America's recent attack on terrorists within the Syrian borders is citing international uproar. However, this is a continuation in the push against Russia that will eventually bring it down into the land of Israel.
Welcome to another edition of the Bible in the News, this is Jonathan Bowen joining you.
US Attack Inside Syria
This week our attention was refocused on the Middle East with the surprise attack by America on Syria this past Sunday. CBC news reported:
U.S. Army Special Forces launched a rare attack Sunday inside Syria close to the border with Iraq that killed eight people. The Syrian government said U.S. helicopters attacked a farm near the town of Abu Kamal about eight kilometres away from the border with Iraq. In four helicopters shortly before sundown, U.S. soldiers targeted a civilian building under construction and fired on workers inside...
The article goes on to record America’s point of view:
A U.S. military official in Washington said the raid by special forces targeted the network of al-Qaeda-linked foreign fighters moving through Syria into Iraq. The Americans have been unable to shut the network down in the area because Syria was out of the military's reach.
"We are taking matters into our own hands," the official told the Associated Press in Washington, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the political sensitivity of cross-border raids.
On Wednesday, the US Embassy in Syria reported that it would close its gates due to security concerns.
This type of action is to be expected as we consider the words of the prophets. Syria was part of the hegemony of the Babylonian Empire and forms part of the great image of Daniel chapter 2 that is beginning to stand up.
America has been appointed the role of protector of the Middle East by the prophets, even though somewhat unwilling at times. It is by divine providence that America has been brought into the Middle East at this time of the end. This is the picture painted by Daniel 11:40 where we read:
“At the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him…”
Also Ezekiel 38 reports a mercantile powerbase in the time of the end:
“Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof…”
The push and protest of the King of the South, or Tarshish powers can be seen in actions like America’s invasion of Iraq and incursions into Syria. Syria is a Russian ally, and a push against it is a push against Russia.
A response from Russia was fairly quick in coming. Reuters reported the Russian Foreign Ministry as having stated:
"Moscow has responded with great concern to what happened… We believe attacks that are worthy of condemnation should not be launched on the territory of sovereign states under the slogan of the fight against terrorism… It is obvious that such unilateral military actions have a sharply negative effect on the situation in the region, and widen the seat of dangerous armed tension."
The article also stated that,
Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad visited Moscow in August and was among the first foreign leaders to back Russia's military intervention in Georgia, an operation Western states condemned as disproportionate. Russian media reports said Damascus was seeking to buy Missile systems from Moscow.
Well, we can expect these types of pushes by the United States and its allies to continue until they eventually bring about the response recorded in Daniel 11:40:
And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.
Well, speaking of many ships, chariots and horsemen, the other issue of note this week are the preparations in Russia for the Libyan leader, Muammar Gadaffi, to visit Russia on November 2nd where Russia Today reports he will sign a multi-billion-dollar arms deal. So the Syrians are not the only ones buying Russian Arms in the region. The words of the prophets again come to mind linking Libya with Russia in the time of the end where we read:
“…the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps” (Daniel 11:43)
Gesenius reports the phrase “at his steps” to mean “in his footsteps, i.e. in his company”. Ezekiel 38:5 also puts Libya with Russia at the time of the end:
“Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet”
Both verses describe a military host, which is not surprising for the prophets tell us the lead up to the invasion of Israel is preceded by the nations rearming. Joel 3:10-11 instructs the nations:
“Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about….”
Russia and the Troubled Economy
During all the financial turmoil of the past few weeks, it is interesting to note how Russia is faring. The Moscow Times reported British Business Secretary Peter Mandelson as having said on Wednesday,
“Russia is well-equipped to withstand the financial crisis, and foreign investors are not jumping ship.” Thanks to its oil- and gas-financed surplus, "Russia is better placed than others to weather the storm," Mandelson told reporters, adding that he felt common sense prevailed in the government.
Russia has had over $500 billion in reserves, unlike most countries who saddle huge debts. Russia is using its $500 billion surplus to help shore up private Russian companies who have yet to fall under state control. However, this creates a degree of nervousness amongst the Oligarchs, as in the past Putin gained state control of many industries by calling their debts and putting their owners in prison.
However the Russian economy is linked with energy as 65% of its exports are energy driven. When oil prices are low, America is the beneficiary. When oil prices are high, Russia is the beneficiary.
During the 1970’s Russia armed and funded the Arab nations of the Middle East in an effort to keep tensions high in the region, the result of which kept oil prices up. When prices fell to the $11 per barrel mark in the late 1 980’s and early 1990’s, the Soviet Union collapsed. Some believe the low oil prices that in part led to the collapse of the USSR were orchestrated by the United States, and the drop in prices today are part of a bigger struggle for world dominance between the US and Russia.
However, Russia will not allow this to happen a second time. The days of her “turning about” are over. She will endeavor to ensure that tensions in the world, and specifically in oil producing regions, such as the Middle East, remain high and therefore so do oil prices.
Russia is now talking about forming a Natural Gas equivalent to Opec (the organization of oil producing countries) – to control pricing of the gas reserves. The Christian Science Monitor reported on Thursday, October 30, 2008
The nations with the world's three biggest reserves of natural gas – Russia, Iran, and Qatar – are quietly moving ahead to form a "gas OPEC," an organization modeled after the oil cartel.
In Tehran last week, representatives of the Russian natural-gas monopoly Gazprom met with counterparts from Iran and Qatar and agreed to create "a big gas troika." The group will meet quarterly to discuss pricing and supplies. Between them, these three countries hold an estimated 55 percent of known global gas reserves. The possibility of a cartel has long been opposed in Washington and European capitals.
Russia views control of energy as equating with control of the world. We know “in the latter years… things shall come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: and thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages … to take a spoil and to take a prey….” (Ezek 38:10-11). There will be hooks put into the jaws of Russia that bring her down into the land of Israel. Anti-Semitism is identified as one hook, another is the high places of Israel are another, commercial interests are a third. We look for events to develop that will draw Russia into the Middle East at the time of the end.
Well, as all eyes turn to America for the upcoming election, we remind listeners that the end result is somewhat irrelevant in the big scheme of things. George Bush ran on a platform of abandoning the Middle East and moving back to American isolationism. Yet America was to be compelled by events to happen at the beginning of his presidency to do what under existing circumstances America could not be compelled to do. America neutralized one of Israel’s biggest problems, Iraq – and has been fighting Israel’s enemies ever since.
Let us remember the words of Nebuchadnezzar, when he wrote:
This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. (Daniel 4:17)
Whoever is installed in office in America, the finger of God has indicated a course that will be pursued by America, whether it likes it or not.
This has been Jonathan Bowen reporting for the Bible in the News. Tune in next week to www.bibleinthenews.com or www.biblemagazine.com.