As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:12
The above verse uses a geographical construct to describe a difference so vast it cannot be measured. It is also a powerful spiritual reminder of just how incredible our God really is. More on this as we close.
In what might be considered an unusual attempt to shed some light on what is happening in our world today, I want to take a moment and unpack the phrase, as far as the east is from the west, in another context. To do so we need to go back to the story of Isaac and Ishmael to study how God dealt with these two men and how it has metastasized into what we are seeing today in the Middle East and will be experiencing until Jesus’ return.
Of course, we know that Ishmael, the son of Hagar, represents a plan born by Abraham and Sarah (the plan of man) to get a child they were unable to conceive—it was a plan born out of their flesh. Isaac, on the other hand, was the miracle brought about by God allowing Sarah to conceive, even in old age, and is considered of the Spirit (plan of God).
The son of Hagar (Gen 16), and the son of Sarah (Gen 17), today’s Arabs and Jews respectively, and their subsequent offspring, God tells us, will be and have been in conflict until the end. Since Mohammed came on the scene in 622 and declared that all Jews were the enemies of Allah, there has been tremendous conflict (Gen 25:18). I am persuaded that what we are seeing today is unprecedented in all recorded history and needs to be understood by every Bible believing Christian.
The Crescent vs Cross
While most of the Jewish world does not believe Jesus is their intended Messiah, they do believe in the same God we Christians honor. The Arab/Islamic world believe in an entirely different god—a god born out of the fleshly origins of Ishmael. So, this is where the battle is—Allah and Jesus.
Interestingly, in a geopolitical sense, this conflict is being talked about as between the east and the west. In this sense, it is true that our differences cannot be measured—they are that far apart. There is no middle ground and no compromise between the two. Muslims seem to understand this clearly. They will strap on bombs as a sign of dedication.
I want to say at this point that I am both excited and concerned. As a Bible believing follower of Christ, it is easy to see that the Bible has predicted this conflict. Just look at how all the countries in the east are lining up against Israel currently. We are seeing the signs of God winnowing—the separation of the wheat from the chaff, darkness being invaded by His light. I am excited because Jesus could come back very soon, like today.
I am concerned that many Christians, particularly here in the west, are not prepared to take the current circumstances seriously enough. I fear we are not focused on the BIG picture and are wallowing around in our search for getting back to normal—whatever that is. The more traditional and “Orthodox” forms of Christianity, in many ways, seem more deeply committed than us in the west. Some of them are dying for their faith.
In the west it seems like our approach to faith is not very strong or robust. We follow more of an attraction model, and we see people as consumers instead of potential worshipers of the true God of Abraham. The result is superficial and uncommitted people who are unwilling to live out God’s plan.
Men, it is time. Time to discover who God created you to be and seek your destiny.
Here are some ideas, takeaways, for you to consider:
- Discover what is going on around the world and do not just take in one or two sources—spread it out. If you only watch American news, you will be brainwashed. In other words, do your homework.
- Prepare your family and close friends for what is coming. Ask God to show you your role.
- Double down on your time with God. Hear His voice. Sense His presence—you will not be successful without it.
- Pray against the antisemitic spirit that is rising up in our colleges and government.
- Focus on your true purpose before God…bringing people to Jesus.
- Watch my message from a PK New Zealand men’s conference on how to be Jesus in a dying world. Click Here
Most importantly, remember our opening verse—your sins are separated from you as far as the east is from the west. You ARE forgiven and freed in Christ! Live like you believe it.
Finally, if you want to know what is going on today, I highly recommend reading America Alone, The End Of The World As We Know It, by Mark Steyn. See the excerpt below from Wikipedia.
Mark Steyn attributes the forecast fall of the Western world to three factors, demographic decline, unsustainability of the advanced Western social-democratic state, and exhaustion of civilization. Steyn based his argument of population decline on his own observation that European nations have low birth rates while Muslim nations have higher birth rates. Steyn wrote that in the 2000s, the population of the developed world declined from about 30% of world population to around 20%, while the population of Muslim nations increased from about 15% to 20% (Excerpted from Wikipedia)