China Sends a Clear Message

Apart from the faithful promises of the Lord, life on our planet would be disconcerting and perhaps scary! For those tuned into world events, it is clear the world we live in is not the one in which we grew up. Political turmoil, crashing economies, looming wars and escalating natural disasters greet us each waking moment, and lawlessness seems to the norm.

Geopolitically, China is overtaking the US as the world’s foremost superpower. A weak US administration emboldens rogue regimes, and both Russia and China smell blood in the water. It is China, though, who is positioned to fill the void left by America’s slump into irrelevance.

The picture above sends a loud and clear message, and one believers might see as prophetic. This week, China proudly took center stage in brokering an agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, two countries typically mortal enemies. Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is dominated by Sunni Muslims, while Iran is the Shia Muslim stronghold. The split between Sunni and Shia Muslims occurred in the 600’s, soon after Mohammad died, and resulted from a harsh disagreement as to whether successive caliphs should be from the original blood line of Mohammad, or should be the most qualified, regardless of heritage. Sunnis are traditionalists, believing the caliphate should remain among Mohammad’s lineage, while Shia Muslims believe differently. Because of the disagreement, the chasm between the two sects of Islam has been deep and wide since the seventh century.

Bible students who study Ezekiel 38 might immediately say, “Hold on…wait a minute! Doesn’t the prophet Ezekiel indicate that Saudi Arabia will be a non-active spectator when Iran and company invade Israel? Indeed, that is correct. So why are Saudi Arabia and Iran cutting agreements, and why is China brokering them?

Keep in mind that Saudi Arabia was favorable to former President Trump, and would likely have signed on to the Abraham Accords had the Trump administration been re-elected. Things turned sour once Biden took office and immediately offended Saudi Arabia with staunch allegations concerning the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Then, when Saudi Arabia’s largest gas fields were attacked by Iranian-backed fighters in Yemen, the US did very little to assist.

Thus, though Saudi Arabia may still sign on to the Accords someday, it seems they may be using Iran to pressure America, and the fact China is brokering the deal certainly sends a message as to who the world now sees as the power broker. But what does Saudi Arabia want from the US?

It is likely that Saudi Arabia is looking for protection in the region. Iran is a bitter enemy, but without the backing of the US, it may be in Saudi Arabia’s best interest to make agreements with Iran rather than be at odds with them.

Unfortunately, the spat between Saudi Arabia and America spills over to Israel, though. It is no secret that Iran is very close to nuclear breakout, and once they are, they have already threatened to wipe Israel off the map. With her back to the wall, Israel has little option than to pre-emptively strike Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to protect herself. Yet, in the new deal, it is believed that Saudi Arabia has cut off their airspace to use by Israel, thus making access for airstrikes on Iran very limited.

What will Israel do? We don’t know for sure, but they are running out of time to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power and using it against them. It seems Israel literally has only days to take action to stop (or at least hinder) Iran’s quest for the bomb and a warhead to deliver it.

Anchor strongly to the Rock of our salvation, dear friends. Our world is shaking, just as Scripture warns. But be of good cheer…faithful is He who has overcome the world!

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