Encouragement for End-Times Endurance brings you a look at current events around the world from a biblical perspective, including how they might be connected to Bible prophecy.

Friday, February 24, 2012

World News Through the Third Lens: Egypt and Islam

EGYPTIAN OFFICIAL: WAR WITH ISRAEL WITHIN THREE MONTHS: Egyptian Presidential Candidate Tawfiq Okasha declared last week that the Egyptian Army will engage in armed warfare against Israel, the United States and the EU within three months. The declaration also said that “like the Nazis, the Jews aim to rule and own the world.” He then went on to say that Israel, America and the European Union are planning to destroy three institutions in Egypt with
“exceptional malice,” namely the Egyptian general intelligence agency, the Egyptian armed forces, and the Egyptian military intelligence. He then declared, “As of today, the war effort of the people has begun. The Egyptian army will open fire on the armies of the enemies,” he proclaimed. When asked exactly when an armed war would begin, he replied, “within three months.” (INN) as reported by JNN News, Feb. 23, 2012.

REPUBLICANS: THE FACTS ARE CLEAR THAT OBAMA IS NO FRIEND OF ISRAEL: The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) has released a statement entitled “Security,” highlighting the discrepancy between President Obama’s rhetoric regarding his support for Israel’s security and his actions. The ad states: “These are dangerous times for Israel. Iran is threatening Israel’s
destruction. Hizbullah has armed itself with over 40,000 rockets and missiles to rain down on innocent Israelis. Shockingly, President Obama has dramatically cut proposed critical support for Israel’s defense program - the same systems Israel needs to protect itself from these threats. President Obama’s rhetoric would have you believe he is doing all he can for Israel’s security. The reality is that he wants to slash American support for Israel’s critical defense.” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said that at this dangerous time, no true friend of Israel would talk about cutting funding to its joint missile defense programs with the Jewish state. (Arutz-7)

Through the Third Lens of Scripture: "The Lord said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people, and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples of the earth will be blessed through you'" (Genesis 13:1-3).

It is not always a pleasant task to view developments on the world scene and how they are connected to prophecies in the Holy Scripture. First, the view is often troublesome, at least in the short term. Second, there is always the concern that I will not overstep proper bounds and that what I write will be guided by the Holy Spirit. Some things are so very clear in God's Word that they must be proclaimed, with conviction. So it is with the above promise which God made to Abram. The promise was restated by God several times, and was even pronounced in a solemn covenant (Genesis 15). The covenant was confirmed in Genesis 17 through the rite of circumcision, and Abram's name (meaning "exalted father') was changed to Abraham (meaning "father of many." The greatest promise to Abraham in this covenant was that God promised to be Abraham's God (Genesis 17:7). The greatest promise to the world was the blessing in Genesis 12:3 which, as history unfolded, was to be the Messiah, Jesus the Christ, Savior of Jew and Gentile alike.

Included in God's covenant promise to Abraham and his descendants was the promise of the land (Genesis 15:18-21). The covenant was an everlasting covenant (Genesis 17:7-8). The covenant concerning the land was fulfilled briefly under King Solomon, and has since been diminished, interrupted, and restored in part through the interaction of Israel's disobedience and God's sovereignty. Eventually the full scope of the covenant promise will be established forever. From A.D. 70 until A.D. 1948 it looked like God was either unable or unwilling to fulfill His promise as the "promised land" lay under the rule and domination of other people. Then, miraculously, on May 14, 1948 the nation of Israel was born.

Never before in history had a people been without a country while still maintaining their identity. Attempts had been made to wipe this people from the face of the earth, including the 6,000,000 who died in the Holocaust between 1933 and 1945. No sooner had the United Nations declared Israel to be a sovereign nation that the surrounding nations attacked her. Several times, most notably in 1948, 1967 and 1973 she was attacked by forces superior in number and might but God always protected her. The people were drawn back to the land in unbelief, just as the Bible prophesied.

Through it all, promise of Genesis 12:3 has remained true. The Messiah did come through the line of Abraham. Those nations that have chosen to bless Israel have in turn been blessed by God. Near the top of that list is the United States of America. I personally believe that it has been our support of Israel that has forestalled God's judgment upon our land for the way we have turned our collective back on Him, especially through the legalized genocide called abortion. While there has been some progress in reducing the number of abortions performed in this country, that's not very comforting considering the fact that some 3,000 innocent babies die in the USA every day. All the while, our support for Israel seems to waver and wane with each passing year.

What does this have to do with Egypt? Egypt is an interesting country, with a history far greater than ours. Throughout the centuries, Egypt has also developed an interesting history with Israel. It was Egypt which provided a place of refuge for Abraham (Genesis 12:10-20) during a time of famine. Egypt rescued the 70 which Abraham had become through Isaac, Jacob and Jacob's 12 sons during a time of famine (Genesis 41:53 - 50:26). The fertile land of Goshen was enjoyed by Israel, and they grew in numbers, until a king arose in Egypt "who did not know about Joseph" (Exodus 1:8) who then made slaves of the Israelites (Genesis 1:11) and sought to reduce their numbers by murdering all the baby boys (Genesis 1:16). We all know of Moses, who would deliver his people from the slavery of Egypt and bring them into the land promised to Abraham some 400 years earlier.

Some 1500 years later, Egypt would become a temporary refuge for our Lord and Savior as the baby Jesus and his parents fled to Egypt to escape the paranoid wrath of King Herod (Matthew 2:13-23). All this is said to be a brief example of the parallels between Egypt's treatment of Israel and that of the USA. Sometimes it's been good; sometimes not so good. The Lord inspired Ezekiel to prophesy against Egypt (Ezekiel 29-32) and the outcome is not good. The Arab Spring uprising in Egypt and the overthrow of a secular government officially at peace with Israel may well be a fulfillment of Isaiah 19:1-4. Other parts of that chapter seem to await fulfillment, such as the four prophecies of "in that day" (Isaiah 19:16-25).

Will the USA be dealt with in the same manner as Egypt? We have not yet joined in persecuting Israel yet. Pray that we don't. Egypt suffers greatly at the hand of God but in the end they will turn to the Lord (Isaiah 19:22). Is it too late for the USA to repent or will she too suffer judgment at the hand of God? Egypt is now on the verge of being governed completely by sharia law. The United States has a president who has shown himself time and time again to be a at least a Muslim sympathizer, if not an actual Muslim vainly trying to hide in plain sight as a Christian.

The people of God, those who are truly His through saving faith in Jesus Christ, must heed the Lord's command to patiently endure, and thus reap the promise to be kept from the "...hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.' (Revelation 3:10).

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