Summary: What does the Bible have to say about Iraq? You might be surprized to find that the Bible is filled with references to Iraq, from Genesis to Revelation. There is a pattern that can be seen as far back as 820 BC. The spiritual forces there are continuing
Saddam and the Prince of Persia 4-06-03
The backlash against our government’s stand against Iraq has caused me to wonder what is going on in the spiritual realm. Perhaps I am naïve or uninformed, but it doesn’t seem to be that complicated. There is a tyrant that brutally attacked a neighboring country, Kuwait. The world rose up and pushed his army out demanding a cease-fire under certain conditions. He refuses to obey those conditions. He tortures his citizens, his Olympic athletes that don’t perform well, and any opposition. He murders his own people with weapons outlawed by the civilized nations of the world. Defectors have verified his continued development of weapons of mass destruction.
I do understand that war is a last resort after all options have been exhausted. Twelve years of documented deception and refusal to comply with the cease-fire would seem to be going the extra mile. But why does the world seem to be so adamantly opposed to stopping this man from supplying terrorists with weapons of mass destruction? He has shown his affinity to terrorism by supporting financially the families of homicide bombers in Palestine and Al Qaeda’s assistance in the war. Does anyone really doubt he would even think twice about providing Al Quaeda with VX nerve gas to kill innocent lives in the western world? Why is the world hesitating to stop him and free the Iraqi people from his brutal oppression? Financial commitments and obligations don’t fully answer the world sentiment.
I do believe the Bible holds the answer. It is rather an ominous thought but one I believe the Scripture verifies. The region of Persia included two famous ancient Biblical cities, Nineveh and Babylon. Nineveh is today known as Al Mawsil. It was founded by a descendent of cursed Ham, Nimrod. (Genesis 10:8-11 ) (some texts say Asshur as the one that built Nineveh). 1Chronicles 1:10 refers to Nimrod as a mighty warrior. There are two minor prophets whose entire mission was to Nineveh. Most of you are familiar with Jonah. He did not want to obey God’s call. Halley’s Bible Handbook states that Jonah was “in patriotic dread of the brutal and relentless military machine that was closing in on God’s people (p.459).” Sound familiar?
On the second verse of that book, Adam Clarke makes this comment, Their wickedness is come up before me.- This is a personification of evil. It ascends from earth to heaven; and stands before the Supreme Judge, to bear witness against its own delinquency, and that of the persons whom it has seduced. —Adam Clarke’s Commentary This took place about 800 B.C. Nineveh was known for its barbaric brutality toward enemies of the state. They used to entertain and instill fear by skinning their enemies alive. Adam Clarke says this behavior came from a spirit that seduced them into this type of behavior. We know that spirits are timeless beings and often have territorial assignments. Is that spirit still there seducing those in power to barbaric acts that instill fear in those who would resist them?
Move forward in time about half a century and we have the story of 2 Kings 18,19. General Sennacherib of Iraq (Assyria) has already taken the Northern nation of Israel into captivity. He proceeds to take some of the cities of Judah. Remember, The Messiah is promised to come from this family in Judah. He comes to lay siege against Jerusalem, where the lineage of Jesus is taking refuge behind the walls. He declared that their God cannot save them. The King of Judah, Hezekiah called on the Lord. An angel of the Lord wiped out 185,000 of Sennacherib’s troops! What spirit inspired Sennacherib and what angel stood in protection of the people of God? The Bible has the answer.
Move forward 50 more years and we have the prophet Nahum. I believe that many prophecies have an intermediate and an ultimate fulfillment. Nahum in poetic flare describes the destruction of Nineveh. Let me read just a portion and see if it doesn’t sound like something we would read about today.
Nahum 3:1-7 (NIV) 1 Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims! 2 The crack of whips, the clatter of wheels, galloping horses and jolting chariots! 3 Charging cavalry, flashing swords and glittering spears! Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses-- 4 all because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft. 5 "I am against you," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness and the kingdoms your shame. 6 I will pelt you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle. 7 All who see you will flee from you and say, ’Nineveh is in ruins--who will mourn for her?’ Where can I find anyone to comfort you?"