Mar 21 2018
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!
Looking for goodness
A missionary to Muslims once remarked to me that Muslim women who stay home seem more content than those who work outside the home. Another missionary thinks of all the women she knew in her mission field who were good mothers and wives, maintained peaceful households, provided outstanding hospitality to visitors and happily and faithfully performed their religious duties. She pleads with God not to forget these good and giving women who were doing the best they could to serve God and their families in love.
Years ago I stayed in a B&B in Quebec city run by a Quebecoise woman who had converted to Islam from Catholicism because there were simple routines – pray 5 times daily, fast during Ramadan; and a straightforward moral code to adhere to – no alcohol, modest dress, obey your husband. She had rejected hypocrisy and grey areas of morality in her own culture and religion for simplicity and security in Islam. She claimed to have found contentment beneath the hijab.
Our culture offers Muslim women universal human rights, far superior to their rights under sharia. Many Muslim women have escaped severe oppression by emigrating to the West. But there is also extreme individualism, loneliness, moral licence and rootlessness here. Let’s not confuse twenty-first century Western culture with what Muslim women really need.
When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, he reminded them he had come to them knowing “nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified…and in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Co 2:2-5). A few paragraphs later he reiterates the foundation of “Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” “No one,” he says, “can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Co 3:11).
The goodness of God is astonishing. Out of love for humankind, the Father gave His only Son (Jn 3:16). Out of love for the Father, the Son gave His life so that we could be made holy and live in His Presence eternally (Jn 10:14-18). The Son then received the Holy Spirit from the Father and gave Him to humankind (Ac 2:33). Human goodness cannot meet God’s standard.
Allah is distant, unknowable and unaffected by humans. He gave a harsh law that devalues women. But Yahweh gave Yeshua so women could see His face and touch Him, and so that He could experience our weakness and touch us. “Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” is exactly the One who can speak to Muslim women desiring goodness. He lives in us; He is all we have to offer.
Father, we need the power of Your Holy Spirit so that we can demonstrate Your goodness to connect with the desire for goodness in the hearts of Muslim women. It’s Your Spirit that searches their hearts and reveals the mystery of Your good gift of Jesus, and His good gift of eternal life. Pour out Your Spirit through us, we pray.
We declare freedom for Muslim women seeking goodness – freedom from the path of sharia, freedom from the veil that obscures Jesus, freedom to come to the Light, “the freedom of the glory of the children of God” according to the law of the Spirit of life (Ro 8:2-4, 21)!
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