What were your primary takeaways after reading “Lebanon: Past Challenges, Present Calamities, Future Prospects”? Is there hope for preserving a pluralistic Lebanon in the future?
If we believe God has a plan for the Near East then Lebanon will play a crucial role in that plan. Something I found very fascinating was that Lebanon is one of the original nations from the times of the Bible. Only Egypt can claim that status as well. All other nations were formed in different ways i.e. Iraq (Mesopotamia). This struck me because the ancient relationship that Lebanon had with the nation of Israel is rich. The Phoenician King of Tyre blessed Solomon with Cedar wood to build the Temple of God. Genesis tells us that those who bless Israel will be blessed. It is very possible that Lebanon has hope to rekindle this ancient relationship.
The present calamity Lebanon must overcome is the potential destruction of the country from War. As Dr. Habib Malik so eloquently stated, “If Israel and Hezbollah go to war the damage to infrastructure and anything else for that matter will be destroyed indefinitely.” At the Charles Malik Institute we learned that Charles Malik called Eisenhower during the Arab nationalism movement under Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser. The purpose of the call was an effort to covince the U.S. to use its power to stop the Arab Nationalism expansion in Lebanon. From this high leverage request Malik teaches us, as Christians, that the use of power can be good. Fifty years later the son, Dr. Habib Malik, would suggest otherwise. The economy of Lebanon, unlike Israel, could never sustain destruction and recover the same way.
The future prospects will come down to two things. First, the United States will have to annihilate the Iranian, (Persian) regime at its source. Second, the great men and women of Lebanon, both Christian and Muslim, who understand freedom, defined by “Creative Federalism,” will have to be courageous leaders. Lebanon has always been a mixture of oppressed people groups since the 4th Century. The people of Lebanon need to dig deep into their roots and grab on the resolve and resiliency of the Maronites as inspiration. They need to remember what happens when there is a healthy relationship with Tyre and Israel as the ancient Phoenicians had with King Solomon. Lebanon must remember it is the pure white snow of the greater Near East. “Lebanon is always referenced in the positive throughout Scripture.” Dr. Habib Malik.