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Wednesday, April 17th | The Israel-Iran Controversy

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
April 17, 2024 6:00 am

Wednesday, April 17th | The Israel-Iran Controversy

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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April 17, 2024 6:00 am

In this episode of Clearview Today, Dr. Shah talks about current events and how we as Christians should view and respond.

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That's right. You guys can help us keep the conversation going by supporting the show. You can do that by sharing it online with your friends and your family. You can leave us a good five-star review on iTunes or Spotify. Anywhere that you get your podcasting content from. We're here today live in the Clearview Today Studio with Dr. Abbadan Shah, who is a Ph.D. in New Testament textual criticism, professor, Carolina University author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's show.

You can follow all of his work on his website. That's Today we're going to take a break from our normally scheduled programming. Today was going to be Dr. Shah's book club, but in light of recent events, especially what's going on with Israel, we want to take time and give this the attention it deserves to talk about just this terrible situation with Israel and the attacks that are happening in the Middle East.

Absolutely. As many of you know, Israel has been at war. Starting on October 7, 2023, Hamas attacked Israel, and as you saw, the chilling images on the Internet, on Facebook, YouTube, on the news, and how terrible the tragedy was. And then when Israel stepped up to answer back and even to bring back their citizens, not all the world was in support. And even to this day, you see people opposing Israel's right to defend themselves and to protect their citizens, and even to bring back those who have been kidnapped.

And not just kidnapped, but also been abused. And so this is a horrific thing that you would not expect in 2023, and yet it's happening in front of everybody. Yeah, we covered it back in 2023. I remember the attacks happened on October 7, and I think it was a couple of days after that we covered it right here on the show. Right, it was a couple of shows we did.

Yeah, we did, I think, three episodes, and I remember thinking, like, hopefully this is the only time that we'll have to talk about this. And then as events kept unfolding, we kept updating, bringing the situation. We even got some pushback on the show, which I thought was odd, because I never hear this kind of thing talked about until things happen, and then all of a sudden everybody's an expert in Middle Eastern politics, especially as far as Palestinian politics go. Yeah, and that's why when we talk about this thing, it's not just taking talking points from some famous preachers or prophecy teachers. Now, we have done our research, and we've been doing it for 20-some years. This is not something that we just picked up because, hey, everybody's talking about it. Let's just get on board with this, and let's take advantage of this situation. It was not taking advantage of it, but bringing a biblical and even a historical political perspective on what's happening in the world.

And we should, as Christians, do that without getting shouted down by people who are pseudo-scholars, and all of a sudden they think they can teach the world or straighten everybody else out. All of us are just absolutely ignorant. That's not true. And it's interesting, we were talking about this leading up to the show. It's really difficult to find anyone in a media outlet that's covering this. So we actually have, if you want to cut to it in the stream, we actually have the news pulled up right now. Earlier, right before we started the show, there was a little lower third box that had coverage in it. There's nothing now. If this was happening anywhere else in the world, it would be live, around-the-clock updates.

If this was in London, France, if this was in any European country, if this was in America, you better believe it would be everywhere. And I wanted him to pull it up just to show you they're talking about something. I mean, there's an impeachment trial. Sure, I guess that's important. But one of the U.S.'s major allies is under direct attack. And we can't get any media coverage at all.

That's right. It's very tragic. And there are people speaking out, which is, we're not the only ones, and that's good to know that. But we want to educate people biblically, we want to educate people politically, we want to educate people historically, geographically, so that they will be better informed rather than just taking in what you are hearing. And don't always assume that we're just taking talking points. I'm repeating that to let you know.

It's not just taken from some prophecy preacher or some old book or website. No, these are things that we're studying constantly, reading up, studying all the time, going on site in some places. Yeah, that's right. Do you want to kind of walk us through this conflict, maybe just like a brief overview of how we got to, because this happened on Saturday, right? This attack?

Yeah. So, of course, everybody knows about October 7th and how Hamas attacked Israel. And then October the 8th, Hezbollah joined the war, sort of at a low level. And the Iran-backed Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah begins firing toward Israel. And then November 2023, last year, the Houthis, this is the Yemeni rebels, they began to, who are actually supported by Iran, right? They launched drones and missiles, again, shipping assets in the Red Sea.

And that all began in November. And this was all, in a sense, trying to pressure Israel to back off. So you've got Hamas, you've got Hezbollah, and then, like in two days of each other, and then you've got rebels out of Yemen. Right, the Houthis, right. All of them firing against Israel. Right, and of course, missiles and drones are also coming from the north. And so, on April the 1st, so a lot of other things have happened.

It's time to go through every little chronological event since last October. But Israel launched an airstrike against an Iranian diplomatic compound. This is in Damascus, Syria. And it killed several Iranian military leaders, generals, and all that.

Now, here's the big thing. What are they doing in Syria? Right, why are Iranian generals in Syria?

Well, I mean, it's a free world. People can go anywhere. No, they're there because they are planning and executing attacks against Israel. Yeah, multiple military generals don't just happen to find themselves strolling around foreign countries. There is a common factor here, in case you've missed it. The Hezbollah, the Houthis, all of them, there's ties back to Iran. Right, you wouldn't see U.S. military generals convening in like Britain or something and be like, well, maybe they're just on vacation. You don't know.

Especially at a time like this. Right, of course. And of course, Israel did not confirm or deny this attack. But the Iranian foreign minister accused the United States of authorizing this Israeli airstrike and all of that, which the United States denied. Right. Okay, so that has been done. And Tehran said they're going to attack Israel. And of course, as you saw, starting, I believe it was, what date was it that the drones and the- I believe it was the 14th.

Okay. It was Saturday, right? Yeah, I bet it was.

Or Sunday. Yeah, and drones and missiles were firing and flying over Israel. Yeah, that was the 14th.

Right, it was 14th. That kind of leads us to where we are now. Right, as many as 300, and many of them were successfully thwarted. And in some places, even the Jordanians joined in to stop some of those missiles and the U.S. as well. So you know people are against what Iran is doing. They know that.

They know Iran is behind a lot of the junk that is happening. But people are afraid to speak out. It's like, oh, we don't want to say anything. Just don't say anything.

Israel, just don't do anything. Just be the bigger person. And you can keep saying that, be the bigger person. But how are they the smaller person here? Right.

Because they know, right, they know that there are foreign elements from Iran in Syria planning and executing attacks against Israel. And you step up and do something about it. Now be the bigger person. Let them do what they need to do. Okay, you can do that. And I'm always for peace. If there is negotiation, I will always go for negotiation. If there are treaties, let's all do that.

If there's a way to impose bans and restrictions, okay, all right. But when there's immediate harm, and who would deny that recently there have been immediate harm against Israel, lives have been lost, innocent lives. It's one thing for a soldier to fight a soldier.

But lives, human lives have been lost, and for them to step up and defend themselves, hey, that's what the nation has the right to do. Well, you've said this on previous shows where we talked about topics like this, is that negotiation has been in the works for decades. And I think the rest of the world who are involved in these conflicts have shown that they're not interested in negotiating. They're interested in Israel's destruction.

I mean, that's the chant, right? From the, what is it, from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free. Like, it's trying to literally push Israel into the sea.

So it doesn't make sense to me, and I guess this is something we were talking about off mic, too. It doesn't make sense to me that world politics acts this way, where there's direct assaults, right? Not covert espionage, not rumors, but direct assaults on a nation, and the rest of the world comes in and says, hey, don't respond.

Don't do anything. Well, let me also clarify, it's not like they are, the whole world is saying Israel, now you're wrong, that's not true. Behind the scenes, everybody's sort of supporting Israel.

They are. I mean, Iraq and Jordan, these are the buffer states between Israel and Iran. They closed their airspace. Jordanian planes were up in the sky firing against missiles coming from Iran. Saudi Arabia sent intelligence to Israel and the United States warning them, this is coming, Iran is up to something, get ready.

They are all. So I do want to clarify that or correct that and say it's not like everybody's against Israel, that's not true. But on the news, it almost seems like nobody's supporting Israel when they are. But when you tell the average person that Israel should just back off, it creates a negative feeling against Israel.

It makes Israel look like the bad person when all of those nations around Israel are saying, hey, we don't care one bit about what Iran is up to. Right. We support you.

We're glad you're here. Even Egypt, they're all glad Israel is standing up. But on the surface, they have to play this game.

That's why we're doing this show to just say not that they are wrong. I get it. Diplomacy is very, very hard to do. It's very tricky. You have to play the game.

I get it. But sometimes we need to just say Israel is right. They have to defend. Let's let's pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Right. Let's support God's people.

So today is Wednesday the 17th. And I guess where we are now is that we are waiting for Israel's response. And it feels like everybody's just kind of braced, waiting to hear from Tel Aviv what they're going to do.

It's like a fever pitch. We're just kind of waiting for the shoe to drop. And then I suppose also what we're going to do. Will the U.S. back a counterattack?

You know what I mean? I saw some headlines going around talking about Iran threatening to hit U.S. bases if we did back that counterattack. So I guess right now everybody's just waiting to see who makes the first move.

Not the first move, but the retaliatory move. Yeah, it's sort of waiting, maybe waiting. Maybe people already know what needs to happen and what can happen and what will happen. They are just sort of waiting. But I think the powers behind the scene, behind the curtain, already know what needs to happen.

I saw a lot of talk shows going around because everybody seems, like you said, it seems like when this happened, a lot of talk shows and a lot of even Christian personalities wanted to jump on this because it's good ratings. But at the same time, like you said, there was a lot of this talk like Israel is the only Western ally over in the Middle East, and so they should be the adult in the room. And so I guess what I'm wondering is how long can the adult in the room keep getting... Like if your kid is throwing mashed potatoes at you and slapping you in the face, how long can you be... Like what does being the adult in the room actually look like?

The adult in the room is supposed to sit there and just take it and let them act up and let them destroy the place? Also there are other adults in the room too who are Western allies. Saudi Arabia is a Western ally, very strong friend of America. I think most Americans wouldn't know that. They don't know that, but it is. And I think if you're aware of current events in politics, you do know that. So it is true and it's not, but at the same time, it becomes difficult for the Israeli government to respond, especially Benjamin Netanyahu, who's trying his best.

And I know there are a lot of people who have mixed emotions. It's like, is he the right person? Is he not? I mean, look, he is standing up and fighting. And I can assure you, having watched Israeli political ups and downs over the past four or five years, I'm glad he's back in power. I'm glad he is there because he protects the interests of Israel and he's also an ally of the West. And I mean, other Israeli prime ministers have been as well, but he is definitely no questions asked.

He is a friend of the West. And I think he knows what's going on. He knows what needs to happen and there should be a response.

There should be something. But the thing is with Iran, it's been coming for decades. This is nothing new. It's been coming for decades.

They have been working on their nuclear plants and this all began 2006. I don't know how many of y'all were familiar with that at the time. How old were you? Golly, I might have been 16, 15. Yeah, I think I was like 17. I graduated in 2010, so I'd have been 18 in 2010. So 2006, yeah, I'd have been 14, 15.

I was 18. Yeah, that's when the whole discussion began, whether or not Iran should be allowed to have nuclear capability. And everybody's like, no. This is a bad idea.

This is a bad idea. But then our failure in our American government to stand up and do what needed to be done that we didn't do what needed to be done. And all those things were just a cat and mouse game that really was not even a game. And now we are at a place where they are a threat.

And I think that's one of the more frustrating things for me because everyone is saying that this is just a – and it feels like this with everything. And I know we do acknowledge that Israel does have allies who are kind of staying under the scenes or trying to help. But it does feel like every single time something like this happens against Israel, someone has to point out. But it's in response to that. They did that first. Like there's a direct assault on Israel. It's like, right, but they did an airstrike on Damascus. So this is just retaliation. It's never like this was wrong.

It's always they deserve this. And it feels like maybe that goes back even further than just this conflict. Yeah, it is. And it's sad. Yeah, it is sad. I just imagine in light of the things that happened back in October and leading up to today, even last weekend, what it must be like to grow up in Israel?

Just to have a nation that people are constantly aiming for, people are constantly against. What does that feel like? How does that feel to be in Israeli shoes? It's got to be tough.

I've never been in those shoes. I've lived in India. And as a Christian, as a minority, we felt opposition, but we were very strong. I mean, when it came to our church, our facilities, you wouldn't mess with us. And we build good relations with people. Israel does have good relations with the people around them. They do.

But it is frustrating. And especially those border cities who were recently impacted both to the south and to the north. I mean, I've been to the Hula Valley. And just to read on the news and seeing these drones and missiles flying over Hula Valley, it's a beautiful valley to the north of the Sea of Galilee. It's just so tragic to see those farmers now have to once again stop everything and have to protect themselves. It's sad.

It has to be tough. In Tel Aviv, same thing. Some of the terrorist attacks. Now, people have gone with me to Israel, and they don't see any of that because we're not going to contentious sites. We're going to historical sites, and everything is fine. But our guide will talk about life in some of those places, and it's tough.

Yeah, what it's like, especially living day to day. And some of the violence that he's seen over his years of being a guide in Israel. But like you said, overall, when we go there, you see the peaceful side of things. You see the unity, and you see really the cooperation of the Israeli people. When they know that we're Americans coming, everyone's happy. They light up. They love that.

Yeah, absolutely. But Iran is the mystery. Like, what is Iran? Who is Iran? What is this country? And unfortunately, many people do not know much about it. Maybe we can talk about that.

I would like to maybe educate our people as to this nation, its history. Who are they? What's going on there?

I love it. So, when you think about Iran, it's a country which is in the Middle East and in Asia. For thousands of years, it was known as Persia. And so when you hear Persia in the Bible, this is modern day Iran.

That's helpful to know. Yeah. The name Iran came from 1935. Prior to that is Persia.

Wow. I didn't realize it was that recent. Islamic Republic. Now, even that title, Islamic Republic, came later. But Iran was 1935. Was it Persia until 35?

So, like, from biblical times till 35, that's how long it was. Yeah, it was known as Persia. Wow. Yeah. Yeah, I didn't realize it was that recent either. And it's a very significant change because Persia, correct me if I'm wrong, but there was the Babylonian exile, right? That's where Daniel was.

Yes. And then Persia comes in and virtually overnight overthrows Babylon. So, there's a great book that I want to recommend to you if you want to know more about Iran. It's a book called Persia and the Bible. You don't want to read that.

It's a big, thick book by Edwin Yamauchi, who's an Old Testament scholar. In fact, he actually went to Iran back in 1971, 1972. This is during the time of the Shah of Iran, when the country was still open to the West. I mean, they were a Western ally.

Can you imagine at a time that it was a Western ally? Yeah, that's foreign to me. That's bizarre to think about.

That is kind of crazy. Yeah. And then everything changed, which was 1974, I believe, the Islamic Revolution with Ayatollah Khomeini. And once that happened, everything changed.

And so, I'm sorry, 1979, everything changed. And you can't really do that anymore. Yeah. But it has so many historical sites. In fact, there are as many as, I think, 25 or 30, I had the number down somewhere, UNESCO World Sites, 24 World Heritage Sites in Iran. Wow.

That's incredible. And even 56 more sort of tentative lists on the tentative list, like they could also be. I mean, it has a rich history. Rich history. In Edwin Yamauchi's book, The Meads, Cyrus, of course, Cambyses, Darius, Xerxes, Artaxerxes, Susa, Agbatana, these are names of the cities, Pasargadae, Persepolis, all this is in Persia. Yeah. Yeah. Now, you mentioned the Shah of Persia.

Is that where your name comes from, Abadan Shah? Oh, yes. Yeah.

Our family, but generations back, are we talking about close to about 700, 800 years, 600, 700 years ago. Wow. They came from there to India.

Wow. But they ruled there in India for several hundred years. So, that's our connection there. It's really incredible that all the way from the Bible up until 35, this major world superpower, do you think it's still the same power just called Iran now, or is it a completely different people, completely different set of rules?

No, it's the same people, but the mindset is very different. Gotcha. Yeah. It had the largest, one of the largest empires in the world, right? It went all the way from India to Greece.

Yeah. I mean, one reason the Macedonian named Alexander got this massive army together was to finally break the power of Persia. And Persian army was made up of all these different languages.

I mean, Ryan was with me in Thessalonica, I believe, right? Thessalonica, where we saw the statue of Alexander the Great. Big statue of Alexander and then life-size replicas of the spears and the shields that they used.

It's incredible. And if you remember that big mural that had Alexander and his fighters on one side and the Persians on the other side. And so, as they are fighting, you can see there's confusion in the Persian ranks because they have different languages. The Persian empire had this idea that as long as you are willing to be called part of the Persian empire, you can keep your customs, you can keep your religion, you can keep your language, you can do whatever you want to do. And you're just a Persian, but you can still be an Indian, you can still be a Greek, you can still be a Jewish person, whatever you want to be. But it also had division because you have different languages. Alexander decided to build this massive army, but he wanted to use Greek culture, so he spread Greek culture, Greek language, coined Greek. And it worked to his advantage because when everybody spoke the same language, you can fire off an order from the front to the back and everybody heard it and knew exactly what needs to happen. In the Persian army, when you're firing off a command, by the time it gets translated... They played a game of multilingual telephone. And it didn't go well.

Nobody knows what to do. And I would love to talk more about it, but the whole point is this. And by the way, for those of you history lovers, that's a very simplistic explanation. Hashtag oversimplified.

They oversimplified. Don't think that they did that in every battle. I'm sure they had ways to communicate faster. But just to say, this is why Alexander decided to go all the way across into India to finally break the power of Persia. Wow.

Was he successful? I mean, yes, of course. Persia never rose back. So this is that same people, but very different... With the coming of Islam, they lost a lot. Wow.

Yeah. It radically changed their culture. It changed their mindset.

It changed everything about them. Isn't it interesting that every... We've talked about this on the show, but everywhere that Christianity has gone, it has elevated people. It has brought civilization. It has brought modernity. But then where Islam has gone, it has gone downhill. Yeah.

I would say that there is places where music or art or architecture has grown. We have to admit that and acknowledge that. But at the same time, freedom. Yeah. Freedom is a different thing. Christianity brought freedom.

Yeah. And it seems as though you don't see many wars being fought over Christianity. And people always will point to the Crusades, but they will ignore the fact that Islam was a major, major, major part of the Crusades.

Right. And you don't see that happening today over Christianity. You always see it happening with Islam, or very, very, very often you'll see it happening with Islam.

Yeah. Religious wars are often blamed on Christians, but in reality, yes, I am aware of the inquisition. I'm aware of the bad part of Christian history as well. But overall, if you compare them, if you tally them, there is no comparison between how many died in religious wars that were so-called Christian versus those that happened with other religions. So you're ignoring a common denominator.

Yeah. Other religions, oh my goodness, the numbers are astronomical. As people are listening to today's episode, maybe they're feeling powerless. Maybe they're feeling like, I'm so far removed from this, I don't know what I can do. What can our listeners and our viewers take away from today's episode, and what can they do in response to what's going on in Israel? I would say, number one, pray. Pray. Our world needs a lot of prayer. Pray for revival. Pray for an awakening.

Pray in America, not just in your community, in your church, but pray all over the world. There needs to be an awakening. These are reverberations of the coming end times. I'm not saying this is it. There's not a single prophecy right now that is, I would say, oh, that's what's being fulfilled with these missiles and drones over Israel from Iran. Don't do that. You will be sadly mistaken.

When you say, this is it, God's going to say, maybe not. So we can't say that. But we can say that these are the tremors, right? Isn't that what they call them? The tremors before an earthquake?

Like the labor pains or something like that? Yeah. That's what they are of something coming. And that's something maybe a thousand years from now. But I think this is what's going on.

So we need to educate ourselves. That's right. I hope we can talk more on this. Yeah, I think so. Absolutely.

Thank you. One of the reasons that we have this show is not just to talk about Christian things and give you daily encouragement, but also to keep you aware of what's going on. I think there's a lot of people in our nation who don't want you to be aware. That's why we can't do any coverage about this.

They don't want you to know what's going on. And so part of our job is to not only keep you informed, but just keep you up to date with what's going on with God's people. We truly believe and we stand firmly on this that Israel is still God's people. He still has a plan for them. That means that the Clear View Today show is grateful and fortunate to be part of that.

Yeah. And we mean what we say. We want to engage your mind and your heart for the gospel. So hopefully today was helpful in doing that. If you have any questions about today's episode, write in and let us know 252-582-5028. Or you can visit us online at Don't forget, you can partner with us financially on that same website. Scroll to the bottom, click that donate button, and let us know what's going on with you and your Today Show family.

That's right. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clear View Today. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-17 08:25:11 / 2024-04-17 08:38:13 / 13

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