As I write this blog entry, violence continues to escalate in the lands of the Middle East, particularly in the North African country of Libya where pro-government security forces, the police and the military have killed at least hundreds of people over the past five days. According to the latest news reports, even funeral mourners have not remained immune to the violence. As they have marched in their processions, carrying their dead from the previous days' violence to their final resting place, they have been attacked and killed by government forces loyal to long-time dictator Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi -- or al-Gaddafi as some people prefer to spell it.
While the current unrest originally centered in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi -- which is not only Libya's second largest city after Tripoli, but also a long-time political trouble spot for Colonel Gaddafi -- it has now spread to other Libyan cities as well, including the capital of Tripoli itself.
As has occurred in other Arab and Muslim nations in recent weeks, in an effort to appease the angry masses, the government of Libya made lukewarm offers of reform. In a late-night televised speech, Gaddafi's son and heir-apparent, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, disclosed the particulars of the reform package; but his speech was repeatedly highlighted by a strong warning that "Libya is not Tunisia or Egypt".
The message was clear; Colonel Gaddafi will not allow to happen in Libya, what has already occurred in Libya's neighbors to the East and to the West. The government will fight back and crush the opposition. As Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi stated during his speech, "We will fight until the last man, until the last woman, until the last bullet".
When Libya's democracy revolution began last week, I was rather dubious that the Libyans would be as successful as the Tunisians and the Egyptians appear to have been. The events of the past few days -- which have been marked by so much government-supported violence -- seemed to bolster my belief. However, according to the latest news reports, there is a glimmer of hope, and it may possibly be that the tide is beginning to turn against Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi.
For example, it is being claimed that in Benghazi, certain "special forces" assisted the protesters -- even lending them their tanks -- so that they were able to overcome the local headquarters of the state security services. Furthermore, the well-known pan-Arab satellite television station, Al Jazeera, is reporting that two of Libya's most powerful tribes -- the al-Warfalla and the al-Zuwayya -- have turned against Colonel Gaddafi, and are now demanding that he leave the country.
So while Gaddafi and his thugs continue to try to overpower the people through fear, intimidation and brutal violence, all they are doing is creating new enemies for themselves, amongst those who were once loyal to them.
The brutal violence that is now occurring in Libya is totally unacceptable. That any leader would be so desperate to hold on to power that he would be willing to kill his own people is an absolute disgrace and a crime. Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi has been in power for forty-two long years. What more does he want? It is time for him -- and his family -- to step down now, and to allow the people of Libya the opportunity to forge their own democratic way forward, without fear of brutal government reprisal in any form.
But there is a much larger question looming here, and that is: What is God doing?
As I have mentioned before, I have no doubt that He is doing something. No one -- not the governments of the Middle East themselves, or Western analysts -- could have foreseen or predicted the current wave of protest which is sweeping the lands of North Africa and the Middle East. As some news agencies are reporting, even a few months ago, such events were totally unthinkable. They simply weren't on anyone's radar at all. But then, suddenly, with just one small spark -- and it was indeed a literal spark when a man set himself on fire in Tunisia in protest of his dire financial situation -- a raging fire of protest has been ignited.
So I have no doubt that there is a supernatural element, a Divine Element, to all of this. To think that people only armed with their desire for freedom, and their conviction for change, could overcome two powerful governments which were armed to the teeth, defies the imagination. If the people of Libya also beat the odds -- and it may possibly happen -- then I will become even more convinced that God has set some unseen plan in motion, and I suspect that it may have a lot to do with the final events of the Endtime.
So keep your eyes on the Middle East, folks; because as I have stated before, God's Word indicates that it is there where the final events of the Endtime will unfold. The players are taking the stage, soon the curtain may drop, and what will we then behold?