Egypt is in transition. President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, clearing the way for the armed forces to restore order and shepherd a transition to civilian rule in the September elections. An Open Doors source in the area says the reaction by Egyptian Christians to his resignation is mixed, and it is unclear how the resignation will affect the country's 10 million minority Christians. A spokesperson with Voice of the Martyrs says Egypt's military doesn't have a very good track record when it comes to Christians. There is still much communication going on—e-mails, phone calls, facebooking, tweeting, blogging, and perhaps also an increase in Bible reading, as we try to discern the course Egypt will take and how it will affect the world.
There are at least three Scripture passages that will ultimately come to bear on Egypt:
Psalm 83 mentions a configuration of nations, Egypt conspicuously absent, who come against Israel. The psalmist vigorously implores God to intervene on Israel's behalf. Some believe this is a coalition of nations that is yet to come. Could Egypt come out of the present conflict with their treaty with Israel still intact even while other nations war against her? It's possible, though not likely.
Zechariah 12 and Zechariah 14 describe a time yet to come when all the nations of the world turn against Israel. Including Egypt? Obviously. The United States? Zechariah says "all the nations." Has the escalated distress/tribulation that is to engulf the whole world (see Matt. 24:21 and Dan. 12:1) already happened before all the nations come against Israel? It seems so, since Jesus said that the coming of the Lord and the gathering of the elect would come immediately after the distress/tribulation of those days (see Matt. 24:29-31), and Zechariah describes "all the nations" against Israel as the event that will trigger the return of the Lord to rule as king over the whole earth. Are we at this point? No, but the events in the Middle East and the growing world anti-Semitism are bringing us ever closer to that time.
There is a much more encouraging Scripture that has often been ignored as we ponder the events in the Middle East. Isaiah looked forward to a time when Egypt, along with Assyria (today's Iraq and other parts of the Middle East), would become a blessing in the whole world (see Is. 19:19-25).
Has this Isaiah-depicted scene ever happened? No. Is it therefore yet to come? Yes. Is this a picture of these nations during the millennium? Probably. But could it possibly describe some strange phenomenon that will happen before the Lord's return? Possibly. Why not let this be our prayer? Could this not be the most God-honoring outcome of the present conflict?
Lord, work a miracle in the Middle East. Turn the hearts of "Assyria" and Egypt to you even in our day. Let there be a spontaneous revival that bursts forth on the Middle East and changes the whole landscape of Israel and Israel's neighbors.
Bring Jewish people to acknowledge their own Messiah Yeshua, according to Isaiah's prediction (Is. 6:8-13) and Your own prediction of Matt. 23:39. Bring the surrounding nations to embrace those "greater riches" that would be released into the world when Israel comes into her "fullness" (Rom. 11:12).
We acknowledge You, Yeshua, as king of the whole world, even though the world as a whole does not yet recognize You. Amen.
About the author: Don Finto is the founder of The Caleb Company (calebcompany.com), a prophetic fathering ministry named after Israel's fearless warrior whom the Bible describes as a man with a "different spirit," who was still conquering territory into old age and whose descendants inherited the land. Don was pastor of Belmont Church in Nashville, Tenn., for more than 25 years where, during the height of the Jesus movement, his own personal encounter with the Holy Spirit enabled him to be a leader for many who were turning to Jesus during that time, including Jewish young people and some of the early contemporary Christian music artists.
Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.
Dare to go deeper in your faith. Our "Life in the Spirit" devotional takes you on a journey to explore who the Holy Spirit is, how to interact with Him, and how He works in your life. Are you ready to go deeper?