Daily Topic for September 22, 2009

Genesis 17:20
"And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him."

Ishmael was born through Abraham’s attempt to do God’s work in man’s way. Of course, whenever we do that, we run into trouble. From this act of unbelief was birthed the Arab peoples of the world, who today live in great hostility to their Israeli cousins. But the grace of God is greater still. God’s promise to bless Ishmael is echoed later in Scripture, through the prophet Isaiah who declared, “The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth” (Isa. 19:24). Today it may be hard for some to imagine Muslim countries like Egypt and Assyria becoming a blessing to the whole earth, but that is God’s promise.

Pray that in Christ the violence-prone Dhanuk caste will soon become a blessing to the peoples who surround them.

Dhanuk People

It seems the atmosphere in Orissa is volatile and ready to explode at any time. Five members of the Dhanuk caste recently died in a dispute about a pond. Rival groups abducted victims, including women and children. The assailants used guns and fired indiscriminately. In other clashes, drunken thugs poured colored water on revelers. Some lower caste men sprinkled color on higher caste women, and high caste men reacted violently.

Dhanuk people are a low caste people originally part of the Hindu “archers.” Since they are considered a clean caste (from whom Brahmans can take water), they often serve as household servants or village watchmen. Many Dhanuk women work as midwives. Villagers accept illegitimate children who are born of a Dhanuk father and a higher caste mother.

The Dhanuk Hindus think demons cause all disease. They believe in magic, witchcraft, and ghosts; so they often call on sorcerers and magicians to drive out evil spirits. When a baby is born the adults place branches of jujube and old shoes in the house’s main gate to scare away ghosts. They celebrate feasts for various occasions, with some drinking and abusing alcohol.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that the Prince of Peace will save the Dhanuk people and fill their hearts and lives with inner serenity. Ask God to open their spiritual eyes, so that they can understand how much God loves and values them. Pray that Dhanuk midwives will experience spiritual birth that comes from above.-AK

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