INTRODUCTION

5 MINUTE BRIEFS

FULL ARTICLES

H I S T O R Y P R O V E S G O D

ARAB SPRING
(posted: February 2011)

* All scripture references are from the New King James Version (NKJV) of the Bible, unless otherwise noted.

  1. A political revolution, dubbed by the media as the "Arab Spring" , began its sweep across the Arab nations of North Africa and the Middle East at the end of last year. On December 17, 2010 Tunisian fruit vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire and ignited the Arab world.

    “This was really the spark, literally and figuratively, that set Tunisia on fire.” 1
                                                                  Sultan Scoud Al Qassemi, Dubai

    “Across the Arab world, people living under the thumb of repression are rising up against the rulers who once seemed omnipotent.” 2

    “It’s revolution, a democratic revolution ...” 2
                                              political scientist Abdullah Faqih, Yemen

  2. Biblical Year Pattern for December 17. 2010/Hebrew Year 5771 (Psalms 10, 110, 71)
    1. Psalm 10:2-7, 8-10, 12, 13, 15-18 - Repression by Arab dictators; nations toppled; rulers ousted
      2-7.     [greed, corruption and arrogance of autocratic rulers]
      8-10.   [brutal crackdown on any dissent.]

      “It’s political challenge to autocratic systems that have degraded and dehumanized people and humiliated them to the point where they just can’t take it anymore.” 2
                                                                                analyst Rami Khouri, Beirut

      12, 13. [God brings change]
      15-18.  [Governments overthrown]
    2. Psalm 110:1, 2, 5, 6 - Defining chapter of the Arab revolution
      1, 2. [Son of God rules over all. Enemies are put under His feet. In a            similar vein, Egyptian men held their shoes aloft during a
                 Mubarak speach, the ultimate Arab insult.
      5. The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall shall execute kings in the
            day of His wrath.
            [The Son of God executes judgement. As far as the literal execution
             of kings, the Hebrew word means “to break apart. Hence, kingdoms
             are breaking apart.]

      “Arab nations, change your behavior and free yourself from these kings.” 3
                journalist Saad Fakhreddine, Najaf

6. He shall judge among the nations; He shall fill the places with dead bodies; He shall execute the heads of many countries
[Two governments have fallen. Others have reshuffled their leadership. Citizens of Libya gunned down in streets of Tripoli. If Gadhafi captured, execution likely.]

“The ripples of protest have led to change in Jordan and Yemen. ..., Thousands have massed in the streets of Amman ... Yemen’s president Saleh ... will not seek another term ...” 4
“Unrest spreads to Persian Gulf states. Change appears at doorstep for wealthy, age-old dynasties.” 5
“In Libya, a nightmare ... blood is
everywhere.” 7

  1. Psalm 71:2, 4 - Deliver me!
    2. [viewpoint of rulers]
    4. [viewpoint of revolutionaries]
  1. Biblical Day Pattern for December 17, 2010 (chapters representing day 17 of appropriate books)
    1. Genesis 17:18-22 - Though Ishmael’s descendants would become a great nation, Isaac’s descendants would be the children of God’s covenant. The Bible later says this covenant would be based on belief and trust in the Son and not the blood of one’s birth. While this might have little significance for atheists and agnostics, it’s critical to understanding Christianity, Judaeism and Islam.
    2. Exodus 17:2-4 - Uprising
    3. Job 17:1, 2 - Perspective of Tunisian fruit vendor on December 17.
      1, 2. My spirit is broken, my days are extinguished, the grave is ready
                for me. Are not mockers with me? And does not my eye dwell on
                their provocation?
                “Inspired by the suicide of a Tunisian man (December 17, 2010)
                 more than a dozen men have set themselves on fire in the
                 Middle East ... to show their opposition to governmental
                  repression and corruption.” 1
    4. Isaiah 47:11, 14 - No one saw this coming; not the CIA, not the Mossad, not the Arab autocrats themselves.
      11. ... And trouble shall fall upon you, ... and devastation will come
                  upon you suddenly, which you shall not know.
      14. Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they
              shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame ...
              “Following Bouazizi’s example, at least 13 men, most in Egypt
                 and Algeria ... have set themselves alight.” 1
              “This was the spark ... that set Tunisia on fire.” 1
                                                                                         Sultan Scoud Al Qassem
              “It’s like a transition moment in the Arab world. It’s the influence
                 of the Tunisian domino,and it will not stop.” 2
                                                                  Mohammed Abu Rumman, Jordan
    5. Jeremiah 17:4-6, 27 - A fire has been kindled; rebellious dwell in a parched land; a fire kindled in its gates
      “New form of protest in Middle East: Setting Yourself on fire.” 1
      “But from North Africa to the Arabian peninsula ... they want change ... their wrath ...”
      “This continent is on fire.” 6
                                                Bono
    6. Jeremiah 47:2 - Metaphor of a tsunami
      2. ... “Behold, waters rise out of the north, and shall be an overflowing
            flood; they shall overflow the land and all that is in it, the city
            and these who dwell within; ...”
           “And whether or not Hosni Mubarak manages to survive what
            one analyst called a political tsunami that is enveloping the Arab
            world things will never return to normal ...” 2
           “... A tidal wave of anti-government protest is gathering as it
             spread across North Africa and the Middle East.” 8
           “... In the wave of protest that has swept the Middle East the past
             month ...” 9

  2. A fire in the Middle East was certainly kindled on December 17, 2010. While it caught the world by complete surprise, God seems to have known about it some 2500 years ago. For the sake of calm in the Middle East, we hope the uprising that began December 2010 turns out differently than the Iranian revolution of 1979. Instability in the Middle East, however, may in God’s timing push Israel ever closer to recognizing Christ, the Messiah, as their only hope. The Bible assures us this will happen. Regardless of when it does, the geopolitics of the world will continue to unfold according to the word of God. Of that, we can be sure.

 

Amos

 

 

To everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under heaven ...
                                                                                                                         Ecclesiastes 3:15

 

    1. New Form of Protest in Middle East: Setting Yourself on Fire; abcnews.go.com; January 24, 2011
    2. Fearless protesters challenge regimes around Middle East; Los Angeles Times; January 30, 2011
    3. Eyes of the Middle East are on Egypt; USA Today; February 1, 2011
    4. Jordan, Yemen grapple with effects of protests; USA Today; February 3, 2011
    5. Unrest spreads to Persian Gulf states; The Associated Press; February 13, 2011
    6. Reaction to Mubarek’s resignation; U2 lead singer Bono; February 2011
    7. In Libya, a nightmare; USA Today; February 24, 2011
    8. Russia Today; February 2011
    9. Gadhafi’s forces strike back; Associated Press; February 25, 2011

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