2011 - A Year of Arab Revolutions?
The spirit of the French revolution sweeps the Islamic World.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
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Riots and civil unrest are sweeping across the Arab world. This is David Billington with you, for Bible in the News on January 28. First the government in Tunisia fell, swept away by mass protest. In Egypt there are indications that the government is on the way out and maybe even the long term leader Hosni Mubarak. There have also been protests in Algeria, Sudan, Jordan and Yemen. Lebanon is also in turmoil where the Islamist Hezbollah, are gaining more and more control. Will 2011 be remembered as a year of Arab revolutions? Events are progressing rapidly and it will be difficult to see exactly where things are headed for some time. The pendulum could swing towards extremist Muslim governments before swinging back. One thing seems certain, a wind of change is blowing across the Middle East.
There will of course be major implications for Israel. Israel has peace treaties with both Jordan and Egypt. Regime change in either, or both of these countries, will have a great effect on the small embattled nation. There is the problem of the Hamas led Gaza strip, that borders both Israel and Egypt. Will events in Egypt force changes to take place there? Jordan is a nation with a majority of Palestinian Arab people; Jordan once being part of the British Mandate for Palestine. Will events there help solve Israel's problem with the Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank area? Lebanon is also directly to Israel's north and Hezbollah is no doubt being closely watched by them.
These will be interesting and possibly even momentous times for students of Bible prophecy. Here are some items to watch:
In the latter-day prophecy of Ezekiel 38 the Middle Eastern nations are divided into two groups. One group is with Gog; comprising Persia, Ethiopia and Libya. Another group protests with Tarshish, including Sheba and Dedan - ancient nations situated in the area of the Arabian Peninsula.
Another point to notice in Ezekiel 38, is that this prophecy takes place at a time characterized by peace and security amongst the returned Jews dwelling in the land of Israel. This idea is conveyed in different ways throughout the chapter; they dwell in unwalled villages, they are at rest, dwelling safely - a fact which is taken notice of by the invading Gog, who comes from the far north. Gog and his associates come to take a prey, cattle and goods. It follows therefore, that Israel at this time is a place of prosperity.
The end part of the prophecy of Daniel 11 is a companion to that of Ezekiel 38 and adds some more detail that is not revealed by Ezekiel. In Daniel 11 there are two kings described, the King of the North and the King of the South. Historically the territory of these kings were both parts of the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great. Daniel 11 presents the escapades between them, which caught the Jews that had returned to Israel from Babylon and Persia in the middle. The King of the North was based in the area of Syria and the King of the South in Egypt. As the King of the South was historically a foreign power (king) that had control of Egypt's territory, so in the latter day we would expect a similar situation. There will be a 'king' of the south. It was interesting today that after Hosni Mubarak addressed his nation on state television, he immediately spoke with the President of the United States. Obama told him what he should do. The Egyptian army is American armed and trained. America supports Egypt with vast amounts of aid. Daniel 11:42, 43 describes how Egypt will fall to the King of the North.
By placing Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 11 side by side it seems that Gog or the King of the North will be allied with Iran, Persia, Ethiopia, Libya and Syria. The King of the South will be with the nations of the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt.
Finally, one of the main characteristics of our age is the spirit of revolution that began in France. The spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity. In Revelation 16 these spirits or teachings are said to go out into all the world to gather the nations to the battle of Armageddon. This is the spirit today that is creating waves of revolution across the Arab world. Hosni Mubarak may be able to put the lid on the flames for a period of time as has been done in Iran. However, this is a very potent force and is not easily stopped. So we encourage you to continue to observe the changing Middle East with Bible in hand. "Blessed is he that watcheth"!
See you again next week, God Willing, at www.bibleinthenews.com.
Printed: Saturday, January 29, 2011
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