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Changes in the Middle East

Do we celebrate what has happened in Tunisia and Egypt, or wait with concern for the dust to settle? I think I’m doing both. In the Bible God shows no approval of tyrants, but neither does he show much support for unseating them. We might find that surprising, thinking God ought to support freedom and democracy. Maybe to stand back and view actual revolutions and consider their results might help us see why God might be less enthusiastic for regime change than we tend to be. The people of Russia, China and Iran all overthrew their governments in the 20th century. Did it improve the lot of the people? I’m not convinced that it did.
In Jesus’ day some Jewish Zealots were enthusiastic to oust their Roman overlords. Jesus positively discouraged such action. He is quoted as saying, “He who lives by the sword will die by it”. That might be because Jesus knew their insurrection was doomed; such a small nation could not resist the might of Rome. The Jews attempt at rebellion in AD 66 was crushed by AD 70.
Even successful rebellions, like the modern examples mentioned above, don’t always lead to positive change. Does that mean we should never try to make things better? Of course not - but such direct action should only be taken as a last resort and with and after much prayer. Prayer is something Egypt and Tunisia need at this moment. Please join in praying for them, that whatever emerges out of the current events is fairer and better for all who live there. Let us also pray for the other nations seeking to copy their example.


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Rev'd. Simon Gill Telephone: Sudbury 375334

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