I had the honor of attending a conference in Jerusalem that assembled Christians leaders from throughout the Middle East. I had the privilege of documenting it, too. But before I share some testimonies with you, I wanted to give you context to the meeting.
The conference was called “At the Crossroads,” and its purpose was to seek God’s strategy in the Middle East in this time of political upheaval.
Egypt just held the first elections since the ousting of Hosni Mubarak, and the world is watching to see if they choose a secular or Islamic leader. I believe that how Egypt goes, the Middle East will go. While the Arab Spring began in Tunisia, the movement really began shaking the region and the world when the Egyptians threw out Mubarak. So Egypt’s leadership choice may set the tone for the other nations who have had revolution, are in the midst of it or are contemplating it.
Before the Arab Spring, a radical prophecy
The first half of Isaiah is filled with judgments on Israel as well as the nations around her. The words of warning and woe are often punctuated with promises filled with hope, mercy and grace.
Isaiah 19 is such a word. The chapter begins:
This is a prophecy about Egypt:
Look! ADONAI is riding a swift cloud, on his way to Egypt.
Before him Egypt’s idols tremble, Egypt’s courage melts within them. (CJB)
Study of the whole chapter is fruitful. Delve in, especially if you have a heart for the Middle East. Perhaps we’ll do a verse by verse study on this site in the future.
Next week we’ll have more clues whether Islamic rule is the “cruel master” of verse 4 that will eventually move the Egyptian people to cry out to the God of Israel (Egyptians crying out to the God of ISRAEL — pause and think about for a bit).
However, for this writing, we are just concerned with the last three verses of chapter 19. If this is new to you, read it slowly. Take in every word.
On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Ashur.
Ashur will come to Egypt and Egypt to Ashur,
and Egypt will worship with Ashur.
On that day Isra’el will be a third partner
with Egypt and Ashur, a blessing here on earth;
for ADONAI-Tzva’ot has blessed him:
“Blessed be Egypt my people,
Ashur the work of my hands
and Isra’el my heritage.” (CJB)
Who is Ashur?
We know Israel. We know Egypt. Who is Ashur?
God used Assyria to judge the Northern Kingdom of Israel.
We’ve never seen such a partnership of worship of the God of Israel in the region, not on grand scale. And many, many people have received revelation from the Holy Spirit — some independently of one another — that this word is for today. (More about that later.)
So then, who is Assyria today?
So it seems Assyria is mostly comprised of Israel’s antagonists, mostly Muslim nations.
In the natural this looks impossible and even foolish. Some of these nations are Israel’s sworn enemies. Some have a very cool relationship with Israel. Some have been allies after being attackers. If you read even a little Middle East news, know a little Middle East history, you know the relationships are tense, often antagonistic and very complicated.
God says these nations are his handiwork. He calls Egypt “my people.”
Despite the political and religious rhetoric flying about, the foundation of this “highway” is a reality. There are facts on the ground, as they say, defying the political wisdom and religious dogma.
There are Christians — true followers of Jesus — in these nations who love Israel and pray for her. These aren’t any Christians. Many of them are Muslim background believers. They are former Muslims who had very personal encounters with Jesus, who left Islam — some still with bounties on their heads — to follow the Jewish Messiah.
God is taking Israel’s enemies, reveling Himself to them and giving them a love for Israel.
There are houses of prayers in most, if not all, of these nations filled with Christians with three main objectives:
- To worship the Creator God and His Messiah, Yeshua
- To intercede for Israel
- To intercede for their nation
In Isaiah 62:6-7, God says:
I have posted watchmen on your walls, Yerushalayim;
they will never fall silent, neither by day nor by night.
You who call on ADONAI, give yourselves no rest;
and give him no rest till he restores Yerushalayim
and makes it a praise on earth.
Intercessors in Israel take this verse very seriously and quite literally. The 24/7 houses of prayer cry out to God day and night for Israel and for the nations, are praying for God to make Jerusalem a praise on the earth (if anything, it is a curse in many mouths today).
The astounding thing is that some of these watchmen who God has put on the spiritual walls of Jerusalem are inside her neighbor nations. Who are these watchmen?
- Palestinian refugee in Lebanon
- former Hezbollah member
- former assassin for the Palastinian Liberation Organization
- former Kurdish rebel commando who was prepared to be a suicide bomber for his cause
- former nominal Muslim and alcoholic and wife beater in Turkey
- Egyptian Coptic Christian who discovered God’s faithful love for Israel just by reading her Bible
As you can imagine, divulging details about most of these men and women would put their lives at risk. But over the next week or two, I will share about three Believers whose stories are already in the public domain.
If you have a heart for the Middle East and have a desire to see peace, meditate and pray into God’s radical peace plan, His highway of worship running through Egypt, Israel and Assyria.