Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Matthew 24

Mar 21, 2011 No Comments by

It never ceases to amaze me! Just watching and observing the news of the world and then linking them to the words of Jesus. It must be overwhelmingly depressing to hear of all the chaos, if you have no faith in Jesus and no bible base to explain it all. Right now it seems like His remarks in Matthew 24 are of great significance.

Consider verse 7 “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes.” These things He said, ‘are merely the beginning of birth pangs.’ (v8)

Thos events may look and feel dramatic at the time but in fact they are like labour pains, He said. There is a new day coming is the encouraging bit.

Right now the world media is absorbed with Japan and Libya and that is appropriate. Both are of great significance.

But don’t miss the mini-war between Saudi Arabia and Iran currently in progress.

Let me explain. Just a week ago the government imposed martial law in Bahrain. Immediately Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates sent security forces to the tiny island state. It is rare for one Arab nation to cross the borders to another but they did.

The serious concern by Saudi Arabia demanded action. Usually the Saudi royals operate as backroom boys but as their neighboring royals came under threat, they reacted.

While Bahrain is extremely important to Saudi Arabia economically, the insurrection poses a more dangerous threat. Bahrain has a 70 percent Shi’a Moslem population. The Saudi royals have already had to deal with unrest by its own Shi’a subjects and the danger is obvious. Encouragement could cross the border bringing inspiration, encouragement and threat to enthuse and inflame further unrest in Saudi Arabia.

To quell that possibility halting rebellion in Bahrain became paramount. Saudi soldiers on the march also sent a signal to the Shi’ite regime in Iran who are suspected of fueling the fire, anyway.

The surprise came because Saudi Arabia opted to send their soldiers to Bahrain. Could it be they are losing confidence in the USA’s ability to contain Iran and its growing list of cohorts.

This show of force by the Saudis and their recent multi-million dollar purchase of military firepower indicates their preparedness for encounters with Iran.

The Sunni-Shi’a struggle is intense. Saudi Arabia is not going to take a backseat to the Iranian (Persian/ Shi’ite) plan to lead the Moslem world.

The U.S.A has remained relatively quiet about the developing crisis. After all, Saudi Arabia and their royal family have been honored guests in Washington with their abundant oil supplies an important factor.

The growing power base of Iran concerns the Sunnis.
Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal declared that the US 2006 invasion of Iraq, provided a gift to Tehran. King Abdullah, not so long ago, called on the U.S. to ‘cut off the head of the snake’ referring to Iran.

The battle in Bahrain right now is a struggle between Saudi Arabian forces and Iranian-sponsored Bahraini fighters. That is a bonfire waiting for a match.

The impact within the oil market alone is certain to affect us all.

We have learned to live with Washington waffle lately. This is where so-called ‘powerful’ leaders say nothing for fear they may stir something they can’t control.

Wait and see has been the name of the game. But what the world needs right now is positive, thoughtful leadership.

On leadership I like what Jesus said. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Matthew 24: 35)

He announced another certainty.

“For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.” (Matthew 24: 44)

You can watch the news, and worry about the chaos around us. I just think His coming is our only solution.

Ron's Rave

About the author

Ron Ross worked as the first Sports Editor at WINTV. In Wollongong. He ran The Hamburger Hut an outreach and discipleship program for youth. He served with Youth With a Mission in Hawaii, Philippines and Australia. He was senior pastor of the Noosa Baptist Church, Queensland for 9 years. He reported news from Jerusalem for five years and is now the Middle East correspondent for United Christian Broadcasters and travels regularly preaching and teaching.
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