After Hagar fled from Sarah's presence, before Ishmael was born, the angel of the Lord
said to her, "Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name
Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand
will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the
presence of all his brethren" (Gen. 16:11-12).
The Arabs are the descendants of Ishmael, and this prophecy of international trouble is
being fulfilled today. The centuries-old conflict between the Arabs and the Jews had its
beginning when Abraham tried to use the means of the flesh to produce a spiritual
Not only did Abraham's sin produce family and international trouble, but it also produced
spiritual trouble. In the New Testament, the apostle Paul wrote of this trouble in
When churches or believers leave the simplicity and liberty that is in Christ and return to
the works of the flesh, there is nothing but bondage. When religious ceremonies or other
activities are substituted for the work of the Holy Spirit, bondage results. From this
incident in Genesis we see the sad results of relying on the flesh to bring about spiritual
And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief (Matt. 13:58).