Hi friends! I recently read an article posted by Joel Rosenberg about a Shia Muslim country that befriends Israel and backs the US! Is it even possible? Why would they oppose Iranian terrorism? (Iran is the “mother ship” of Shia Islam.)
According to that article, here are some facts about the country:
- 9.8 million people
- 97% Shia Muslim, 3% Christian, but with a fairly secular government
- “Oil-rich Azerbaijan has redefined itself over the past two decades from a struggling newly independent state to a major regional energy player,” notes the BBC.
- A former Soviet republic which became independent on August 30, 1991, just before the formal dissolution of the USSR
- Located in a tough neighborhood, with Russian President Vladimir Putin to the north, Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to the south, and Armenia to the west which wrested control of some 20% of Azerbaijan (the Nagorno-Karabakh region) after a period of war and separatist uprisings during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
- Criticized by some internationally for an authoritarian government
- Working closely with the U.S. and the West on regional energy and security issues
There is a battle raging in the Middle East right now, resulting in nations and people groups who were once enemies to become allies, and it is primarily triggered by the division between Sunni and Shia Muslims. ISIS is Sunni and wants to rid any and everyone (including Shia Muslims) who stand in their way of advancing a caliphate. Iran and its proxies (such as Hezbollah) are Shia and hellbent on destroying the infidels that stand in the way of the coming of their messiah, the Mahdi.
In the end, I suspect the competing Muslim sects will destroy one another and Syria could be the battlefield where much of the destruction takes place. One day (perhaps soon), Damascus will fall, as the prophet Isaiah states in chapter 17. That would seem to make the pathway wide open for the invasion from the north, prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39. Is the stage already set for those two end time events? Events are coming together very quickly and the curtain is about to rise!
How will it all occur? No one knows for sure, though many of us have vivid imaginations of how it might occur, not the least of which is Joel Rosenberg. His latest novel, Without Warning, released yesterday and I can hardly wait to read it! (I’m awaiting a time when I have a couple hours because I know I will not put it down once I pick it up!) If you are unfamiliar with Rosenberg and his writing, you will find that he is one of the most well-informed prophecy experts in the world. He garners interviews with world leaders in government, the military, the CIA, and other “in the know” types. His fast-paced writing draws you right into the story, and there is always an evangelical effort in the midst of the drama.
Without Warning is actually the third in a trilogy, but you do not have to have read the first two to understand or enjoy this one. If you like prophecy, I’m confident you will enjoy any of Rosenberg’s novels, and I encourage you to pick one up and see for yourself.
Be sure to check in tomorrow as I dive into 4 Biblical principles that apply to Israel. We’ll spend the next few days studying together, so I hope you’ll pull your chair up to the study table and join in!