479. Is the Egypt-Gaza Party Over?

What should we make of the recent rift between Egypt and Gaza?
Over the past few years, Palestinians in Gaza have relied on the hundreds of tunnels between Gaza and Egypt for all kinds of supplies, including weapons and fuel. Over 30% of consumer goods arrive in Gaza via these tunnels. This allows the constant flow to go undetected and frees the Gazans from paying those pesky customs fees that above-ground commerce is subject to. The flow was expected to continue due to the perceived good will between the Palestinians and Egypt’s President Morsi. That perception has changed since Morsi began flooding many of the tunnels, closing around 200.

Morsi’s actions are likely the result of an episode last August when an attack on Egyptian soldiers near the Gaza fence killed 16 Egyptians. Cairo said at least some of the gunmen had crossed into Egypt via the tunnels. Though the Palestinians denied this charge, Egypt ordered an immediate crackdown. Palestinians were holding out hope that the border incident would blow over, but the flooding of the tunnels showed just how deep the rift is. To make matters worse, the flooding occurred while Palestinian leaders were meeting in Cairo to try to restore the relationship. Gazan citizens have been very vocal about their displeasure.

When I first read about this, I couldn’t help thinking about some of the Old Testament accounts where God stirred up Israel’s enemies against each other. The account told in 2 Chronicles 20 is one of my favorites. If you’re not familiar with it, I suggest you check it out. It’s an amazing story. A huge army from Moab and Ammon had invaded Judah. King Jehoshaphat sought the Lord and declared a fast (a very smart move). God let them know that He would fight this battle, not the people. They were to station themselves and witness the salvation of the Lord. The people were to do some strange things:

And when they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely, and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another (2 Chron. 20:22-23).

While we don’t know what God will choose to do in the coming days, it is possible that the current rift between Egypt and Gaza may be a preview. To Israel’s advantage is the fact that her enemies consist of many factions that have trouble getting along under any circumstances. It remains to be seen whether their mutual hatred for Israel will be able to overcome the differences that seem to be growing.

Regardless of what we think God will do, we can be assured that He will respond to the prayers of the saints. We must not sit back and think God will just take care of everything. He is waiting for His people to pray (and praise Him). We are “partners in training.” He is preparing us to rule and reign with Him in the coming kingdom. In the meantime, we are to be a praying and praising people. The fate of Israel, America, and the world is at stake.


On a Church Sign:
The sermon this morning: “Jesus Walks on the Water.” The sermon tonight: “Searching for Jesus.”

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