Much is said today about sectarian violence in the Middle East. Such violence is the result of conflict between various sects within a broader ideology.
Biblical history, past and future, reveals much about such conflict. The broader ideology in the Middle East today is embodied in relationships among such players as Ishmael, Esau (Edom) and his grandson Amalek, Abraham’s other sons through Keturah such as Midian, and Lot’s sons by incest who were progenitors of Ammon and Moab. This list isn’t meant to be complete, but rather representative.
One of Esau’s wives Mahalath, was a daughter of Ishmael.
These all settled primarily to the ‘East’ of Canaan although Amalek settled south of Israel in the Sinai Peninsula. Furthermore they were all predestined to be enemies of Isaac, the son of promise, born to Abraham and Sarah when Sarah was 90 years old and Abraham was 100.
Remember what God said to Satan as part of the curse.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed…” Genesis 3:15
Her ‘Seed’ would ultimately be Jesus Christ.
A great example of Biblical sectarian violence is found in the Book of Judges relative to Gideon.
Recall God used Midian, the Amalekites, and the ‘people of the East’ to chastise His people when ‘the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD.’
On a particular occasion Gideon was called by God to rescue His people from pending attack.
“Then all the Midianites and Amalekites, the people of the East, gathered together…” Judges 6:33
Gideon originally gathered thirty-two thousand troops together against the enemy.
“And the LORD said to Gideon, ‘The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, “My own hand has saved me.’”” Judges 7:2
As the story unfolded Gideon along with only three hundred stood before the countless enemies.
“Now the Midianites and Amalekites, all the people of the East, were lying in the valley…their camels were without number, as the sand by the seashore in multitude.” Judges 7:12
How did the three hundred fare? Gideon divided the three hundred into three companies and gave each man a trumpet.
“And every man stood in his place all around the camp… When the three hundred blew the trumpets, The LORD set every man’s sword against his companion…” Judges 7:21-22
We recently recorded the battle when Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir (Edom) came against Judah and Jerusalem.
“For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir (Edom) to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.” 2 Chronicles 20:23
Looking forward to the future, when God draws Israel’s enemies into their land, He will also set brother against brother. In the latter days God will draw the final ten nation confederation (coalition) into Israel.
“‘I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,’ says the Lord God. ‘Every man’s sword will be against his brother.’” Ezekiel 38:21
The countries referenced in Ezekiel’s prophecy extend from Northern Africa to Turkey, the Arabian Peninsula, and Iran.
And the Prophet Haggai summed it up succinctly.
“I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms. I will overthrow the chariots and those who ride in them…every one by the sword of his brother.” Haggai 2:22
The leader of the final kingdom with its ten nations will also experience sectarian violence in his final days.
“At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him…but news from the east and the north shall trouble him, therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many…” Daniel 11:40, 44
The enemies of Israel in generations past are the same nations causing Israel grief today. And they are listed among the same nations God will destroy when they come against His chosen, i.e. Israel, in the future.
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