Wednesday, October 5, 2011

30 years ago: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is assassinated

On October 6, 1981, Anwar Sadat, 62, President of Egypt since 1970, was shot to death, along with 11 others, by a squad led by Lieutenant Khalid Islambouli during the annual parade celebrating the anniversary of the 1973 crossing of the Suez Canal by Egyptian forces (the 1973 crossing began the Yom Kippur War between Egypt and Israel, and Egypt's celebration of the anniversary of a war that it lost probably says something about that culture). Hosni Mubarak, one of 28 people wounded in the attack, replaced Mr. Sadat as President. The Egyptian economy was said to be in bad shape, and there was also lingering resentment within Egypt of the 1979 peace treaty with Israel resulting from the 1978 Camp David Accords, signed by Mr. Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

One person caught by surprise by the assassination of Mr. Sadat was Mary Stewart Relfe, who had identified Mr. Sadat as a good candidate for the Antichrist in her book When Your Money Fails, published earlier in 1981. As Maxwell Smart used to say, "Missed it by that much!"

When I heard about the assassination of Mr. Sadat, I was electrified by the news, wondering what it meant as far as Bible prophecy was concerned. With the passage of time, it seems as though the only prophetic significance--and this is just my unwarranted speculation--is that perhaps the prophetic timetable would have been upset if Mr. Sadat had remained in office longer. The lesson I took from this event is that an event that may seem prophetically significant at the time may not necessarily be so--or at least may be prophetically significant in ways known only to God. One thing is sure: we're now 30 years closer to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ than we were on October 6, 1981.

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