The Arab world is undergoing a swift and increasingly violent transformation. How do these tumultuous events align with Bible prophecy? What is ahead for the Middle East? Is the stage being set for the emergence of the end-time king of the South?
Daniel 11:40–43 reveals that immediately before Christ's return, a European-based "king of the North" and an Arab-based "king of the South" will engage in a brief, but brutal, war. The northern armies will temporarily overrun the southern empire, only to be forced to abruptly evacuate to confront mighty armies from "the east" and "the north" (v. 44).
Naturally, in order for these prophecies to be fulfilled, a confederation of Arab states, primarily south of Jerusalem, and led by a powerful leader, is required. The timing is entirely up to God, but events in the Middle East today are rapidly setting the stage for the fulfillment of these prophecies. It is not just "radical Islam" or "anti-Semitism" or "rising food prices" that have sparked this massive wave of change. There are deeper and more profound causes.
In Egypt, an admittedly imperfect government with the most powerful regional military, which has long cooperated with the United States and has long supported peace with Israel, appears on the verge of collapse. And the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood and other "extremist" elements are more openly and more aggressively asserting their vision (The Washington Post, February 3, 2011). In Jordan—the only other Arab nation to officially accept peace with Israel—King Abdullah II is under similar pressure. King Abdullah recently dismissed his entire government, and faces mounting pressure from the Islamic Action Front, which is the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood (Bloomberg, February 3, 2011).
Unrest and demonstrations have also "suddenly" erupted in Yemen, Tunisia, Lebanon, Algeria and Sudan. There are rumors that even Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter and the Arab world's largest economy, is concerned about social unrest (Financial Times, February 3, 2011).
What is happening in the Arab world, and why are these events moving forward at such a ferocious pace? Read Daniel 11:41–43 again. Some of the key players comprising the empire of the future "king of the South" are the nations of Egypt, Libya and Ethiopia! These are all Arab (and primarily Sunni) nations, which are located primarily south of Jerusalem, that are prophesied to enter into a confederacy with their Arab brothers, as is also indicated in Psalm 83.
Obviously, for these prophecies to be fulfilled, Egypt, in particular, cannot remain an ally of Israel or the United States! And the Arab world, in general, must turn more "fundamentalist."
The fact is that food prices, the Muslim Brotherhood or any number of other political or religious factors are only contributing reasons for the current Arab-world turmoil. The underlying reason is that the Almighty Creator God is allowing geopolitics to align according to His will, and according to His time! Scripture is clear that God supremely reigns over all nations and all empires (2 Chronicles 20:6, Daniel 4:25), and He sometimes allows demonic principalities to influence people, nations, and rulers (Daniel 10:20, Ephesians 6:12).
Is the current Arab crisis setting the stage for a future king of the South? While the timing is entirely up to God, the simple answer is that yes, Arab geopolitics are moving ahead exactly as Bible prophecy has long foretold! Thank God that ultimately, He is immeasurably superior and more powerful than any worldly or spiritual principality (Colossians 1:16; 2:15) and after a brief but frightful time, God will send His Son back to this earth to bring all nations and all people under His peaceful, but lawful, rule (Revelation 11:15).
Please read the Tomorrow's World article, "An Islamic Europe?" and the detailed booklet, The Middle East in Prophecy, to better understand how the Middle East and a future king of the South will shake the world immediately before Christ's return!