I have heard so many preachers say that Ishmael was a mistake that I believed it in my heart. I even used the name Ishmael as a derogatory term and I am certain many reading this have done so also. This idea was never really challenged and it actually served as a decent example to wait on God to bring the one He has for you or wait on God for any promise that He has made you. Then it happened… My husband heard a preacher say that God convicted his heart about calling Ishmael a mistake. God said to this man, “No child is a mistake.“
Wow. That made my heart shake a little. Of course I believe that no child is a mistake. I have always passionately believed that but somewhere along the road of Ishmael-hate a little bit of this miserable belief that a child, a human being knit in his mother’s womb, can be a mistake, crept into my heart. How on earth did I miss that? Especially in church, how often are we missing the point and letting subtle pro-abortion, life-taking ideals daily seep into our hearts?
Even God Himself met Hagar and assured her that He sees her where she is and that her son, Ishmael would be blessed. That does not sound at all like the evil mistake we often call Ishmael without hesitation. Regardless of the choice of Abraham and regardless of the lack of choice that Hagar had, God still created Ishmael and said that he is blessed. God supernaturally intervened when Ishmael was at his most vulnerable. The moment when Hagar hides him and waits for him to die, God provides water and resources for them to live.
The value of the life of a child in the womb is not determined by the occupation, race, or location of the parents of that child.
I met a Muslim man at a grocery store months ago. I asked him if he has ever heard of Jesus and tried to present the love of the gospel to him. He was kind and friendly. I think he was shocked enough that I would approach him, a larger man of impressive stature, that he even permitted me to pray for him. As far as I know it is not customary for a devout Muslim man to allow a woman much less a Christian stranger lay hands on his heart and pray for him. I considered this uncustomary kindness and favor a gift from God, and I was thankful, but my heart ached. He did not receive the salvation that I told him about that day.
I still pray for this man and since meeting him I have started loving Muslims in a way that I did not know was possible. I heard a testimony of a lady from Alabama leading a Muslim cab driver in New York to Jesus and my love for the modern day descendants of Ishmael was fueled. Muslims pray devoutly five times a day, so I have committed to pray for Muslims to be saved and come to know the value of their lives through Jesus five times a day. The prayer varies some from time to time, but it usually has the same words… “Dear God, please have mercy on the Muslims. Please save the Muslims. Remember Hagar. Remember Ishmael.”
I am sensitive to the fact that these are controversial times of radical war and that suicidal blatant disregard of life is used as a weapon of destruction and death. Please forgive this idea if it offends you, but could it be possible that generational devaluing of Ishmael and calling him a mistake has only accelerated a hatred of life so deep that it propels children to die on a mission to kill others?
No child is a mistake. If your heart is moved for Muslims to know the love of Jesus, I challenge you to join with me and pray for them as they pray five times a day. Please pray with me for Muslims to be saved and for them to realize the value of life that God has given them. Jesus did not defeat death by killing people. He defeated death by overcoming the grave with Life. Please pray with me for LIFE to defeat death in every Muslim community in the world.