God says in Hosea 4:6 that his people die because they lack knowledge. Knowing world events clues us in to where we are on the Biblical, prophetic time line. News should prompt us to pray for two things: that the eyes of the lost and deceived are opened to God’s love as expressed through the life and death and life of Yeshua and that God’s Kingdom come on earth.
Why so much Israel news? God always meant Israel to be an example to the nations, an example of His righteousness, His justice, His mercy, His love. She is also a signpost. Consider this. Zion, God’s other name of Jerusalem, means “signpost.” Messiah draws nigh. The events in Zion speak to that.
While the links posted here are mostly news items, some may be lighter and include websites and stories that caught my interest. To get news links in real time or to read my editorial commentary, visit my Twitter feed @RoamingChile or on my Facebook page.
When I first heard about the riots in Egypt, that Christians were being blamed and killed, I figured that would be the big news item of the week. Then Tuesday happened.
First, a friend alerted me to the the plot to assassinate the ambassador from Saudi Arabia. While Iranians are linked, I’m not convinced this was official Iranian action. Way too sloppy.
Then, just before I headed to the house of prayer Tuesday night, reports on Twitter that Israel had reached a deal to free 5-year POW Gilad Shalit. There were gasps when I announced it at Succat Hallel. People still quietly hold their breaths at the mention of his name. Pray for follow-through by Hamas. Already, there are reports that they want to add to the 1,027 prisoner list. That’s the ransom Israel is paying for ONE man.
There is a story below in which a rabbi says,
“Judaism places ultimate value on human life. Therefore in the Jewish tradition, in Jewish law, redeeming captives trumps just about everything else. It takes priority over anything else you can possibly do.”
When I read that, God’s love for us made complete sense for a moment:
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. –John 3:16-17 (AMP)
Our God, after all, is the Jewish God.
Sunday, October 9
- RC: Ah. So the Canary Islands are volcanic like Hawaiian Islands. Good to know.
Volcanic eruption alert on Spanish Canary Island
The regional government of the Spanish Canary Island of El Hierro has issued a volcanic eruption alert following almost 10,000 small tremors recorded in the past three months.
- Lack of rule of law in Egypt allows Islamists to pressure Christians
On her first day to school, 15-year-old Christian student Ferial Habib was stopped at the doorstep of her new high school with clear instructions: either put on a headscarf or no school this year.
Monday, October 10
- RC: By seeking UNESCO membership, Palestinians deny Jewishness of cultural sites. Jesus born a Jew, died a Jew in Judea.
With eye on UNESCO membership, Palestinians draw up long list of heritage sites
Minister says PA seeking World Heritage status for 20 sites, including Bethlehem and Hebron; U.S. and Israel see bid as unilateral move aimed at bypassing negotiations?
- Church Attack Spurs Deadly Egypt Riots
Massive clashes that drew in Christians angry over a recent church attack, Muslims, and Egyptian security forces raged over a large section of downtown Cairo Sunday night, leaving at least 24 people dead and more than 200 injured.
- “We are protesting Orthodox monopoly over who is a Jew in Israel & implications for marriage, divorce, burial”
Hundreds of Israelis to declare themselves ‘without religion’
Hundreds of people are expected to gather tonight on Tel Aviv’s Rothschild Boulevard to declare themselves “without religion.” The move follows the recent District Court ruling granting author Yoram Kaniuk recognition as “without religion” by the Interior Ministry.
Tuesday, October 11
- Wheaton’s (Unofficial) Homecoming for Gay Evangelicals
They’re loud, they’re proud and they’ll be wearing rainbows at Wheaton College’s big football game. How the OneWheaton alumni group is helping LGBT students at the Harvard of Evangelical schools, where being gay can get you kicked out.
- Egyptians March Against Coptic Deaths
Protester: ‘I cannot believe the Egyptian army is killing Egyptians’
- NPR: Egyptian TV showed footage of army vehicles deliberately chasing Coptic protesters and running over them
Grief Among Christians Turns To Rage In Egypt
In Cairo, the Coptic Christian community buried its dead Monday after violent clashes between protesters and Egyptian soldiers killed 25. The protesters were demanding the country’s military rulers protect them from attacks by radical Muslims. Now, Christian mourners are lashing out at those rulers.
- Egypt: Destroying Churches, One at a Time
What clearer sign that Egypt is turning rabidly Islamist than the fact that hardly a few weeks go by without a church being destroyed, or without protesting Christians being attacked and slaughtered by the military?
- RC: Is world media, not wanting to upset Muslims, ignoring cleansing of Christians in Egypt? WARNING: Graphic
The Egyptian Military’s Crimes Against Humanity
Sunday, the Egyptian military opened fire on thousands of Christians protesting in Maspero, Cairo. In the words of one Christian eyewitness, armored vehicles “came at great speed and drove into the crowds, going backwards and forwards, mowing people under their wheels.”
- RC: More religious Jews serving in the Israeli army, a pessimistic view
Is The Israeli Army Becoming Too Religious?
A new study shows ever more devout Jews are joining the Israeli military, and some wonder if the situation has reached a tipping point that could further push an already edgy region toward a religion-fueled showdown.
- RC: Don’t forget your persecuted brothers, Church! Caroline Glick makes case for Jesus’ warning of Matthew 25:31-26.
The forgotten Christians of the East
JUST AS the Jews of the Islamic world were forcibly removed from their ancient communities by the Arab rulers with the establishment of Israel in 1948, so Christians have been persecuted and driven out of their homes. Populist Islamic and Arab regimes have used Islamic religious supremacism and Arab racial chauvinism against Christians as rallying cries to their subjects. These calls have in turn led to the decimation of the Christian populations of the Arab and Islamic world.
Wednesday, October 12
- U.S. Says Iran-Tied Terror Plot in Washington, D.C. Disrupted
Plan Reportedly Included Assassination of Saudi Ambassador, Holder: U.S. to Hold Iran Accountable
- RC: Unless petty crime a good cover, this guy doesn’t act like elite Iranian spy.
Suspect in Saudi ambassador plot has Texas ties
One of the men accused of working for the Iranian government to assassinate the Saudi ambassador has lived in Texas for decades, and records show he has a history of arrests in the state for offenses including theft and evading arrest.
- 1,027 Palestinian prisoners to be released for 1 Israeli solider, Gilad Schalit, held for more than 5 years
Cabinet approves deal with Hamas: Schalit to return home
Deal passes 26-3 in cabinet vote; Israel to release 1,000 prisoners in two-stage process, including 1/3 serving life sentences; Netanyahu: My heart is with the families of terror victims.
- Hamas implies Shalit abduction not last: “We got 1,027 out of jail and we’ll recover the remaining 8,000 too.”
Tuesday night, Oct. 10, the Israeli cabinet by a majority of 26 approved the accord with Hamas for the release of Gilead Shalit. Three ministers opposed the deal – Avigdor Lieberman and Uzzi Landau of the Israel Beteinu party and Moshe Yaalon of Likud. The Israeli soldier will gain his freedom – probably next week – after he was hidden by Hamas in the Gaza Strip for more than five years. Israel will hand over 1,027 Palestinian terrorists, cutting short the life sentences of 280 mass murderers responsible for hundreds of Israeli deaths.
- Analysis: Hamas boosted, Fatah weakened by deal
Images of freed Palestinian prisoners will likely convince many Palestinians that Hamas is right.
- First person account of the Cairo, Egypt riots
Geopolitical Journey: Riots in Cairo
The sectarian unrest that broke out Oct. 9 shows how the Egyptian opposition’s assumption of a move toward democracy is grinding against reality.
- As rule of law comes undone, Egypt may grasp for stability in rigid military or religious rule to stave anarchy.
In The Wall Street Journal’s Global View column, Bret Stephens writes about the sectarian violence on the streets of Cairo—and Thomas Hobbes’s ‘war of all against all.’
- Gaza Becomes A Separate Nation: Visa Required to Enter
Hamas may have pre-empted the PA statehood bid with one of its own, creating facts on the ground in Gaza. A visa is now required to enter.
- Egyptian Blogger To Face Retrial; His Hunger Strike Approaches 50 Days
Maikel Nabil Sanad was not imprisoned, beaten or tortured while writing for five years until he criticized the post-Mubarak military leaders, his father says.
Thursday, October 13
- The Arbabsiar Case: Could Rogue Elements in Iran Be Behind It?
If the plot had borne fruit, the consequences could have been disastrous for Tehran, further exacerbating the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Iran’s “problem of the radicals” — zealots imperfectly programmed to behave rashly — can be beneficial & disastrous.
- RC: Has Iran gotten sloppy or is this a sloppy set up?
Questions about the alleged Iranian plot
I just spoke with former CIA operative Bob Baer who expressed his skepticism about the allegation that Iran was behind the plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Robert Baer is a former Middle East CIA field officer and TIME.com’s intelligence columnist.
- “Judaism places ultimate value on human life … redeeming captives trumps just about everything else”
Shalit swap based on ‘ultimate value of human life,’ rabbis say
Israel’s government approved an extraordinary deal Tuesday night — releasing more than 1,000 Palestinians from prison, including hundreds serving life sentences for attacks on Israelis, in exchange for a single slender young Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
Friday, October 14
- A pact signed in Jewish blood
Counting the cost of Gilad Schalit, what Hamas really wanted and where is the Netanyahu of old.
- RC: Continue to pray for Gilad Schalit, that his heart and mind are healed.
What Schalit needs: Peace, quiet, and treatment for PTSD
Its a very difficult transition to go from being in a dungeon all by yourself to suddenly in a free society, former POW says.
Saturday, October 15
Hamas PM: ‘Today we free prisoners, tomorrow Al-Aksa’, which is on the Temple Mount (JPost)
Hamas PM: Today we free prisoners, tomorrow Al-Aksa (on the Temple Mount)
Hamas says Hezbollah sent it report in 2006 detailing how to broker exchange deal with Israel; Hamas briefs Gaza groups on details of deal.
- Malki calls timing of Schalit deal suspicious
PA Foreign Minister accuses Hamas of intentionally stealing limelight from Palestinian statehood bid; Abbas welcomes prisoner exchange.
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