On Thursday 25th March 2004 Tony Blair shook hands with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (full name Moammar Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi) in a symbolic end to three decades of the west's isolation of Libya. The Prime Minister said a stable "new relationship" had become possible with the former pariah state after its promise last December to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction programme. Libya has been implicated in many acts of terrorism:
The killing of PC Yvonne Fletcher, aged 25, who was shot outside the Libyan embassy in 1984, as a result, London broke off diplomatic relations. Approximately four years later in 1988 Libya was implicated in the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people.
Colonel Gaddafi also supplied the IRA with weapons in the 1980s. Some applauded the Prime Minister’s meeting. Others saw it as further capitulation to terrorists. Cynic’s would point to the news, which accompanied the visit, that oil giant Shell had agreed a £110m deal for gas exploration rights off the Libyan coast and future deals with the British defence industry. Has the handshake as much to do with dollars and pounds, as it has to do with peace? We have had similar debates in N. Ireland about the rights and wrongs of talking to unrepentant terrorists.
I was thinking of an event, which occurred in the New Testament. King Herod was having a birthday party.
Mark 6:21 "And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; Herod enjoyed the dancing of Herodias’s daughter at his party"
Mark 6:22 "And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee"
It is strange that on Herod’s birthday he is offering a gift. This young girl, after consulting with her mum, returns to the King and she asks for the head of John the Baptist. Herod obliges her and John the Baptist is beheaded. Let me move things forward to a time when the same Herod met with Jesus. Herod has much to say to Jesus but notice what Christ said:
Luke 23:9 "Then he [Herod] questioned with him in many words; but he [Jesus] answered him nothing"
Why did Christ refuse to speak to this murderer? Was Christ refusing to speak to an unrepentant terrorist?
Let me give you my suggestion. John the Baptist had warned Herod about his sin on an earlier occasion. Herod refused to listen and in fact he had silenced the voice of John the Baptist. Now Christ is silent before him. If God is speaking to you don’t shut your ears to his message lest he speak no more. I remember before I accepted Christ as my Saviour, there was a verse that really challenged my heart.
Proverbs 29:1 "He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy"
Please don’t leave it too late.
Are you SURE that you have your place booked in Heaven? Read this if you're not!