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Islamic Rage

by Donald Geddes — last modified Nov 27, 2014 04:15 PM
The atrocities being committed by the Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq have been described by world leaders as “pure evil.”

Islamic uproarWhile the beheading of Westerners has grabbed the attention of the media, of far greater significance has been the terrible scourge against Christians, thousands of whom have been killed and hundreds of thousands left homeless.

Churches have been systematically destroyed in an attempt to get rid of any trace of Christianity in lands where Christians have lived since the time of the Apostles.

Why this unprecedented rage against innocent people just because they are Christian?  The Psalmist (Psalm 2) asks, “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?” His answer is that this is a sign of their rebellion “against the Anointed One” — the King and Messiah.

We have a good case study of a nation raging against God’s People in the history of  Edom.

The Prophet Amos pronounced judgement on the people of Edom in the 8th  century BC because of their unrelenting rage against Israel and the atrocities they had committed.

Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Edom, and for four,
I will not turn away its punishment,
Because he pursued his brother with the sword,
And cast off all pity;
His anger tore perpetually,
And he kept his wrath forever.” Amos 1:11

The Edomites were Israel’s neighbours and descendants of Esau who lost his birthright to Jacob because he loved sport and pleasure more than the Lord (Gen. 27). This godlessness became a characteristic of his descendants who occupied southern Palestine in the arid area stretching from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea.

When the Children of Israel left Egypt in the Exodus they sought permission from Edom to travel through their land but were refused. For centuries there was constant friction between Israel and Edom.

After the fall of Judah to the Babylonians in 597BC the Edomites rejoiced (Psalm 137:7). That is why the prophets foretold the judgement on Edom for her bitter hatred.

This happened between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC when Edom was wiped out. Some Edomites settled in southern Judah and King Herod, who tried to kill the young Jesus, was of Edomite descent.

It is clear this rage and hatred against God’s people is really rage and rebellion against the Lord. King Ahab raged against the Prophet Micaiah because he spoke out against Ahab’s sins (1 Kings 22:8). Herodias wanted John the Baptist beheaded because he condemned her unlawful marriage to Herod (Mark 6:18-19). The Ephesians tried to kill Paul because his preaching undermined their trade in idols (Acts 19:28).

It is no wonder then that Jesus incurred the wrath of the religious leaders when He showed up their hypocrisy (Luke 6:11). The people of his home town Nazareth tried to kill Jesus when he pointed out their unbelief (Luke 4:28). Jesus understood this and told Nicodemus, “this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:19

It is clear the hatred and atrocities of the Islamic State are ultimately directed against God and His people. The source is Satan himself. To claim they do these things in the name of God is sheer hypocrisy. As James 1:20 says, “for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

What is going on in the Middle East is a spiritual battle and therefore God is in it. Not only will he ultimately triumph but he will use Islamic State for his glory as Psalm 76:10 says, Surely the wrath of man shall praise you.