As the week draws to a close, it is absolutely remarkable what is going on in Cairo. I has listened to Egyptian President Mubarak’s muddled and vague speech on the way home yesterday from a baptism counseling session, and thought to myself, “This is not going to go over well…” And, of course, the news today is that it did not go over well. As Peggy Noonan noted today in the Wall Street Journal, President Mubarak had an opportunity to do something honorable, but his speech came across more as a desperate politician trying to maintain a shattered pretense at all costs, even at the limits delusion if need be.
However, his goofy speech aside it apparently meant nothing in the end now that he has left the country has, finally, resigned. The Army is in charge, and many questions remain–chief among them: How will the power vacuum be filled?
We understand from Scripture that a “King of South” will arise and that Arabic nations will gather themselves into some sort of confederation that will have temporary agreements with a “King of the North,” a German-led European Union (consider our booklet The Middle East in Prophecy by Mr. Richard Ames if all of this is new to you; it’s a must read). While I feel for those in Egypt–in both their passionate excitement and their anxious concern–it is humbling to watch these events in light of Bible prophecy, which has a great deal to say about the region’s future.
The future leadership is up for grabs in Egypt, with numerous possibilities. Will the Muslim Brotherhood be able to take advantage of the chaos to advance its own plans (especially given the current U.S. State Department’s delusions)? Will Egypt become more like the modern state of Turkey, currently experiencing its own troubles? Mohamed ElBaradei seems as though he has worked hard to be identified with the protests, will he be able to act on what seem to be his intentions? Will the much-respected Egyptian military need to play an increasingly active role? The Bible does not give us many real details about the character, nature, or personality of the future Arab confederation of nations–whether secular, religious, or fanatical–so watching those details come together is absolutely fascinating. We know it will have to eventually be of such a nature as to find enough common ground with Europe to enable an agreement between the two entities, however fragile that agreement might be. This does not require, however, Western-style unity or governance–or even any pro-Western sympathies, at all–among the Arab states, as there are many other forces in the world that can bring about at least temporary unity, such as common enemies. I actually wrote about this thought back in early 2007 (“Nothing unites like a common enemy…”) and commented on the matter in my Tomorrow’s World telecast End Time Powers of the Middle East. While some are quick to think that what we see in the fundamentalist character of Iran is the destiny of the Arab confederation, I am not so sure. That Iran actually will be the King of the South is out of the question, as it is prophetically impossible, and Iran is, if anything, a unifying force for Arab nations in that it is seen by them as a potential enemy and a dangerous irritant in the region. (Understanding the difference between Sunnis and Shiites is important here, as well as understanding that there is a difference between “Muslim” and “Arab.” Iran is not an Arab country.)
Meanwhile, where is the U.S.? This administration, to me, has seemed as weak as all get out (pardon the Texan lingo) in all of this. Our inaction has irritated some allies in the region, such as Saudi Arabia (which is probably a bit worried about the sentiment in Egypt spreading, don’t you think?). Not to say that there haven’t been “behind the scenes” discussions–I am sure there have been. There always are. But most (perhaps not all) of the signs indicate that these discussions have been fruitless, and the administration has come across as clueless and toothless. I could be wrong, and perhaps President Obama or Secretary Clinton had words with Mr. Mubarak that helped convince him to resign, although I highly suspect that the Egyptian military leadership played the key role here. Time will tell.
Though not directly related, I note that the headline of the Wall Street Journal yesterday: “Germans in Talks to Buy Big Board” (the “Big Board” being the New York Stock Exchange). The subtitle: “NYSE, Deutsche Börse Near $25 Billion Tie-Up; Deal Would Symbolize a Diminished Role for New York in Finance.” The EU may have monopoly concerns and Washington may bristle at such a symbolic institution of American power coming under foreign ownership, but the mere possibility–along with the unrest and instability in Egypt–of such a deal should remind us: prophecy moves forward.
It should not be something of mere academic interest to us. It should spur us to seek our God all the more fully and passionately. “Watch therefore, and pray always,” Christ commands us, “that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36). In the end what will make the difference for each of us will not be how close we were to being right about the details of prophecy, but how close we were to the God who inspired that prophecy. If our “watching” does not stir our spirits to seek Him and His Son more fully, it benefits us in no way at all.
Indeed, prophecy moves forward. Will we move forward, too?