On Tuesday August 4 a cataclysmic explosion rocked the Lebanese capital Beirut. Large parts of the city have been damaged, over 200 people have been killed, with thousands injured, and nearly 300,000 left homeless. The cause of the explosion was the detonation of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that had been left at the port for the past six years and stored in an unsafe way. Street protests followed with mounting anger at the government for its perceived incompetence and corruption.
A UN spokesperson, Tamara Alrifai, described Lebanon’s current situation as
“an economic crisis, a financial crisis, a political crisis, a health crisis and now this horrible explosion”.
Over the years the Lebanese have been remarkably resilient, but this time may be different. As the experienced Middle East commentator, Tony Burman, has written:
“The damage to the country and its people has been so great, and public distrust of Lebanon’s leaders is so deep, that Lebanon – like Syria, like Libya – may ultimately collapse” (Toronto Star, August 8).
Perhaps we are witnessing here another stepping stone to the final crisis in this volatile region that will lead to the intervention of Christ and the establishment of his kingdom on earth.
With thanks to Brother Roger Long