Day after day we continually hear about the Middle East crisis and we wonder – will there ever be peace in the Middle East? Most people know that this crisis involves the country of Israel and several surrounding nations, but I doubt many people know the history of this crises or what stands at the heart of all the conflict. Pastor Bryant Wright seeks to shed light on this crisis through the lens of the Bible in his new book “Seeds of Turmoil.”
It is impossible to understand the Middle East crisis without going to the Scriptures and specifically, the book of Genesis. This is precisely what Wright does and it makes for an interesting read. In the first 6 chapters of this book, the author journeys through the stories of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar, Isaac and Ishmael, Isaac and Rebekah, Esau and Jacob, and Jacob and the birth of the nation of Israel. He also includes a chapter on the special land that God gave to his chosen people. As a pastor, I have read through Genesis literally dozens of times and am very familiar with these narratives. However, I found that Wright did a great job of opening up the Biblical text and offered some good commentary throughout the book, but especially in his opening chapters. While his study does not go terribly in-depth, it does give the reader a general overview of the “biblical roots” as found in Genesis.
Perhaps most helpful to me was the insights given into the Muslim world (beyond just the stories of Ishmael and Esau) and the rise of Mohammad in the 7th century AD. The growing influence of Islam is taking the world by storm and it is important for Christians to know where it all started, which is where this book is particularly helpful. Wright was not afraid to say that he is biased – writing from a very pro-Israel perspective, but in chapter 10 he does attempt to give “the Islamic perspective” in order to help the non-Muslim better understand where they are coming from. In chapter 8, Wright contends that the country of Iran is the greatest threat to Israel today and I think it would be hard to argue with him on that.
Throughout the book, Bryant Wright is careful to note that in the midst of this crisis, God is sovereign and that his purposes will prevail in the end. Without this knowledge, it would be easy to get down and wonder if there is any hope at all. But Wright ends the book on a high note by giving the Christian perspective and presenting Jesus as the hope of the world. In the same way that we will never understand the Middle East crisis without going to the book of Genesis, we will never find hope in this world without going to the pages of the New Testament and the person of Jesus Christ. Regardless of age, sex, race, religion; we must all put our faith and trust in Jesus the Christ. We must repent of our sins and trust Jesus for salvation. Wright concludes by saying that we must pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6), love Christ and follow his teaching, and lastly to pray for Christ’s return.
This is a helpful, easy to read book that I would recommend to anyone seeking to understand more about this topic.
I received a free copy of this book from the publishers and was not required to write a positive review.