I thought I would follow up briefly on Friday’s post, “Egypt, Mubarak, and the NYSE: Prophecy Moves Forward.”
As the saying goes, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. Well, the eggs in the Egypt have been broken, but what sort of omelet will result is still undetermined, and there are lots of different kinds of omelets out there. (There are more eggs in the Middle East beginning to show cracks, as well.)
Many are quick to make predictions. I try to be slow to do so. As I mentioned Friday, God gives us the overall arch and describes in general terms the final configuration of things, but the path from point A to point B isn’t always laid out. Eventually, there will be a confederacy of Arab nations, as pictured in Psalm 83, and eventually their anti-Israel stance will be strong and obvious. There will be a “King of the South” — a leading figure in that confederacy. His rise may (note: may) be aided by the expectation of some in the Middle East of a Mahdi — a sort of Islamic messiah figure — and the desire for a caliphate. Yet the situation must eventually be such that, at least for a brief time, the confederacy will find common cause with Germany (Assyria) and will be in some way responsive to the religion forced upon the world by the Beast power and the False Prophet. What does this guarantee concerning the specific nature and character of the future confederacy, or, for that matter, the shape of a new Egyptian government in the days ahead? Not much. The details remain to be seen, though the end is known. Today’s Wall Street Journal carries, in my opinion, a good analysis of the possibilities for Egypt going forward, comparing them to the state of other nations, such as Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey, and even Albania.
(The article is “Looking Into the Egyptian Crystal Ball” and might be worth a read for those who are wondering how things might turn out.)
The fact that the “Egyptian contagion” is spreading fits into all of this very well. Iran, Bahrain, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan, Sudan… People in those nations are sitting up and taking notice and beginning to believe that change is possible. (WSJ articles here and here discuss the spread, including some nice interactive graphics and videos.) But causing change is much easier than managing it, and many look to take advantage of the unrest for their own purposes.
However, ultimately it will suit God’s purposes.
Aside from the prophetic ramifications concerning the formation of the Arab confederacy and the rise of the King of the South, there are other lessons to be learned from all of this. As one example: people of all races, faiths, creeds, nationalities want right government. They do not want to suffer under the oppression of corrupt leaders who serve themselves more than they serve their people.
In Mark 10 and Matthew 20, Jesus Christ decried the gentile model of leadership in which rulers exercised power over others for their own benefit, treating those ruled as servants. Rather, he said that those who rule over you should be your servants. If you want to rule, then He says you must see your role as one of serving those you rule.
[As an aside, this is why the traditional structure of the family, with the husband as the head, is not oppressive, and why the God’s form of government in the Church, with leaders possessing real authority, is not despotic. Can both be abused? Sure. Show me a system of government that humans can’t mess up. But this is exactly what Christ was addressing. He was not saying that authority and structure was evil and that it should be abolished, or that the Church He was building should be some sort of anarchistic mass of independent individuals and congregations with no one human beings in real, commanding authority. He was explaining the nature of true, godly authority and leadership and how it should be exercised–how it must be exercised among His people. When it is not so exercised, the results are painful and real. But when it is so exercised, the blessings, peace, unity, and power that flows from it is remarkable and a joy to experience. I hope everyone reading this in the Living Church of God mention a word of thanks in their prayers tonight for the blessing of right government that we have enjoyed for quite some time! Back to our story…]
My wife and I were discussing the French revolution yesterday and how many heads rolled (literally), including that of King Louis XVI. There is nothing inherently wrong with a king, but when the king is oppressive (or at least seen as oppressive) and uses his authority as an opportunity to glorify himself instead of being a competent, capable, and selfless servant to his people, the people understandably bristle and pine for change.
No matter their ethnicity, religion, or economic status, people all over the world want righteous government. And Jesus Christ is going to bring such a government! Scenes like we are seeing all over the Middle East should make us (1) grateful for the knowledge we have about the coming kingdom and government of God, and (2) all the more passionate about spreading that message! Do we understand the great privilege we have? We have the opportunity to announce the coming of a worldwide government that will be exactly what the hearts of so many of these protesters are seeking: a government that truly does care more for them than for its own profit and that treats them with dignity and respect and that seeks their good over its own. They seek governments uncorrupted with personal greed and vice. They seek righteous government. And the gospel says that it is coming. How tremendous and what a blessing that we have been allowed the opportunity to spread that message as far and wide as possible.