Friday, July 10, 2009

"This place is going to burn"

"When we pull out of this country, this place is going to burn." That was the sentiment U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Christianson expressed to independent journalist Michael Totten as reported at michaeltotten.com in his July 8, 2009 blog post. The two were touring Adhamiyah neighborhood in Baghdad prior to the withdrawal of troops from Iraqi urban areas.

In his post, Michael Totten follows up the pessimism with his own shadow of optimistic hope: "No one can know if it really will burn."

I respectfully disagree with Michael; we all can know with certainty it will burn, for Jeremiah foresaw the burning of Iraq 2,600 years ago: "Summon the (hordes) against Babylon,... encamp against her on every side, let there be no escape... For your day has come, the time when I shall punish you. And the arrogant one will stumble and fall with no one to raise him up; and I shall set fire to his cities, and (the fire) will devour all his environs" (Jer. 50:29-32).

As Michael was being escorted by a Lieutenant Eric Kyulman, an Iraqi man walked up and asked to speak to them. "Please don't hand us over to the Iraqi Army," he said. "Look," the Lieutenant said. "We're not running away. We aren't just going to abandon you."

Unfortunately, the Lieutenant is unfamiliar with the rest of Jeremiah's prophecy, for after the cities burn, the occupiers are most certainly going to abandon Iraq -- "(Babylon's) high gates will be set on fire; so the peoples will toil for nothing. And the nations become exhausted (because of the) fire... 'We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed; forsake her and let us each go to his own country, for her judgment has reached to heaven and towers up to the very skies'" (Jer. 51:58,9).

And so as Totten records, "From the look on the Iraqi man's face, he was not at all convinced..."

The occupiers have withdrawn from the cities, and the cities may now burn. And after that, we abandon Babylon out of frustration that our healing has failed to heal.

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