?

I realize many people in the world today do not enjoy religion and in reality if someone mentions religion their eyes glaze over and they drift off into oblivion.   Nevertheless, I must share some religion with you so you understand how far back this conflict dates.

Let me state the disclaimer that I am not a historian nor am I an expert in religion.  I will present these details in an abbreviated but factual fashion to keep you with me while I make my points. If you wish to research further you now have the names to use to dig deeper.

I will use the Bible as my source because I am not familiar with Islam and the Quran.  What I will write is condensed but accurate.  I hope you enjoy this blog and it makes you think.

The origin of this conflict begins in the first book of the Old Testament, Genesis.  It starts with Abraham and Sarah.  God loved Abraham and made him promises that he would father a nation and their land would be Israel as long as Abraham’s descendants worshipped God loyally.  God also promised Abraham a son and his son would inherit Abraham’s legacy.

Abraham and Sarah waited a long time for the son that God had promised and after a long while Sarah became desperate for Abraham to father a child.  She encouraged Abraham to try and have a child with one of their servants named Hagar, and Abraham agreed.  This turned out to be a poor decision for Abraham.  Hagar became pregnant and she bore a son that was named Ishmael.  Almost immediately after Ishmael was born, Sarah became jealous of Hagar and there was much tension between the women.  Sarah was in fact quite unpleasant to Hagar to the point Hagar tried to escape the home of Abraham.    Because Ishmael was a son of Abraham, God spoke to Ishmael and promised him a kingdom.

Some 14 years later God gave Sarah her child as promised and his name was Isaac.  Of course the relationship between Ishmael and Isaac was not one of half-brothers but was very contentious.  I am sure Ishmael resented the way Sarah treated his mother and Sarah did not want Ishmael to inherit her son’s legacy.

Eventually, Sarah forced Abraham to tell Hagar and Ishmael to leave their home.  This was done and Ishmael and Hagar went into the desert.  God did keep his promise to Ishmael and he became the father of Islam and formed a huge kingdom.  Ishmael never recognized the right of Isaac to have his legacy of inheriting Israel from their father.  Many generations in the future, Mohammed claimed to be a direct descendent of Ishmael and a prophet of God. He gave Islam the Quran.

Many generations away from Isaac came Mary, the mother of Jesus.

So you have Abraham the founder of Israel fathering Ishmael the founder of Islam and Isaac, who’s later descendent Mary, mothered Jesus, the Son of God according to Christianity.

My point is that this conflict started when Abraham fathered Ishmael with Hagar which caused Sarah to treat Hagar badly.  The bad blood between Hagar and Sarah has been passed along for over two thousand years and to this day many Muslims do not recognize Israel’s right to exist.

What is ironic is that Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all worship the same God.  They all have a different name for Him, and all have different books that have His words, but He is one in the same.  One would think that after the thousands of years that have passed somehow these religions could co-exist in peace and worship God in their own way, but alas, this has not happened.

Look at how much effort has gone into trying to bring a lasting peace to this part of the world.  For the first time in my lifetime a Saudi Prince actually said that he would be willing to recognize Israel because he said all people deserve to have a country to call home.  For a Muslim leader to say this was a huge development.  We will have to watch this and see if it gets traction with other Muslim leaders.

One thing you must never forget, is according to the Christian Bible, the end days begin when some country attacks Israel.  This prophecy can be found in the Book of Revelations in the Bible.  For this reason it is in yours and mine best interest to promote peace in this part of the world and hope it remains for our lifetime, for when peace leaves and war begins, the world as we know it will soon end.