Thursday, September 04, 2008

What Happens Next (1) Georgia

Recent events in Georgia mark a shift in historical dimension. For the last thirty years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia has been retreating. The Russian empire has been crumbling away. President Putin has turned Russia around. The red army has been revitalised and high oil prices have strengthened the Russian economy.

When Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia foolishly decided to invade the independent enclave of South Ossetia, he was walloped by the Russian army. The Russians not only seized control of South Ossetia seized and the other independent enclave of Abkhazia, but Russian troops are now stationed throughout much of northern Georgia.

Western political leaders have done much grandstanding, but they are powerless to change things on the ground. They are concerned, because pipelines through Georgia provide important access to gas and oil from wells around the Caspian Sea.

Daniel foresaw these events in a dream. He saw four terrible beasts coming out of the sea. The first was an eagle attempting to get free from a lion. That has already been fulfilled. The second beast was a bear.

And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, 'Get up and eat your fill of flesh (Dan 7:5).
For a long time, I thought that Russia was too weak to be a fulfilment of this vision, but that now seems to be changing. Russia is now going in strength towards the west (one side).

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia lost territory on its western flank. Some of the ribs that protect its central organs were ripped out of its side. These ribs are now being recovered. The three ribs being crushed by the bear’s teeth probably represent three nations, with Georgia being the first. The other possibility is that the three ribs are Abkhazia, Georgia and South Ossetia. These territories are like three ribs in a row.

The bear was told to “Get up and eat”, so we can expect to more to follow. I am not sure which territories they are. One possibility is the Eastern Ukraine, which has many Russian speaking citizens. The other possibility is Crimea, which is important for control of the Black Sea.

NATO is currently intent on stirring up the nations on Russian’s western flank. In response to the Georgian saga, the union of states has established missile bases in Poland. NATO pressure leaves Russia vulnerable to attack, so it is not surprising that the bear is fighting back. NATO should be careful, because God has given the bear permission to “get up and eat its fill of flesh”.

God is allowing this to happen as judgement on the Western nations that have forgotten him and focused on feeding the flesh. He has allowed Russian control over a significant share of the world’s oil supplies to shake the western economy. This will lead to the third seal of Revelation. The solution is not belligerence towards Russia, but repentance towards God.

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