We’ve watched as countries like Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia have all had revolutions of sorts. These were hailed by our current president and even by some conservative commentators as the “Arab Spring.” This name was given to this movement (which also touched many other countries in the Middle East) because they were wrongly interpreted as a yearning for freedom, liberty, and western democracy. Yet what we are watching in the wake of this Arab Spring is a concerted movement toward Islamic states who are trading their opportunity for western style democracy for states ruled by Shar’ia Islamic Law.
Anyone who has read anything about Shar’ia Law knows that it does not even slightly look like western democracy. If you want a look at what these states may become in the future, do not look to the United States – look to Iran. Iran is an Islamic state that functions under Shar’ia Law. Rather than being a movement that stimulates freedom of thought – these states will now enforce Islam as its mandatory religion. What we have seen in Islamic states is a repression of freedom of religion, a repression of freedom of thought, and a repression of freedom of expression. When Muslims convert to Christianity, they are given a death sentence. When woman are deemed to be out of line morally by their family – outrageous acts are allowed, even “honor killing.” Rather than a refreshing breath of spring – this is more like a chilling blast of winter when it comes to freedom and liberty.
But probably the most disturbing thing that is coming due to the so-called Arab Spring is the destabilization of the region and its march toward war. Demonstrations in both Libya and Egypt have turned dangerously violent when it comes toward the nation of Israel. In recent months we’ve even watched as riotous crowds have invaded the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. They stormed the compound and tore down the flag of Israel in defiance. These problems are only going to increase because an Islamic state that is ruled by Shar’ia Law tends to be a state that is also antagonistic toward Israel’s presence in the Middle East. They have a very serious problem with Israel being in Jerusalem – which Islam holds as its third most holy place. In the past year we’ve watched the attitude of Turkey, which was previously a moderate Muslim nation, turn very sour toward Israel. Turkey even helped to sponsor groups that are trying to break through the blockade that Israel has put around the Palestinian territories to keep advanced military arms from being shipped to their ports. The weapons that get through in various ways are then used on Israel in rocket attacks and other incursions. It all adds up to a growing number of Arab “Spring-ed” countries that are turning more radical in their Islamic views.
What are we to do about these things? First of all, we need to realize that our current administration really does not have a clue when it comes to what is going on in the Islamic world. They think that western style democracy is taking hold – when in reality – these states are going to be little more than another Iran in the region. We need to pray and ask God to give discernment to those in our government – in the State Department as well as the White House. They need to see what is happening and be willing to say that Islamic states that turn to Shar’ia Law are going to be states that desire the destruction of Israel. It might also behoove them to see that those who call Israel the little Satan – also refer to the United States as the “great Satan.” Call it a hunch – but I think that is not a positive designation – nor a friendly one.
For those of us who understand the Bible, we need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We also need to be aware that there is a possibility that this current trend may be an alignment for a future prophetic event called the Gog-Magog invasion. This is a group of nations who will surround Israel – and will seek to destroy her. When they do this (you can read about it in Ezekiel 37-38) God delivers Israel by a miracle. In that miraculous deliverance, God destroys the armies – and the nations themselves with an intervention from heaven. Just for your information, the nations who are presently turning towards a more radical version of Islam and Shar’ia Law are like a who’s who of the nations listed in Ezekiel. The only nation not moving toward Islam in this group is Russia. That problem is solved quite easily as Russia has a mutual defense and military pact with several of these nations. Thus, seeing Russia led into this invasion is not a difficult thing to consider.
We live in interesting and perilous times. The world is experiencing upheavals that could be the birth pangs mentioned in Scripture – that are a precursor to the seven year tribulation period and the second coming of Christ. We may not be able to stop the political forces that are at work, but we can allow their presence and their growing menace to be a reminder to us. Jesus said that we should work the works of God while it is still day – because the night is coming when no man can work. Don’t take your freedoms for granted. Use them to communicate the gospel – and to make disciples of Jesus Christ every day you can. It may soon be night – when it will be far more difficult to do those works.