Turmoil in Egypt. President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the fundamentalist Sunni Muslim Brotherhood who was fairly elected by a majority of the electorate, is deposed from office in a coup d’état that no one wants to call a coup d’état. This unexpected over throw of the government was engineered by the Egyptian army, and about 20 million disgruntled ordinary Egyptians, secularists, and Coptic Christians. For the immediate future the most populous Sunni Arab nation in the Middle East will be pre-occupied by its domestic turmoil.
And then there is the on-going bloodbath in Syria that is fast devolving into a vicious, wide-ranging regional, sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims. Are you feeling a little anxious yet about what this 21st Century religious war in the Middle East could mean for us who live in the secular West?
There is a very real possibility that what started as a call for peaceful change in the tightly controlled political status quo of Syria, and then morphed into a vicious civil war conflict between Assad’s minority Alawite/Shi’ite ethnic group and the majority Sunni population of Syria, will now entangle Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey in a broader regional struggle between Shi’ites and Sunnis that could force a bloody re-drawing of the political map of the Middle East. The last time such a profound collapse in the Middle East’s equilibrium occurred was following the destruction of the Ottoman Empire at the close of World War I. At that time the British and the French drew up much of the political map of the region as we now recognize it.
But what if the grand Shi’ite coalition involving Assad’s Alawite/Shi’ites supplied with Russian military hardware, Hezbollah Shi’ite fighters from Lebanon, Shi’ite dominated Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ special forces, and Iraq’s Shi’ite militia volunteers should manage to defeat the Sunni rebels in Syria, what then? The consequences for us in the West might be completely life-altering. The potential is just that significant.
For starters, a Shi’ite victory in Syria would put enormous pressure on Saudi Arabia’s ruling Sunni monarchy. The northeastern part of Saudi Arabia near Kuwait is that country’s major oil producing region, and by coincidence it also just happens to have a majority Shi’ite population. Unrest if not outright revolt in this region could translate overnight into a doubling of the spot price of a barrel of oil in the world markets to more than $200.00! A collapse of the fat-cat Saudi monarchy would also mean the collapse of the petro-dollar arrangement between the Saudi monarchy and the United States government and lead to the inevitable demise of the U.S. Dollar as the world’s reserve currency
You see, since the Second World War, Saudi Arabia has agreed to only sell its oil for U.S. dollars. And because of Saudi Arabia’s dominant position in the world’s trade in oil, this has helped shore up the U.S. dollar’s global pre-eminent status for the last 70 years.
Without the petro-dollar staked in the heart of the world’s petroleum addicted economy, the U.S. dollar becomes just one more fiat currency issued by a bankrupt government that has a debt to G.D.P. level greater than 100% and that has to continually borrow more and more every year because it can’t balance its budget. If the Saudi monarchy and the petro-dollar collapse, you can expect that the standard of living in North America will take an enormous hit—perhaps worse than what happened in Greece. Now that’s anxiety!
What to do? Jesus of Nazareth made this recommendation that will soon be even more relevant than when he spoke it:
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles [the nations] seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34 English Standard Version
For a long time now, the god we’ve been trusting has been the U.S. dollar. But this false god won’t help you much in the soon-coming future. Don’t you think it’s about time you became acquainted with the real God? Discover how to have a real relationship with the Bible’s God at www.cogwebcast.com.