Soon after the civil unrest in Egypt began, and new flames of protest began to erupt in other countries of the Middle East, I stated to my readers that, in my view, there was/is only one of two ways in which this will all end: Either the corrupt, oppressive governments of the Middle East will acquiesce to the will of their people, and embrace democratic reform, or else they will brutally attack and oppress their constituents in a bloody wave of violence. My hunch was that it would be the latter. Sadly, that has now turned out to be the case.
As I said before, make no mistake. After the "Jasmine Revolution" resulted in the fall of Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and the "January 25th Revolution" resulted in the fall of Egyptian dictator Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, the corrupt leaders of the Middle East were shaking in their boots. They all realized that they could be next, and that is why a few of them -- such as King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, etc. -- made half-hearted efforts to convince their people that they were open to democratic reform, and that they were willing to address the complaints of their constituents.
It is now plain to see that it was all a farce, and a poor one at that. From Algeria, to Tunisia, to Libya, to Egypt, to Jordan, to Yemen, to Iraq, to Iran, to Bahrain, every single one of these governments has reacted in the same way to the demands of their people; and that can be summarized in three words: violent, brutal crackdowns!
As I write these lines, people are dying by at least the dozens, or by the hundreds, at the hands of pro-government forces in each of these lands. From Algiers, Algeria, to Benghazi, Libya to Tehran, Iran, blood is being spilled by the military, by the police and by pro-government supporters of corrupt leaders who refuse to step down.
For now, there appears to be no end in sight to the bloody violence which has enveloped the Middle East. The more blood that is spilled, the more the people become enraged. But the question is: How much more are they willing to take? How many more people will be willing to sacrifice their lives in order to bring down their corrupt governments? Will they endure as the people of Tunisia and Egypt have endured, or will they be mercilessly crushed?
Speaking of Tunisia and Egypt, while the key initial phase of their revolutions may be past, don't think for a minute that the objectives of the people have been fully met. For example, in Tunisia, the people are still demanding that the interim government resign, but without success; while in Egypt, reports have surfaced of continuing imprisonment and torture by the military after Hosni Mubarak's fall. These acts have only served to fuel suspicions regarding the true intentions of the Egyptian military. Personally, from the little that I know, I still don't trust them, and I continue to suspect that they are playing one shrewd game with the populace; but I am not Egyptian, I don't live there, and I don't personally know the people who are involved . . . but I do know human nature, because God's Word -- the Bible -- sums it up for us quite well when it says the following:
Before concluding this commentary, I do feel that it is important that I clarify my own position regarding the current violence and unrest in the Middle East. As my long-time readers already know, I am not a man of violence. I don't support violence of any kind, for any cause, no matter how noble that cause may seem in the eyes of the secular world. As Jesus Himself said to Peter on that fateful night:
". . . Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."
Matthew 26:52b, KJV
And there are many other verses in the Bible -- which I share in my many articles -- which support my position of non-violence.
I also believe that God raises up the leaders that He wants in place for a time, in order to fulfill His Divine Purposes, whatever they may be, even evil rulers. This position is likewise supported by a number of verses in the Bible. Consider these example verses:
"Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another."
Psalms 75:5-7, KJV
"Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:"
Daniel 2:20-21, KJV
Such was the case with King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, for example. He was a pagan, evil, violent king; and yet, he served as an instrument in God's Hands, to punish the wayward, backslidden Jews of Judah about 2,600 years ago. In fact, in the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, God even referred to Nebuchadnezzar as His servant, because that evil king was performing His will, by serving as His instrument of judgment against the Jews. Consider this verse:
"And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him."
Jeremiah 27:6, KJV
So, I firmly believe that God gives people the government that they deserve, and apparently need. In fact, sometimes these cruel, oppressive governments serve to break and humble their people, particularly when they are in rebellion against the Lord, as the vast majority of the people of the Middle East currently are. Let's not forget that aside from the small minorities of oppressed Christians who live in some of these countries, the vast majority of the people of the Middle East are Muslims who soundly reject the Messiahship of Jesus Christ. As I point out in my articles, similar to the Jews, they don't even believe that God has a son.
In short, we should not question the workings of the Lord, even if we do not understand them. If anything, we should pray that through their suffering, some of these people will truly come to know the God of the Bible, and the Salvation which He offers them through the atoning Sacrifice of His dear Son, Jesus Christ.