Daily Topic for December 24, 2007
God is a missionary God who carries within His heart the desire to communicate His “Word.” Not only is He the great Creator, He is also the great Communicator. Amid this week’s preparations for Christmas, let’s reverently recall the great passages in Scripture which anticipate and describe the birth of Jesus Christ. Then, let’s allow the drama of the great event to give focus to our prayers for the unreached peoples. Christmas is the most “missionary” time of the year!
Father, we long to know You better as the missionary God. Give us a new zeal to make You known among the unreached peoples.
Saleh al-Yami packs his belongings onto his camel with high hopes. Maybe today his clan will find some water or perhaps some shade beside a rock. His people, the Banu Yam tribe, have lived the nomadic Bedouin lifestyle for as far back as anyone can remember. Their territories are very close to the Saudi Arabian desert known as the “Empty Quarter.”
The majority of Saudi Arabians are Sunni Muslims. Unlike them, most Banu Yam people are Shi’ites, and most Yam are members of the small Isma’ili branch of Shi’ite Islam. No one knows exactly when the tribe adopted the Isma’ili offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, although it may have been during the time of the Fatimid Caliphate in Egypt in the 10th century. Isma’ili belief focuses on the mystical nature of the Imam and the mystical path to Allah.
A recent clash within the Shi’ite community occurred when Isma’ili believers publicly celebrated Ashoura, which marks the 7th century “martyrdom” of Imam Hussein, one of the most revered mainstream Shi’ite Imams. To Shi’ite Muslims, martyrdom is the ultimate holy act. Unlike the Sunni Muslims, they understand that their God allows His servants to face injustice and death.Learn more at joshuaproject.net
Pray that this belief will help the Banu Yam people to understand the meaning of Christ’s death on the cross. Pray that our God would reveal Himself to the Banu Yam tribe even through dreams and visions. Pray for a Bible translation in their language.-JWS