Daily Topic for December 13, 2008

John 1:5
"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."

We in the Western world often consider darkness to be merely the absence of light. The Bible calls it evil and says it is an aggressive force. Nevertheless, John rejoices that this “darkness has not overpowered the light which shines in Jesus.” It was this darkness that caused most of the Jews not to understand the fact that the Messiah truly had come. But they also didn’t understand that Jesus meant to include the Gentiles in His love and blessing.

Lord, we pray that Your church, including our congregations, may prevail against spiritual forces intent on obscuring believers’ from understanding Your missionary heart.

Alawites in Israel and Syria

Without moving, the Alawite religious community went from Syria to Lebanon and Israel. In fact, their town of Ghajar is split between Israel and Lebanon. It sits in the Golan Heights where it belonged to Syria until the 1967 War when Israel captured the area. When Israel formally annexed Golan, Alawites in Ghajar opted to become Israeli citizens. This made their group the only Alawite community in Israel. Then the UN drew Lebanon’s border to cut through the heart of Ghajar. There are over a million Alawites in neighboring Syria, where the Syrian president is part of the Alawite religion. The Alawites in Ghajar find economic benefits by identifying with Israel, so they practice their unique version of Islam in a land ruled by Jews.

Alawites borrow beliefs from other religious groups, and worship a relative of Islam’s prophet, Mohammed. Alawism says that all people were once stars in the world of light, but they fell due to disobedience. Individuals must be reincarnated seven times before they once again return to being stars. They see themselves as a persecuted minority, God’s chosen people, the only ones who have seen the light. They think that if people are sinful, they will be reborn as Christians.

Learn more at joshuaproject.net

Pray that tentmaker missionaries will contact this isolated group. Ask the Light of the World to reveal Himself to the Alawite leaders of Ghajar.-EF

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