Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Crisis of Hope

The following is a message I just received from Canon Andrew White, the Anglican Vicar of Baghdad:

"We are in a crisis throughout the Middle East. We can look at things politically or spiritually. My work is both the political and the Spiritual but today I want to concentrate on the Spiritual. For a long while now I have spoken of the significance of the end of Isaiah 19. Today that passage seems more significant than ever. As over a million people gather in Cairo. It is a people who number in biblical proportions. If the Old Testament was being written today this gathering of opposition would be mentioned. Theologians would in years to come say that there were really not that many people. The fact is that today it is on camera. It cannot be denied. As hundreds of thousands gather the fear and ripple of these masses can be felt in the surrounding countries. So far this crisis has hit Tunis, Yemen, Lebanon and Egypt. Today the crisis has moved to Jordan. The King has sacked the government. Replaced the Prime Minister with the former Ambassador to Israel, like the King he is a friend of Israel. So in the Arab world there are cries for democracy. In Israel the peace process has fallen to pieces and here in Iraq the violence has radically increased. The attacks against Christians have been the worst they have ever been. The cry goes out “what next”. Meanwhile thousands of years ago the prophet Isaiah wrote:


So the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the LORD. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the LORD and keep them. 22 The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.


The Lord will strike Egypt; he will strike them and heal them. Is this what is happening? We cannot just see this with political eyes.


23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Iraq. The Iraqis will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Iraq. The Egyptians and Iraqis will worship together. 24 In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Iraq, a blessing[b] on the earth. 25 The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Iraq my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”
We hear now about the highway from Assyria/Iraq to Egypt through Israel this cannot happen without going through Jordan, the land which did not even exist in Isaiah’s time. The new Prime Minister has been appointed and it is Marouf al-Bakhit the former Jordanian Ambassador to Israel. A great friend of Israel. With the estimated two million turning out to protest in Cairo and hundreds of thousands in other Egyptian cities Jordan is not even hitting the news.


When things like today happen you just stand back in amazement and wonder what is happening. For several years I have gone back to Isaiah 19. Today it is beginning to happen we do not know what will happen next. I can only say the words at the beginning of each service the “The Lord is here and His Spirit is with us. Keep your eyes on Isa 19. And the words at the very end of the chapter.
The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Iraq my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”



Blessings

Andrew White

1 comment:

keithpp said...

In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance. — Isaiah 19:23-25

There are some who see what is happening in Egypt in Biblical terms, and specifically refer to Isaiah 19. I do not. I do not see the Bibical disaster of Isaiah being heaped on Egypt. Far from it. I see hope. I see hope that flickered into life in Tunsisia and led to the Jasmine Revolution and Ben Ali fleeing Tunisia like a rat up a drainpipe and hopefully followed soon by Mubarak hard on his heals.

- Middle East Peace Process