The sins of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah cried out to the heavens. God wanted to see for Himself whether things were really as bad as they had been reported to be. That’s what the BIble tells us in Genesis 18 and 19, and God Himself passed the message on to His friend Abraham. When, not long after that, the Creators’ messengers arrived in Sodom, they themselves become eyewitnsses of the perversion which held the city in its grip. There was no doubt as to the moral state of Sodom and Gomorrah. The names of those two cities remain to this day symbols par excellence of corruption, evil and vice. It can’t get any worse than that!
And yet Abraham doesn’t bask gloatingly in his position as a chosen Righteous One. He gets God involved in a dialogue: “Will you indeed destroy the righteous with the wicked?!” “You can’t possibly judge the righteous and the godless with the same judgement!” Abraham demands from his Creator a differentiated evaluation of the situation and appeals to His sense of justice: “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” And then he begins to bargain with God. He negotiates with the Creator of the world as people do in an oriental bazaar, until God finally agrees to spare the cesspool of vice if he finds ten righteous people in it.
In the eyes of many Israel friends, “the Palestinians” stand for terror, corruption and hate – especially hate towards Israel. The term “Palestine” symbolizes the epitome of the denial of and the struggle against the Jewish State’s right to exist. Most terrorists are Arabs and Moslems – which is why people only need to have look Arab in order to be watched carefully by security services. The fighting fronts are clearly defined!
The story of the “Son of Hamas” is there to jolt us awake. God is doing something. He is at work, behind the scenes. We only see the tip of the iceberg of his love. God’s hands reach right into the heart of terrorism. And I beleive that God is seeking intercessors who are prepared to wrestle back that which has been lost.
We claim to be “fellow heirs” of the descendants of Abraham. “And if you are Christs’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise,” the Apostle Paul once wrote in his letter to the church in Galatia (Galatians 3;29). Many Christians see this (and parallel) statements in the New Testament as proof of the replacement of “Israel in the flesh” with the “spiritual Israel”.
I believe that experience will in the end prove the true identity of the heirs of Abraham, the father of faith and interecession. “How can I conceal from Abraham what I want to do?” God asked Himself, before challenging Abraham with a reminder of the command “Be a blessing!” (compare this with Genesis 18;17-18 and Genesis 12;2). As he wrestled in intercession, as he debated with God, Abraham accepted the challenge to be a blessing to the nations. Our challenge today is not to make noisy claims to the heritage of Abraham, but to lay hold of the heritage of Abraham: to remind God of the importance of a differentiated evaluation and to bargain with Him about every single human soul.
May we have the courage to do so!
Translation by Nicola Vollkommer