the usual message

From a discussion about what's happening in Egypt right now:

We should recall the ecstatic celebrations after Obama was elected. People were amazed at what their coordinated efforts had accomplished, something that seemed unimaginable. But now I would guess that few are really excited about what has been achieved by Obama, many are pretty disillusioned and upset. That's not to overly criticize Obama, who seems better than most politicians. It's just that politics is always very limited in the true good it can accomplish. The one unvarying law seems to be: compromise. And that never gets us very close to anyone's ideal.

Your example of Jericho is a great one. I can't think of a much better illustration of God's power at work, as opposed to the power of the people, except perhaps the story of Gideon. God tells the people of Israel to march around the city a certain number of times and blow trumpets. And the impenetrable walls fall down. How obvious is that, that the power of God is at work and not the power of armies or human engineering? Do you think anyone in Israel thought that their collective might brought down those walls?

In Egypt, on the other hand, the message is quite different. They didn't just shout. They turned out in mass protests, by the tens of thousands. They interrupted the operation of the capital, they organized strikes at the highly important Suez canal, they used the media to turn public opinion in Egypt and around the world to their cause. Foreign leaders began calling for the president's resignation, including the US which supports the Egyptian government with huge amounts of money. And Mubarak stepped down. What is the message? I think a quote from a recent article I read sums it up well: "The Egyptian people pulled it off. And I think now Arabs know that if they bring people out onto the streets, if they have the numbers, they can accomplish amazing things.”

The usual message of the political struggle: "Together we are strong." Quite a different message than the one God sent at Jericho. And quite different from what Jesus preached. Faith in the power of the people is nothing like faith in God.