Recent news regarding Qatar provides a preview of things to come. In the future, the Antichrist will negotiate a Middle East peace agreement with Israel. But it will not address the deeper issues, and the treaty will not last. We can see a picture of its flaws right now.
For years, people familiar with Bible prophecy wondered how the Antichrist could possibly end the antagonism between Israel and its Muslim neighbors. Hatred of the Jews seemed too entrenched. But Anwar Sadat and, later, King Hussein of Jordan, both signed treaties with Israel. In the last few years, the increasing nuclear ambitions of Iran's Shia Muslim leaders have pushed Israel and the rest of its Sunni Muslim neighbors toward increased cooperation.
Against all odds, Israel has been developing significant ties to Saudi Arabia and the others, including Qatar. But today's cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbors shows the same weakness that will end the Antichrist's treaty. In its bedrock beliefs, Islam contains a profound hatred and deep contempt for all things Jewish. Last month, Qatar gave the world a preview.
For years, it has been well known in intelligence circles that Qatar has been a major funder of terrorist operations. In 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties with Qatar. They said they were doing so because of Qatar's support for terrorism.
On July 19th of this year, Egypt Today and other outlets, reported, "A German private security contractor, who has worked for the federal republic's intelligence and security services, leveled bombshell allegations against Qatar's regime, stating Doha finances the US and EU-designated terrorist movement Hezbollah and has declared Jews to be the enemies of the tiny Gulf state."
This story garnered headlines all over the world, but it shouldn't have been a surprise. We have long known that Qatar supports, not only Hezbollah, but al Qaeda, al-Nusra, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas. In fact, almost all of Hamas's support comes from Qatar. Hamas could not even exist if not for Qatar. In a Jerusalem Post editorial this week, Herb Keinon wrote that the recent Hamas rocket attacks on Israel were a signal to Qatar to send more money.
The Qataris have claimed they are only trying to "spread democracy" in the Middle East. Yet Qatar's own government is anything but democratic. It is a monarchy, owned and operated by a single family. They represent one of the least democratic nations in the world. Yet they say they have decided to "spread democracy to the world."
During the seven years we call the tribulation, several Sunni Muslim nations, including Saudi Arabia, will break with the Antichrist's peace plan, and move against Israel. This is not the northern coalition led by Russia and Iran, but a group of more southerly nations. They will be led by someone Daniel 11 describes as the "king of the South." His advance on Jerusalem marks an early stage in the war of Armageddon.
Daniel 11:5 says, "The king of the South will grow strong." Verse 25 says, "The king of the South will mobilize an extremely large and mighty army."
That "large and mighty army" is being built right now. Saudi Arabia has been using its vast oil wealth to arm itself to the teeth. It now has the fifth largest defense budget in the world. Some intelligence organizations rank it even higher, saying that only the United States and China spend more on their militaries. Yet Saudi Arabia has a population of only 32 million.
Once again, the Bible proves to be true. Thousands of years ago, Hebrew prophets described 21st century geopolitics with uncanny accuracy. That should give us confidence that we can also trust the Bible in each of our lives. It contains the very words of God to human beings. What a privilege to carry its words in our phones as well as having them on our bookshelves. But don't just carry the Bible around or leave it to gather dust. Get into it. Gain strength and understanding from it. Don't neglect it - especially now.