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Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand

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Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand



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Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand by Jeffrey Seif
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The Arab-Israeli conflict dates backward to the dawn of biblical revelation and extends forward to the much-dreaded Battle of Armageddon. The times are trying, are they not? In the interest of helping folk discern the times, I think we do well to color today?'s world news with yesterday?'s biblical hues. A fascinating picture emerges, one that takes us to mysterious Arabia.According to Genesis, sin entered a garden paradise called "Eden" a touch of heaven once located in what is modern Iraq and Iran today. Much as human catastrophe is said to have originated there, Revelation informs that human misery will be terminated from there, when it culminates in a climactic and cataclysmic final showdown. In Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand, you ll hear ancient Scripture predicting how forces marshaled in proximity to ancient Eden will one-day stealthily slither into the Holy Land and, like a python, wrap themselves around a reconstituted Israel. You will learn how the relentless and merciless assault upon humankind that began in ancient Iraq and moved to and through Israel, will again manifest and move aggressively in the region and be stopped, finally. The "serpent of old who is the devil and Satan" will be defeated and "bound," according to the Rev. 20:2, after which paradise will be restored. With the Kingdom?'s inauguration will come a cessation of global hostilities. Peace alas!With secular and sacred eyes looking intently at the Middle East today, I believe that a fresh biblical assessment is in order and one that pays more deliberate attention to Arab peoples. This book answers to that need.What most do not realize is that the Old Testament is not just about Jews and that the New Testament is not just about Christians. While the Old Testament does focus upon Abraham?'s literal Hebrew descendants and while the New Testament does indeed focus upon Jesus and make faith-applications to Gentile folk descended from Abraham in a spiritual sense, the Scriptures also speak of Abraham?'s other children a group that I ll here refer to as the mysterious "warriors of the sand." Both lands and peoples of the Middle East are significant and bewildering.The word "mysterious" denotes something difficult, hard to grasp and puzzling. It comes from the old French word "mystique," a term that similarly conjures up notions of an aura of wonderment. Believing that Christians and Jews would do well to have a look at the other very mysterious Arabian people of the Book, I have set my gaze their way, to consider what the Bible has to say about my estranged Arab cousins. Who are the Arab people? Are they unwanted, vanquished cast-aways in the biblical economy? Are they a sub-class of demon-inspired lesser beings, destined to serve as cannon fodder for God?'s armies at the battle of Armageddon? Does Scripture indicate any abiding covenant promises that benefit them or are Abraham?'s other descendants removed from the pale of biblical graces and forever banished to the backwaters of Divine favor? Are Bible-believing European types obliged to disdain Arab peoples and ideas? If so, why so? If not, what then? How are Judeo-Christians to be toward Arabs, in a world set on edge since 911? What does it mean to be a "peacemaker" in the current economy where Islamic-inspired angst is ubiquitous? At a time when Israel is making its bid for its existence and where America is embroiled in wars and rumors of wars with Arab-related folk, how are we to love these other people? If we are, in fact, to love those "others" as I believe we are might we do well to better understand them in light of biblical perspectives and principles? In the process of trying to come to terms with them, might we be well served to come to terms with ourselves in relation to them? With these and other questions in focus, we will here take a reasonably long stare in the direction of the mysterious people of the east, the "warriors of the sand.""Staring" speaks of fixing one?'s wide-open gaze upon a particular person or object. "Staring someone down," by association, speaks of one?'s boldly fixing their gaze on another human being, until such time as that "other" person feels obliged to lower their eyes and/or turn away entirely in submission. "Staring someone in the eye," by contrast, speaks of setting one?'s fixed gaze upon someone. This expression is divested of the negative connotation of endeavoring to force one into a subordinate position and may well denote respect. It harks to the daring of the one doing the staring and no more. This book "stares at" Abraham?'s estranged son "Ishmael" as with others and it doesn t let them out of sight till the book?'s end. Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand doesn t "stare down" Ishmael, however; it "stares at" him better his descendants, the Arabs. Admittedly pro-Israel as the book?'s Jewish author is, I still endeavor to look affectionately and admirably at my marginalized Arab cousins and labor to give a fair and balanced accounting of the place in Scripture given to Arabs who have dwelt in proximity to Israel?'s daunting shadow from time immemorial. I will push readers toward peace, not war.I deem the resurrection and establishment of a sovereign Jewish nation-state, located "smack" in the heart of the Arab world, to be providential not accidental. Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand construes that the resurrected Jewish nation-state?'s existing in the middle of Ishmael?'s estates has, does and will factor significantly in God?'s Divine program and that the concomitant Islamic-inspired, Arab-related angst that seems to forever "nip at the heels" of Israel is really only-to-be-expected. Speaking of "expectations," Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand informs that the present-day tensions are themselves preludes to cataclysmic wars yet to come, battles pre-saged in Scriptures millennia ago and are thus to be expected. Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand understands that present-day tensions are birth pangs for a new day and will come to an end on a future-day, at the beckoning of a "Prince of Peace" yet to come, who will bring about the cessation of global hostilities with the arrival of His kingdom. Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand wonders whether advocating for the will and ways of the coming "Prince of Peace" is limited to preachers hammering away at hearers interior worlds and focusing on individuals quests for equilibrium and "inner peace." Believing that "advocating" for Him can likewise entail offering a reasoned telling of what a heavenly God is "up to" in the exterior world that exists beyond the borders of our own typically self-centered noses, I am interested in providence?'s role in history and prophesy much as I am in "soul winning." Though pressing "sinners" to repent indeed has its place, Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand operates with the belief that it also has its limits: I want to impress readers with the notion that Bible teaching should both address the question of "What on earth is going on?" beyond our immediate sphere of interests and circumstances and be "down to earth" in the way it offers an answer to that question. Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand "stares down" negative attitudes, unchecked critical assumptions and brazenly anti-Arab dispositions, all of which are deemed to be racist proclivities that the "Prince of Peace" most certainly would not approve of. I challenge assumptions that these other grandchildren of Abraham are degenerated sub-human souls, made of lesser stock and worth less in the Maker?'s eye as a result. I posit that Arabs have inherent and enduring worth and are not merely demons parading around in human form and destined to be disposed of when God?'s Judeo-Christian forces oppose and destroy them in an end time war.Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand "stares down" disrespect and shows how we can respect our estranged Arab friends without relinquishing biblically-required support for full Jewish sovereignty in her God-given ancestral homeland. I demonstrate that we can love and respect Arab neighbors without disrespecting or compromising "conservative" and "evangelical" theological convictions, based on literal understandings of Sacred Scripture. I believe, as well, that we and Israel do well to protect ourselves when assaulted. Though kindly disposed toward Arabs, Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand doesn t shy away from addressing challenges posed by Islamic-inspired, Arabic theology and political ideology. I, however, deliberately differentiate between Arab peoples and radical Islamic persuasions and thus, by means of so doing, endeavor to offer a fair and balanced assessment of these "other," Abrahamic people, individuals whom many women and men mistakenly assume to have been banished to the backwaters of Divine favor in preference for Europeans and Jews. Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand opines that, in the interest of being fair, we would do well to consider that, though the Islamic religion began with Semites in Arabia, Islam soon spread beyond Arabia and morphed into forms that spoke more to the nuanced interests of adherents in the host cultures of conquered peoples. Given that Islam has long ceased to be simply an Arabian experience, I believe that modern Bible readers might do well to differentiate between Arabs, Arabia and Islam and be freshly exposed to what the Bible says about Arabs themselves apart from Islam the people of the sand. Presently only 17% of Muslims are of descended from Arabian extract. That, coupled with the fact that larger Muslim populations exist in Indonesia, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, than in Arabia proper, presses the need to differentiate. Those predisposed to disdain Arab peoples and/or Muslims who dwell beyond Arabia, should consider that most of these unfortunates are almost completely cut off from modernity. Realizing that many are being pressed under the weight of totalitarian regimes and have little to no exposure to others ways of thinking and being, under the best of circumstances I am more inclined to be compassionate than adversarial. Given the chance, were the option available, I am sure that many would flee their oppressive worlds for better possibilities elsewhere as indeed many are already doing. Though compassionate, given that there exists a violent strain within the religion, I believe we should be guarded still and thus be "wise as serpents," on the one hand, while still being "innocent as doves." In the process of wrestling with who these people are and how we are to deal with them and/or ourselves in relation to them, Making Peace with the Warriors of the Sand takes readers through a whirlwind study of biblical literature, ancient near eastern history and biblical eschatology a term referring to the biblical study of end-time events. Looking through a biblical lens all the while, we look at Arabs in the past, in the present and in the future and raise questions about ourselves in relation to them all the while.
Release date NZ
July 1st, 2009
Country of Publication
United States
Anomalos Publishing
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