Many historic sites in the Middle East are considered to be actual locations of biblical occurrences. In many cases, there is nothing to verify the actual location of an event. Therefore, legends hold these places as markers to sustain the historic significance of the site.
One of the greatest events in world history was the flood sent by God in the days of Noah. When reading the account in Genesis 6:1 – 9:29, we learn of God’s disdain and disappointment in the human race, which He created. It is also recorded of God’s solution to the problem of mankind. Destroy the earth with water. A man named Noah found favor with God, resulting in him and his family being chosen to survive the destruction.
In the same area of the Middle East lies a province called Nineveh. The Bible refers to Nineveh as a “great city”. God told Jonah to go, tell the people of the city to turn from their evil ways. The story finds Jonah running from God, spending three days in large fish and eventually going to Nineveh. Historically, this area of the world has its abundance of well-documented tragedies.
Present day has brought a great calamity to the modern era region which is now Iraq. Again, the people of this region face absolute devastation and destruction. In the examples from biblical times, this devastation came directly from God. The actions, of the desolation of society or the potential therein, were being leveled by the One who created the people–not by the hand of equals in society.
Recently, ISIS (the Islamic State) has grown in power throughout Iraq, taking control not only of the land area, but seeking control of the citizenry through fear and threat of death. Follow Islam or die. As Christians flee the ISIS strongholds, the Yazidi sect has taken refuge in the Sinjar Mountains. The choice of the people is to either stay in their homes to face certain death by not converting to Islam, or face death on the mountain.
President Obama has seen this particular situation as ‘worthy’ of humanitarian support from America. America’s support is coming by way of authorized airdrops of food and water, as well as being prepared with airstrikes if necessary. Certainly this is a step in the right direction, yet it doesn’t solve the fundamental dilemma. Believers in God are dying as a consequence of their faith–so how do you give humanitarian relief for that need? How does the American leadership help a crisis that far extends the boundaries of food and shelter? It is difficult to help with spiritual needs when people are dying from physical needs. Support is also needed for those who have a belief in God and are not afraid to express their ideology. In America, we have seen much loss of life due to Middle Eastern conflicts. Those sacrifices are not unnoticed.
Unfortunately many now believe they were for naught. At one point America had helped to secure this area of the Middle East and now, in many ways, the situation is worse than before our intervention.
Today the need for America’s intercession in this “war” may determine how we worship and believe in our own country’s future, practicing our religious beliefs in our preferred manner on our sovereign soil. At this point, it doesn’t really matter what religious affiliation our leadership aligns itself with on a personal level. What matters is how they align themselves constitutionally and militarily to defend our nation’s beliefs.
The constitutional right, afforded by the First Amendment, for all citizens, allows Americans to freely express their beliefs. One religion cannot and will not be assigned to America’s citizenry, as ISIS is striving to do with their caliphate.
Knowing ISIS has made their intentions clear, that they want all people to follow the Muslim faith or pay with the penalty of death, America should be ready to fight for our religious freedom and a firewall must be created. It is painful to hear of areas where biblical events occurred that are no longer able to proclaim the sovereignty of God.
Loss of life is not the desire of my heart. It pains me to think of the families I know personally who have family serving in our country’s military. Their life is beyond valuable. But we must find a way to fight this cancer which is growing in the Middle East, and we must also face the reality that it is probably already in our neighborhoods.