The present war going on in Lebanon is not a war between Isaac (Israel) and Ishmael (Arabs, wandering tribes.) It is between Shiite Islam and the nation of Israel. In our blog we've been attempting to explain the differences between Shiite and Sunni Muslims and Arabs and the general Muslim population. (see other articles in the Middle East, Islam and Israel category.)
On July 17th there was a meeting by the Arab League and they refused to make a strong statement concerning Israel's reaction" to the Hezbollah provocation. This went, as far I can tell, largely unnoticed by the news outlets, but is significant in understanding the conflicts and where the sides are being drawn. The Arabs are not protesting this. Why?
Previous, we've said that all Arabs (those speaking Arabic) are not Muslims and that Islam (the religion of Muslims) is divided into two major factions (Sunni & Shiite.) In the present war (if you look at the Sunni Shiite map we provided) you'll see where the Shiites are primarily located. Hezbollah, located in Lebanon, is primarily a Shiite funded and encouraged organization. The Shiites are located in Iran, some in Syria, a good number in Iraq, some in Lebanon (mostly Hezbollah) and some in Gaza. This war is Shiite Islam against Israel and not many of the Sunnis (or perhaps not any) want to join the Shiites. At least not at the moment. They have long standing divisions and this war so far doesn't seem to be enough to unite them. While some of the Sunnis have a historical blood links to Ishmael, most of the Shiites do not. Iran, dominated by Shiites, is ancient Persia, a one time enemy of Israel (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.)
The world could not be any crazier at the moment. But for the Bible believing Christian, we've read the end of the book and we know how it finishes. We don't know everything in between, but we have some clues. Sooner or later Iran will invade Israel (Ezekiel 38.) Russia seems to be a likely accomplice from a study of that chapter. When all these things happen is anybody's guess... but it is much closer than it has ever been.
So remember what we say, "Keep your feet on the ground, your eyes to the sky and you're heart with people!" Add to that keep your nose in your Bible and your thumb in the newspaper!
LATE BREAKING NEWS: Al Queda calls for ALL Muslims to fight Israel. Al Queda doesn't seem to have much influence with Islamic nations or national leaders, but they do have some very dedicated networks of individuls from Islamic and non-Islamic nations worldwide. So far the Sunni nations aren't jumping in. We'll have to see how much sway Al Queda has and 'if' Hezbollah even wants to be associated with them. The plot thickens! Or Al Queda may be gasping for breath...
picture courtesy of the New York Times www.nytimes.com