Keep Your Eye on the Middle East
Pray for souls as Christ’s return draws ever nearer
March 1, 2011 - It has been with great interest that I’ve watched the unfolding of recent events in the Middle East.
While no one but God knows when the “Day of the Lord” will come, I believe the sovereign hand of God is wisely and powerfully at work in world events.—Franklin Graham
by Franklin Graham
With virtually no warning and in only a matter of days, the small North African nation of Tunisia was brought to a political boiling point as the populace revolted against President Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia when he realized his decades-long rule had suddenly ended.
The reverberations of that revolt quickly and violently spread to the neighboring state of Egypt. The media has graphically chronicled the turbulent protests of an angry citizenry, forcing long-time President Hosni Mubarak to step down in February.
The groundswell of demonstrations spread to other Arab countries, including Yemen, Algeria and Jordan, where King Abdullah II dissolved the government to appease the protestors.
Combined with the recent takeover of the Lebanese government by Hezbollah (a militant Muslim political group), the continued conflict in Iraq, and the threat of a nuclear Iran, it’s clear that the Middle East has quickly become the staging ground for the greatest threat to world peace since the last World War.
Although many of the demonstrations have resounded with cries of freedom and even democracy, it is not hard to fathom that virtually all of these countries could quickly come under the direct control of hard-line Islamic rule. Look what happened in Gaza several years ago when the people overwhelmingly voted for the current Hamas regime.
One of the founding tenets of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt—a party that could well take power—is that “Islam is the solution.”
All of this should come as no surprise to followers of Jesus Christ who know their Bible and the pivotal role of the nation of Israel as the Messiah comes in glory to crush all opposition and establish His millennial rule and reign.
The one unifying factor in the uprising that has spread through the desert and mountains of Africa and the Middle East is the deep hatred of the Jewish people and their land. One day soon, Israel will be surrounded on the north, east and south by those who hate the Name of Jesus and despise the Jews.
While no one but God knows when the “Day of the Lord” will come, I believe the sovereign hand of God is wisely and powerfully at work in world events to bring about the end of the age. It will be then that the kings of the earth gather together on the plains of Megiddo (Armageddon) to do battle against the Lord and His saints (Revelation 16:12-16, 19). Refusing to repent and give glory to God, they will be utterly annihilated by the King of kings and Lord of lords.
So as we watch events continue to unfold in the months and years to come, let us pray for the souls of unbelievers—Jew, Muslim and Gentile—to know Jesus as their Savior. Let’s pray for the testimony of the church, that believers will not cringe in fear but be faithful and bold in their witness—even unto death.
Most of all, let us pray along with the Spirit, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).