In case you didn’t know, the capital of Syria is Damascus—the same place Saul was headed in Acts 9 when he had a life-changing encounter with the risen Jesus. And in case you haven’t been watching any news lately, Syria is the place President Obama is apparently headed too.
Saul was on his way to Damascus to kill or persecute Christians. In contrast, President Obama seems poised to send cruise missiles into Syria as “a shot across the bow” to punish Syria’s president for allegedly using chemical weapons.
On his way to Damascus, Saul was convinced he was on a mission from God. But then his story took an unexpected turn: “When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice: ‘Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?’” (vs. 3-4 MSG)
After setting out on his mission full of pride and his own self-importance, Saul was knocked to the ground and struck blind by the intense searchlight of heaven. Someone had to take him by the hand and lead him the rest of way.
We’ll soon see whether America is on a similar collision course. The good news is that Saul’s story had a happy ending. God not only restored his sight, but Saul—the self-righteous Pharisee and persecutor—was transformed into Paul, the apostle of grace.
I love our country. But could it be that we, like Saul, are in need of a Damascus Road experience? Could it be that we’re on the wrong path, desperately in need of an encounter with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?
Time will tell whether the current events in Syria have any major prophetic significance. But 2 Chronicles 7:14 is true regardless: It’s always time for God’s people to humble ourselves and pray…to seek His face to turn from our wicked ways. If we do this, He has promised to hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land.
And who could doubt that our land needs to be healed today?