We are living in incredibly interesting times! On one hand, we see creation groan as natural disasters ravage large areas of practically every continent. Wars and rumors of war are rampant, and the coalition described in Ezekiel 38 is solidly forming. In Matthew 24:3-8, Jesus told His disciples these would be signs of the end of the age.
But, on the other hand, we see unprecedented efforts of peace between Israel and the Arab world. For years, secret talks have taken place between high officials of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states and Israel. President Trump also visited Saudi Arabia soon after his election, bringing together leaders from those same Arab nations. That was the first large-scale openly public gathering centered on peace with the Israelis.
However, I was floored last night when I watched Egyptian President Abdul Fattah el-Sisi’s address to the UN General Assembly. In his speech, el-Sisi:
- Clearly stated his desire to “explore cooperation” in the region by strengthening without threatening.
- Spoke frequently about the establishment and legitimacy of “nation states.” This fits hand-in-glove with President Trump’s remarks advocating nationalism (rather than globalism).
- Adamantly condemned terrorism and those who reward terrorism (an indirect message to the Palestinian Authority).
- Went purposefully off-script to urge both Israelis and Palestinians to work toward compromise. This was in context of regional peace between Arabs and Jews.
As I think about this historic photo of el-Sisi and Benjamin Netanyahu’s meeting prior to the UN meetings, showing obviously favorable relations never before seen publically, it leads to these questions: is a deeper relationship forming between Israel and Egypt, and will we see President el-Sisi take the lead in regional peace talks?
That would truly be unprecedented…at a very interesting time in history. The birth pains of Matthew 24:8 appear to be well underway. Could the Lord relent and allow a time of peace? It seems improbable, but then, God is not often predictable! Regardless, the times in which we live are interesting indeed!
I encourage you to watch el-Sisi’s speech. It is truly historic. Enjoy!