The world in general, and the Middle East in particular, has been likened to a giant chessboard with two arms coming out from heaven picking up chess pieces representing nations and moving them around. Man?s decisions determines the direction of the pieces. As one piece is moved, the opponent responds in tandem according to his own set of values, strategies and ideals.
This is what appears to be happening from the natural, human perspective but there is another force at work in the world and it is spiritual. To some this may sound strange but to the Christian, Jew and even the Muslim, this is a truth. Faith and religion are at the core of the world?s problems and the source of all unrest.
Much of the world, if not the universe, is defined or given definition by a God-centered world-view. There are atheists and agnostics to be sure, but when analyzing the Middle East, religion is a major factor scientifically, socially, culturally, and politically.
Regarding the Middle East, we have history on the human side describing the origins and the cultural make-up of various countries with their respective geopolitics. This history includes God?s sovereign role as well. Both are described in detail in the world?s oldest book, the Bible. In it we learn the history of the Middle East and its various people groups to include the Jews who have a very long and deep rooted connection to the land of Israel. Outside of faith and religion, there is no other plausible explanation as to why the tiny speck of land known as Israel is the most hotly contested piece of real estate in the world and the Temple Mount the most sought after possession.
In the Bible we read of God?s manipulation of kings and governments and of what has happened to nations which sought to do harm to Israel and the Jewish people. The God of the Bible is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. His promises are sure and He cannot lie neither does He change. Therefore the Bible, God?s Word, is the only reliable source from which we can gain a true and accurate account of the Jewish people and their attachment to the land of Israel which so many today are trying to deny or erase.
In the beginning, God established a perfect system to govern and guide mankind. When that which is perfect is tampered with it results in imperfection. When we breach the laws of God or attempt to change His natural order, there are serious consequences. Turning away from God always results in harm and disorder. Being just and fair, God imposes His will on no one. He gives us the ability to choose and this is what separates man from the animals. When we choose God?s ways we can be sure we?ll be blessed. So in the natural order of things, God?s laws of nature cannot be broken without negative repercussions and mankind is busy today breaking them left and right.
The same is true on the cosmic chessboard of world affairs. All our human moves of the chess pieces result in positive, beneficial rewards if done according to God?s will or we suffer negative consequences. When people transcend or break the standards established by God, this spells trouble.
We are living in a time when the world is turned upside down calling evil good and good evil. We have broken and are continuing to break the moral and ethical laws of God and the negative consequences of our actions and decision are manifesting in our homes and families, schools, governments, places of worship, courts, and in our communities as well as on the international level. The results of our misdeeds are in the news every day and what we are seeing is a world in turmoil – a world that is unstable and growing more so every day.
Christians are taught in the New Testament of the Bible that as the end of time approaches there will be ?wars and rumors of wars.? It goes on to say that people will become lovers of themselves not caring for the welfare of others, lovers of money, proud and arrogant, abusive, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good and preferring evil, reckless, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but without God. In short, we will be like Sodom and Gomorrah; embracing and celebrating sin and turning away from that which is right and pure. It?s easy to see that as the world distances itself farther and farther from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our families, our societies and our governments are spinning faster and faster out of control. Look at the United States. A country which was once abundantly blessed is now rapidly becoming almost third world. There is rioting in the streets. A complete lack of respect for authority. Police are being gunned down. Children are murdering parents and vice-versa. Gender is no longer defined by birth but is now a matter of choice. Same sex marriages, which violate God?s natural order for pro-creation, are now the norm. Clubs glorifying Satan are petitioning their way into public schools. The door has been opened wide for pedophiles to harm children by making bathrooms places of gender neutrality. Meanwhile, the courts have outlawed prayer to God in public places. The Ten Commandments have been removed from public property. School children are often forbidden to read the Bible or pray at school even when on their own time. Abortion is acceptable. Free speech has been outlawed if such speech involves God. Christians and Jews are being ridiculed for their faith but the religious beliefs of Muslims and others is being fervently protected. Political scandals are no longer shocking. Lies and cheating are almost expected behaviors.
God is moving the spiritual pieces on the chessboard according to how we humans move our natural chess pieces. The farther away from Him we move, the farther away moves His hand of protection. God?s strategy was clearly defined through Moses to the Israelites. He revealed what was going to happen if the Israelites disobeyed and, by extension, the rest of the world as well. Living contrary to the Sovereign of the Universe has serious consequences. Is it too late to turn back? The world?s decline did not happen overnight. If positive change is to take place, it must first start in the heart. Christians must rise up and be true and fervent in our faith. Not just when people are watching but, more importantly, when we think we are all alone. When Christians closely follow the teachings of Christ, genuine love is the outward manifestation of this relationship.
The world needs to get it right because in the end God is going to say ?Check mate? and we Christians will either hear the words, ?Well done thy good and faithful servant,? or ?Depart from me for I never knew you.? The choice is ours.