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Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Fasting and Prayer-Hour 19-Saddam and Friends-There are two Biblical models that I can think of for the leader of the enimy. The first is the king of Nineveh in Jonah 3.
4 Then Jonah began to go through the city one day's walk; and he cried out and said, "Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown." 5 Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. 6 When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. 7 He issued a proclamation and it said, "In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. 8 "But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. 9 "Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish." 10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.
The cute thing about this passage is that Nineveh was in what is now Iraq. However, you also have the Pharaoh’s hardened heart in Exodus, where the plagues progressed to the killing on the firstborn before God allowed him to be hit with the clue stick. I'd prefer Nineveh to the Egypt scenario, but I'm not counting on seeing Saddam in sackcloth and ashes. If the current regime isn't wise enough to back down now, we can pray for wisdom that the behave themselves well when war comes. The nightmare scenarios are plenty; torching oil fields, using what WMD they do have on Israel or Kuwait, self-inflicted destruction of Iraqi infrastructure, guerrilla warfare. That's where my prayer is focused, that the Iraqis not do something self-destructive to their own people as they are being brought down.

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