Have you been watching the news lately? The Arab world is in an uproar, Egypt is in crisis, and journalist and pundits are wringing their hands with anxiety. How should we respond? Remembering that at the heart of our mission is to teach students to use the Scriptures as the foundation and framework for interpreting events in this world; what should we communicate to our students about the events in the Middle East?
This is not comprehensive but here are some thoughts for your prayerful consideration.
- NOTHING happens outside of God’s sovereign decrees and providential care. From the smallest detail of life to monumental events in human history, our Holy, Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient, loving God is in control. Consider:
- The smallest of animals are under his care
Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father ... Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Mt 10:28–31
- The smallest details of our lives are under his care
Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell … even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Mt 10:28–31
- The nations are under his sovereign control and care
So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth. Gen. 11:8-9
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. Deuteronomy 32:8
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us ... Acts 17:26ff
- We are to pray for the Egyptian Christians being persecuted and killed
Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. 2 Th 3:1–2
- Pray for the persecutors
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Mt 5:44–48).
- Use current events as teachable moments in appropriate classes.
For example, the crisis in Egypt lends itself to teachable moments in history, geography, and Bible. Discussions of biblical truth, geopolitical issues, implications for U.S. foreign policy, the role of believers in seeking peace, etc., are worthy topics to explore.
- We are to care
Our sinful natures and everything in our culture screams at us to be self-centered, self-focused, self-absorbed, and narcissistic. If it doesn’t affect us, we ignore it. But this is unbiblical. Jesus said the second greatest commandment was to love our neighbors as ourselves. He also told us “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Mt 5:9
Our students are being prepared to be leaders. These means, among other things, that they are to care about what happens in this world, to believers and unbelievers alike and they are to actively work for peace and justice in this world. They are to be salt and light as they bring the truths of God’s word to bear on contemporary issues, reflecting the character of Issachar:
Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do. 1 Chron. 12:32a