I don’t usually write about world affairs: I don’t feel qualified to do that. I am called to share what comes out of my heart, ideas that come together in my head while I’m lying in bed (Psalm 4v4) or on the treadmill at the gym, trusting that my thoughts will be an encouragement to others as I try to join the dots.
But none of us can miss the momentous events in Egypt and I can’t bypass the opportunity to highlight what was apparently described on TV news last night as a ‘watershed moment comparable to the coming down of the Berlin Wall’. It was 11.2.11 yesterday and it seems we are actually witnessing (number 2) the transition (number 11) that I wrote about at the start of the year (2011: a watershed year). We have yet to see where it will lead, we pray it does not lead to something worse, because apart from internal affairs, Egypt is a gateway and ‘root’ nation: the effect of change there will be felt way beyond its borders. Indeed the people movement that sparked all this has already unsettled some other middle eastern regimes as across the world’s media the sound of many voices rising from the streets has been heard!
My friend Steve Lowton prayer-walked all the way from Whitby to Rome in 2005, calling for the empire spirit to fall. The journey then continued to Athens, Istanbul and Jerusalem. After that a small group have continued east and on 1st February Steve referred back to their time in Cairo on his blog. Who knows how prayer works, but the cost of journeying, the miles walked, the sweat and blisters, combined with the prophetic act of throwing a book into the Nile (read about it on this post) have surely played their part in heaven’s release of many voices from the streets of that city. ‘The fervent prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective’: James 5v16
We don’t often have such a strong correlation between a modern country and an ancient, Biblical civilisation. Egypt has a very long history of dealings with the living God and He has not forgotten them. Apparently He has a soft spot for them, despite objecting to their pride and warning His people not to depend on them. It was in Israel’s nature to look to Egypt for help after the nation had grown up in their land – though hardly under the best conditions – and even Jesus went to take refuge there as a baby. But God says to turn to Egypt is like ‘leaning on a reed’ that pierces your hand and gives way (Isaiah 36v6; 2 Kings 18v21). Indeed, the whole of Isaiah 19 is a prophecy about God’s judgement on that nation, but it finishes with ‘In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance’ (v23-25). He has good plans for them!
I have been particularly interested to know what Paul Wood has to say about all this – a friend who lived in Cairo as a missionary for some years and has a particular heart for Muslims. Paul was part of Steve’s prayer-walk, and is still on an anointed prophetic prayer journey eastwards. His is a grounded and incisive prophetic voice and he knows and sees far more than I do about such matters! He made this comment in the middle of the jubilation last night:
“Egypt contains the origins of the merging of state and religious power in one man. Pharaoh had to be progeny of human mother and a god. Then because Egypt is a root nation, all the world feeds on its idolatry [as in the origins of freemasonry]. Remember Alexander had to be mandated as divine in Egypt. Its an inversion of the anointing to feed the world (Joseph). So when that throne gets turned over the whole world feeds on it. So I think we need to watch to see religion/politics marriages getting turned over. In Europe it has the potential to unravel back to Constantine. We journeyed first to Rome, then to Greece, then to Constantinople, then to Egypt. Momentous times and I don’t think this is end of story for Egypt, or that it’s just about a nice new democracy being formed.”
At the beginning of the month when the protest started, I asked another hidden prophet who has also visited Cairo for his perspective. He commented to me privately that if he was visiting the city today “he would say that what Egypt is hearing in the gates will echo in Europe in due course. He would point out that the ‘prophet’s birthday’ falls on 15th Feb this year (2 weeks) and would watch and pray over the news for then. He would take interest in imperial relations, look for the white House’s development of a new kind of relationship that will characterise a new age of diplomatic-imperial relations, and would look/pray for new models in Egyptian youth to emerge from the ‘prison-systems’ of the current order”.
There is much to watch and pray for in this watershed year! We are responsible for what we see; we are born for such a time as this. The battle in the gates – both in Egypt in the east and Ireland in the west – comes before breakthrough. This is not just about one nation, but about the kingdom coming.
Exciting days! Watch and pray.