Iranians, angry about corruption and the economy, are protesting in large numbers throughout Iran. Unemployment has climbed to almost 13% and the millions of dollars received from the United States in the 2015 nuclear deal have failed to ignite an economy mired in corruption. International sanctions were also removed in 2015, but that, too, has failed to bring economic relief.
Human rights are also being contested, vividly demonstrated by women brave enough to remove their hajib (required head covering) and wave them in defiance. Protesters are calling for the ouster of President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, as well as cessation of funding to Hezbollah (in order to fund their own economy).
Here’s a look at the action in Iran:
Additional images, footage and information regarding the protests are found here. In addition, there are reports of possible exodus of unknown personnel from Iran via unmarked aircraft with no callsigns or destinations. (I have been unable to confirm or dismiss the latter reports, but if true, are significant developments.)
As always, it is important to put news of current events in Biblical context. We know that Iran will ultimately participate with Russia and others in an invasion of Israel (Ezekiel 38). We also know that, ultimately, all nations will be judged according to how they treat Israel (Joel 3:2). In that regard, we know Iran, as a nation, stands on the wrong side of the Genesis 12:3 equation: God will bless those who bless Israel and will curse those who curse Israel.
But consider this: Joel 3:2 indicates it will be nations, not individuals, who will be judged. A nation, ruled by evil rulers, will incur judgment that will certainly impact its citizens. However, judgment of individuals is reserved for salvation, and God’s Word tells us He desires none should perish, but that all repent (2 Peter 3:9), and come to salvation.
Where does that leave us? Above all, pray for salvation for the people of Iran. Widespread revival is happening there, as Jesus makes Himself known to them. Secondly, though we know Iran will ultimately be judged, God is able to turn the hearts of leaders wherever He wishes (Psalm 21:1). Let’s pray that the hearts of leaders in Iran will be softened to turn, or that new leaders will be enthroned. Finally, let’s pray that the Lord delays the inevitable in order that many others come to faith in the God of Israel.
Let’s make 2018 a year of earnest prayer! Are you with me?