Saudi oil facilities were attacked, in the latest oil-related skirmish in the Middle East — leading some observers to fear that this could escalate dangerously. Initially, Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed credit for the attack. Since then, the Trump administration accused Iran of conducting the attacks, and the Saudi government stated Iranian weapons were involved — all of which Tehran denies. This politically explosive blame game could end in war.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have been at odds for quite some time, but this latest saga in the ever-growing tension between the two has led me again to the passages of Ezekiel chapters 37, 38 and 39. There we find a 2,500-year-old prophecy that’s quite specific. Ezekiel tells us that there will be a coming war. On one side of that war is Persia. Students of history will remember that Persia is the ancient name for the land now occupied by modern-day Iran. On the other side of that conflict, where God Himself will intervene, is what is referred to as Sheba and Dedan, which is now ruled by – you guessed it – Saudi Arabia.
So as you can imagine, Biblical scholars around the world are paying close attention to this. Are we living in the days when those ancient prophecies from Ezekiel are about to be fulfilled? Current events certainly seem to be a pattern heading in that direction. We don’t need to fear, when it occurs prophecy is being fulfilled. Instead, we can look to these events as the reason to be hopeful.
Oftentimes prophecy can seem confusing, unclear, and even scary. Yet there are moments when I see that what we were told thousands of years ago is aligning with events in the present day. I say I’m hopeful, not crippled by fear, because these moments serve as a reminder that God and His Word can indeed be trusted. And when I think about what the final days in this world mean for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, I’m filled with joy at the thought of Jesus return to rule and reign with us at His side.
“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads because your redemption is drawing near,” Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Luke. So we do not fear that day. We look forward to the completion of our redemption with great anticipation. We pray as the early Church did, “Maranatha!” which means as a declaration, “The Lord is coming!” and also as a prayer, “Oh Lord, come!”
This article was based on an encouraging article by Ray Bentley of http://www.raybentley.com