JUST THE BEGINNING
In a timely news report written far ahead of its time, the Bible in Matthew 24, verses 6-8, records the following:
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”
As war with Iraq begins, people gather around radios, televisions and, now, computer screens to monitor events as they unfold in real time. This event of spectacle received the name, “the CNN Effect”, after the Gulf War when reporters were able to give a running commentary of that event.
Virtually all regular programing is giving way to the war. It should not be overlooked that only in the most recent times has technology made it possible for all to “hear of wars and rumors of wars” to the extent we now do. In this same context, Revelation 11 speaks of “two witnesses” who prophesy in Jerusalem in an approaching future time. At the end of one thousand two hundred and sixty days, they are murdered. In verse 9 of this chapter, it states that, “Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will SEE their dead bodies three-and-a-half days…” Although this is a prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled, we have now arrived at a time in human history in which it is possible for this to happen!
The news of this week–in the light of prophetic events forecast so long ago–finds its chilling fulfillment in almost breath-taking circumstances! Words like deadline; imminent; impending; ultimatums, on the brink; and, time running out, all point to our most current war which pits America and its allies against Iraq and Saddam Hussein’s dictatorial reign. However, far beyond a “good versus evil” scenario of former days and earlier international conflicts, this war has effectively reshaped political alliances.
From the online edition of BBC News for March 19, 2003: “Germany’s Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, said his country ’emphatically rejects the impending war’ and added that ‘there is no basis in the UN Charter for a regime change with military means.’ ” Continuing, “His French counterpart Dominique de Billepin echoed the sentiment, saying those who believed terrorism would be eradicated through war on Iraq ‘run the risk of failing in their objectives.’ “
In addition, this article quotes UN Secretary General Kofi Annan as warning the US and UK that “under international law, the responsibility for protecting civilians in conflict falls on the belligerents”.
In another report, this from www.msnbc.com, March 19, 2003, “Russian foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said there was no proof Iraq threatened the United States and that the Security Council had been brushed aside.”
In a somewhat unexpected move, Robin Cook, Leader of the House of Commons, resigned from Tony Blair’s cabinet because of his unwillingness to support his country’s participation in the Iraq conflict. BBC News (3/17/03), reports this interesting perspective from Mr. Cook: “As President of the Party of European Socialists, of which the Labour Party is a member, it troubles me that I know of no sister party within the European Union that shares our position.”
Meanwhile, the cost of this war and its follow-up is estimated in amounts ranging into the hundreds of billions. This will come atop an economy in the US fraught with precarious issues that in themselves lack any immediate resolve.
At its core the run up to this war along with the war itself and its aftermath, will have vastly greater consequences for the United States and its closest allies. The world that emerges after this war will see nations banding together in order to withstand America with more than words.
SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, has the world community mobilizing against this latest deadly foe. In an article from msnbc online edition (3/19/03), Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson “…said authorities are working to prevent the spread of the illness within the United States. He told senators Wednesday morning the Bush administration wants to spend $100 million to prepare for a possible outbreak of the disease in the United States.”
This disease is receiving a worldwide travel alert and is classified as highly contagious. There is no known treatment or cure at the present time, and the death rate is especially alarming.
Keeping pace with the unusual weather patterns of extremes, the Rocky Mountain states of Colorado and Wyoming received record snowfalls this week. Airports, schools, businesses and major highways were all closed because of the heavy snowfall. Even with the inconveniece, most people were expressing gratitude for this mixed blessing. The entire area has suffered from several years of drought. The needed moisture will at least replenish severely low reservoirs that threatened to place most of the area into very strict water conservation policies.