The USA just announced to be withdrawing from Syria.
So I had to think of that famous battlefield.
The one that Napoleon thought to be an amazing one:
“All the armies of the world could maneuver their forces on this vast plain!”
What was he talking about?
That plain roughly around Nazareth to the Golan Heights (*).
On one end, Jesus must have been looking over it, his whole youth (**)
Behind the other end, there’s Hezbollah, that spearhead of Iran. Al Qaeda is lurking. The Turks aren’t far away, and have now been emboldened by the withdrawal of the USA. Thanks to having kept the Crimea, also Russia has been able to inch towards it via the Mediterranean.
The Persian, Ottoman and Russian Empire: there’s nothing new under the sun. Whenever the ruling empire is crumbling, the old ones raise their heads. And always at the very same spot.
Who controls the wells, controls the world. There’s nothing new under the sun.
It’s but one reason why I find the Old Testament so useful: it’s the only book that includes 3000 years of history, and thus displays just how cyclical history is. If only for knowing history a bit, it’s a given to me that these powers will enter that plain.
But they are merely the visible muscle men. Many hide behind many backs. For all we know, half the world is there. All over the vast basin of the Euphrates. That river, you know, or don’t know, of which a Hadith said that it would disclose a mountain of gold, over which the nations would fight.
More or less at the same time that “the poor barefooted bedouins of the desert will start competing in building the highest building”.
In November, 200 countries in the UN voted that Israel should “give back” the Golan Heights. Is this world serious? Give back… to whom? Hezbollah? All Qaeda? Syrian Army? ISIS? Iran? Russia? Turkey?
One tiny bit of tranquil greenery in an ocean of chaos, and it has to be… given back?
“Giving back” the Golan Heights, means wishing Israel to disappear.
Only 1 country voted against, but at one point or the other, that country too will give up. It’s a given that Israel will come to stand alone. And will be demolished. You don’t have to read scriptures for that. Take a hundred other history books.
This, in this tiny sliver of a narrow country, is where Jesus looked over a plain.
I sometimes try to picture Him there. The historic teenager, or the mystery one who set our collective imagination ablaze. Who said that his message would reach all the corners of the world, which it did. Who said that Jerusalem would be destroyed, which it did, and knew that its people would be scattered all over the world, which they did, and would be brought back to Israel (***)
Jesus sitting there as teenager, looking over the plain of Megiddo (Armageddon in Greek).
According to the Quran it would be a battle in which 99 out of every 100 would die.
Which is simply impossible in any battle, especially those of a thousand years ago; only in a nuclear one.
It’s not an upcoming battle.
It’s been building up forever.
Patiently working on the wires and connections.
It’s in the riots in Paris that your media tell about, and the peaceful but complete shutdown of France, which the media do not tell about. It’s in Brexit (the fall out of immigration) and in Trump, it’s in Putin and in your own battle over your own energy bills and shopping behaviour. All that too is a ripple coming from that plain, and – and this is just common sense – ripples become waves and waves tsunamis.
Each of us looks out over that plain. Each of us at a different edge of it. Each of us fighting in our own little corner of it.
Maybe you already see it, maybe you don’t, which only means that it’s still around the corner.
(*) I love to write such confusing “airy fairy” articles for true atheists. They often don’t realize that they’re on the same side. The fight is never believers-versus-atheists. That’s a mainstream media thing (divide-and-conquer). The fight is what it has always been: good-versus-evil. That’s a completely different dividing line.
(**) Not the whitewashed Jesus. The real one. The lion. Be him “real” or a product of collective imagination, is that really a debate?? Who turned that into a debate? Why? Either way, it’s an immense Energy, that has changed history. So what if he is “imaginary”? I would pick Him over any Superman, role model or movie character, in the whole of history.
(***) This is a question mark: is the current day state of Israel, the people of Israel? Are they not supposed to be the 12 tribes, and not just the tribe of Judah (or Jews)?
Is Israel not: all believers? It’s the one and only nation that will keep standing with the state of Israel. But maybe, just maybe: it’s them who are Israel. So… is Israel back… or not yet? Is that prophecy fullfilled… or ongoing?