Trouble in the Fertile Crescent

When the ancient Hebrews were told that God was going to bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey, they were promised a very small strip of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Desert (the whole area is sometime called “the fertile crescent“). The nation of Israel was founded on that fragile land bridge between the superpowers of Egypt and Mesopotamia (in ancient times, Assyria, Babylonia, Persia; today, Iran and Iraq).┬áToday Iraq is barely stable, Iran is a simmering cauldron of religious dominance and youthful longing for modernization. And today Egypt burns.

On New Year’s Day a bomb went off outside a Coptic Church. Twenty-three people killed. Today there is rioting and looting in all the major cities. No one knows what will happen next. Other countries in the region watch and wait. What country will have the next revolutionary uprising?

I think so often about the land promised to Abraham, and how it was not a promise of the easy life, of continual peace and prosperity. That never was the case. So what do we say God has promised people today in Christ? When I watch riots in the streets of a burning city just a few hundred miles from the land “flowing with milk and honey,” I’m reminded that Christ offers us the way back to God so that we have faith, hope, and love. But there is no guarantee of peace in the world. But where any believer in any part of the world can do one small thing to bring peace, then “blessed are the peacemakers” applies. Pray for the peace of Egypt.

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