The Tumultuous Middle East Grows More Chaotic Daily

by | Nov 5, 2014 | Israel & Jewish Roots, Standing With Israel

If you thought the Middle East was confusing before, it just got a whole lot worse. Alliances are changing daily, borders are being redrawn, and countries thought to be allies of one side are becoming allies of the other.

ISIS or ISIL?

Just figuring out the real name of the bad guys is confusing. There has been a lot of speculation on whether the correct name to use is ISIS or ISIL, and what the difference is between the two. There is an easy explanation because both are translations of the original Arabic title of which the first three words are clear: Islamic State in Iraq. But, the translation of the last Arabic word Sham is much harder as there is no real English equivalent.

Sham was historically known as “Greater Syria” which is a vague area that encompasses modern Syria as well as Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and more. So to translate Sham as just “Syria” is very misleading because it implies that ISIS only wants modern day Iraq and Syria.

That is why another translation uses the English term “Levant,” which is a vague but larger geographical area and is a better word than “Syria” to describe the territorial ambitions of the group.

Whereas ISIL is the better translation, most people use ISIS including yours truly. However, understanding the difference is helpful.

Is Islam Strengthening or a House Divided?

Another point of discussion taking place is whether Islam is getting stronger or is a house divided that is destroying itself. At heart the situation in the Middle East is a violent Sunni-Shi’ite war that is redrawing borders in order to form a contiguous fundamentalist Sunni state in the Levant. ISIS is gaining territory and support for a number of reasons, including popular unrest against old regimes.

But ISIS is also exposing the true nature of Islam. While the West may debate the nature of Islam, the Muslim world knows that this jihadist Islam is based on the Koran and life of Muhammad and can be seen as the “pure Islam.” ISIS is not doing anything that Muhammad himself did not do including beheadings and taking slaves as spoils of war. Therefore, they will gain the support of many Muslims.

But at the same time, some Muslims are beginning to speak out against this movement and advocate for a modernization of the Middle East with a more civilized society. Many are disgusted by this 7th century “pure Islam” and are seeking a better life. We should pray for them, that the Lord reveal Himself to them. May many find the Lord at this chaotic time.

The truth of the matter is that the divided house of Islam has already been weakening and this radical jihadist movement is a last-ditch attempt to return to the days of Islamic unity and glory by re-establishing the Caliphate (an Islamic state under one supreme religious and political leader, the Caliph, which is required in Shariah or Islamic law). It may look worse on the surface, but this movement is wreaking havoc on the house of Islam, and may be the violent earthquake needed to bring about much-needed change. The question is how long it will take and how many innocent lives will be sacrificed?

This process of change may take a very long time and be extremely violent, but it is very possible that Islam could lose its demonic grip on the minds and hearts of millions of people in the Middle East. We have seen this same phenomenon in Iran, a fundamentalist Islamic state, in which the younger generation now wants to leave their 7th-century Islamic society and enter the 21st century. It is no coincidence that the underground church in Iran numbers over one million, and some estimate as high as five million, souls.

A Time For Prayer

While it is difficult to understand the chaotic politics and growing schisms in the Middle East, we always know to pray: for the safety of Israel, for the persecuted church, and for souls to be saved. Never has there been a greater need for prayer than now.

Israel is in an increasingly dangerous situation as jihadist forces are now on most of her borders. The only peaceful border is with Jordan and it remains to be seen whether Jordan will be able to keep its territory and sovereignty under an ISIS assault.

The Christian communities of Iraq and Syria are being driven from their homes and countries with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Those who have survived are in refugee camps facing a very cold and deadly winter. Worse yet is the betrayal they feel as the western Christian world sits silent.

The Islamic world is a house divided and jihadists groups are not only destroying the lives of Christians and other minorities, but also brutally killing any Muslim standing in their way. A mighty prayer movement could birth many souls into the Kingdom. but it takes Christians who are willing to give of their time and energy in fervent intercession as watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem.

Susan Michael is the U.S. Director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. To join the ICEJ’s global Isaiah 62 Prayer Initiative click here.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Franklin Graham Issues Stern Warning: ‘Judgment is Coming’

Franklin Graham Issues Stern Warning: ‘Judgment is Coming’

Evangelist Franklin Graham delivered powerful remarks before Friday's 50th annual March For Life event, warning "judgment is coming" and urging Christians to "lift up" Jesus' name to reach a lost world. Graham, who heads the Christian relief organization Samaritan's...

Chick-Fil-A’s Dan Cathy: ‘We’re Here to Glorify God’

Chick-Fil-A’s Dan Cathy: ‘We’re Here to Glorify God’

Avid Chick-fil-A fans were recently served up yet another reason to love the iconic fast-food brand, as former CEO Dan Cathy spoke in-depth about the company's quest to "glorify God." Cathy, now chair of the board after his son Andrew Truett Cathy became CEO in 2021,...

Why Christians Need to Declare a ‘No Competition Zone’

Why Christians Need to Declare a ‘No Competition Zone’

We’re in the height of sports competition time around the world, aren’t we? In the United States we are getting all ramped up towards the Super Bowl. And then in the basketball world, it’s March Madness. Then somewhere along the way, it’s The Master’s golf tournament,...

How to Enter Heaven’s Courtroom For Spiritual Warfare

How to Enter Heaven’s Courtroom For Spiritual Warfare

This article was first released by Curt Landry Ministries. Note: This is the second of a two-part series of articles. When you enter heaven's courtroom to do spiritual warfare, you are asking that the will of God, what is written in His books, be released from heaven...

Prophecy: A Year of Revival, Prosperity and Taking the Land

Prophecy: A Year of Revival, Prosperity and Taking the Land

As we have already entered into 2023, here are some prophetic thoughts about this year. This year has clearly been marked by the Lord as a time to prosper, to take back land and to see His glory. As we fully embrace a kingdom mindset, we will see these things take...

RECENT ARTICLES

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Young, old, rich or poor—nobody is immune to the feeling of brokenness. Jesus' life, death and resurrection on earth is a constant reminder that death no longer has a sting. Fear and hopelessness...
Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Actor Kevin Sorbo is known today for his roles in faith-based movies, like "God's Not Dead" and "Left Behind," but the iconic "Hercules" star's Christian roots took form at an early age. Sorbo recently told CBN's "Faith vs. Culture" he first read the prophetic book of...

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

In this article, cessationism refers to the doctrine, practice or belief that the ascension ministry gifts and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit ceased with the early church and do not function in the present church age (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12: 4-11). The...

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

We all have the same amount of time—four hours a day, seven days a week. And the longer I live, the more I discover that time is too valuable for us to waste any of it. That’s why it is so important that we learn to live on purpose, for a purpose. The truth is if you...

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

This article was first released by Curt Landry Ministries. Note: This is the first of a two-part series of articles. When you enter heaven's courtroom to do spiritual warfare, you are asking that the will of God, what is written in His books, be released from heaven...

The Spiritual Awakening of Buffalo, New York

The Spiritual Awakening of Buffalo, New York

Monday night, Jan. 2, 2023, God drew our nation to prayer as Bills player Damar Hamlin experienced cardiac arrest on live tv. Could this have been the largest spontaneous prayer meeting in the history of our nation—beginning with players on the field, spreading to...

Pin It on Pinterest