Jun 14 2017
God named Ishmael ‘God hears’ before he was born. Years later, God heard Ishmael’s cry when he was perishing in the wilderness and opened his mother’s eyes to see a spring of water from which she gave him drink – and he lived!
Islam claims Ishmael as a spiritual forefather. Today’s Muslims are in the wilderness perishing and crying out for living water. Let the Church pray to the Father to reveal the well of living water, Jesus, so they might live!
Keep asking questions, Hossein
A little boy riding a bicycle behind his mom stopped to watch me working in the front yard. “What are you doing?” he asked. “Pulling weeds,” I answered. “What’s weeds?” With that, a conversation of questions and answers began. I laughed with his mom, who was wearing hijab under her helmet, about the delight he seemed to get from asking questions. As Hossein and his mom rode off, I quietly prayed, “Keep asking questions, Hossein, and pay attention to the answers.” It’s no small thing for a Muslim to ask meaningful questions.
Nonie Darwish, an Egyptian-American human rights activist and former Muslim, has explained an Islamic doctrine called targhib wal tarhib, "luring and terrorizing", that “uses the human instincts for self-preservation and survival to break the people's will and brainwash them into slavish obedience”. “It amounts to manipulating the instinctive parts of the human brain with extreme opposing pressures of pleasure and pain -- rewarding, then severely punishing -- to brainwash people into complying with Islam.” Keep your head down and don’t ask questions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonie_Darwish
Although most Muslims don’t know about the doctrine, it is considered by scholars to be a legitimate aspect of sharia and a tool to be used to create compliance both within the ummah (Muslim community) and for dawah, that is, extending sharia into non-Muslim lands. Jihadists are promised great rewards (such as 72 virgins) for their violent acts and are exposed to severe punishment for disobedience. “Ordinary” Muslims are constantly lured with the promise of success for following the way of Muhammad, but fear revenge (honor killing, lashes and public execution in some nations) if they step out of line. Non-Muslims are regaled with the benefits and superiority of Islam but fear of retribution should they speak against it.
Targhib wal tarhib is a fearsome piece of armour that protects Islam by silencing questions, causing countless numbers to deny obvious truth and searing the conscience so it can’t even recognize righteousness. What does Jesus say about such armour? “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armour in which he trusted and divides his spoil.” (Lk 11:21-22)
So, how shall we pray?
After typing this, I went for a walk to pray in the Spirit and wait on the Lord for understanding. I passed another Muslim woman, likely SE Asian, walking her daughter home from school. Her response to my cheery “Hello” was heavy and joyless, her eyes weary. I speculated she might be exhausted after 2½ weeks of performing the fruitless works of Ramadan (but of course, I don’t know). As I continued on, I urgently called out for her to know God’s mercy and kindness.
Oh, that she and even the jihadists might know the God…
- whose love is better than life (Ps 63:1-3),
- whose mercy triumphs over judgment (Ja 2:12-13),
- whose love drives out fear [of punishment] (1Jn 4:18),
- who sets the oppressed free and shows them His favor (Ps 10:17-18, Lk 4:18-19, Jn 8:34-36) and
- who offers relationship instead of demanding slavish compliance! (Heb 10:19-23, Ja 2:23)
Oh God, You love ALL You have created! Pour out Your love, even over the radicals and the jihadists and the apologists for Islam who have lived their lives under the tyranny of targhib wal tarhib. Deliver them from this doctrine of demons! (1 Ti 4:1 NASB. Most New Testament usage of “oppressed” concerns demons, e.g. Mt 4:24 ESV.)
Oh God, enable Your people to live in Your freedom, resist deception and intimidation and boldly proclaim Your word! (Ac 4:24-31, Gal 5:1, Eph 3:10-12)
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