Wednesday, February 02, 2011

A Christian's thoughts about Cairo, Horsemen, and Other News from Egypt

View from Cairo TowerView from Cairo Tower CC use Image via Wikipedia

By Jean Purcell 2/2/11

In recent hours in modern Cairo city, riders on horseback (and camels) cut through crowds of anger, fear, and violence among people walking and sitting along streets near Tahrir Square. The Bible speaks of power on horseback in ways that speak of past and future events, and horsemen are news from a city of fomenting frustration and dangers. This speaks to the skeptics' questions, "How could such things be (biblical prophecies about fast riders on horseback) in this automated, post-modern 21st century?" Others may wonder, seeing modern Cairo recently,
"Is the Bible more than imagery and symbol as I have thought?" 

This week, most protesters have continued to call for an end to the President Mubarak's rule. Others have called for his continuance; others, for all enmity to end. As fevers continue to rise, surely there is much fear, anger and likely terror among those in the streets, men and women fighting against or resisting each other, people of the same country and in some cases same religion, now in conflict, entrenched in their desires about how things should play out, and when.

Horsemen from pyramid areas came into Cairo, to enter the fray. Biblical references to such riders came to my mind early this morning, seeing the news from Cairo and reports of the night before. Considering today's world of automated transportation and war, we are reminded today, as in recent years, of a post-modern time when horses, camels, and donkeys are used as a matter of course in large parts of the world. In recent years, Iraq and Afghanistan have opened our physical eyes to this.

These horsemen prompted other thoughts and led to prayer and then to the keyboard, to try to write my thoughts as a Christian, sharing with you, also likely thinking of these things. 

The news of the day always gives the Christian writer much to think about. We can try to ignore the news of the day. However, those who do not yet know God, who waver in their thoughts of seeking God, are paying attention to the news. Therefore, at least some of us must pay attention, too. This is consistent with God's record of dealing with human beings. The spiritual mind must remain engaged, too. The spiritual mind submits to the wisdom of God. The spiritual mind receives strength from God to seek and to find what others cannot see, to discern, as it were, and to hear with ears truly open to more than words, but to God's sovereignty over the world.

If we are not moved to write, let us remain silent. If we are, may we do it responsibly, honestly/factually, and with an aim not to do harm, but to bring even the peace of Christ, the living Word, into the view of readers and listeners.The power of God is made perfect in our weakness to do more, in obedience to what He has said, and to remember His plans for those who will trust in Him: .

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11-NIV).

For Reflection: 

It is not a political comment to quote from Dr. Henry H. Halley of the middle of the previous century: "In a world where empires rise and fall, where all things die and pass away, we are reminded that God is Changeless, Timeless and Eternal, and (we are) promised by Him that His Nature may be imparted to us, and that we, like Him, and by His Grace, unhurt by Death, may Live On and On. Alive Forevermore! ...What a meaning it gives to Life! And what a comfort to saints then facing Martyrdom!"

We pray for all people in Cairo and all of Egypt, of whatever religion. We pray for Christian brothers and sisters - including of Coptic, Alexandrian, and Orthodox churches..


* Halley's Bible Handbook, commenting on Revelation 1:4. Revised edition, 1927 (1st edition)....1965 (24th edition). Regency/Zondervan, page 689.

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