A very significant event occurred on Monday when Russian President Vladimir Putin officially recognized sovereign independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, two Ukrainian republics. Taken without a shot fired, Russia shrewdly established casus belli (reason for war), by setting up a strawman of Ukrainian resistance from those republics, only to “heroically” knock it down when Putin declared the two republics sovereign territory, then promised to fight for their independence. He is now able to blame Ukraine for an “uprising,” and walk right into those territories.
Meanwhile, while all eyes are on Russia and Ukraine, the Russian military has moved bombers and other fighter jets, as well as entire units of military personnel and other heavy equipment to bases in Syria. At the same time, Iran is pouring military equipment into its Syrian bases via the Iraqi-Syrian border and via large transport planes into Damascus.
With 75% of Russia’s military deployed to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and to Syria, Putin is serious in his threats and will likely make quick work of Ukraine. The US and Europe are totally leaderless and powerless to do anything about it, and Ukraine will not be the end of the road in Putin’ quest for power.
If that isn’t enough, Russia sent a loud and clear message to Israel that the Russians now fully support beleaguered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, thus, Israel may no longer carry out military action in Syria without jeopardy of retaliatory action from Russia, making those missions much more dangerous.
Why is that important? For years, former Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu worked diligently to build a relationship with Russia that would allow the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to take care of business as Iran encroached upon the borders of Israel (from Syria). Because of strong foreign policy on the parts of Israel and the US, not only was Iran thwarted in efforts to position themselves to attack Israel, but Russia turned a blind eye, allowing Israel to take action against Iranian encroachment. That is no longer the case.
So, is the Russian-Ukrainian conflict a smokescreen?
Make no mistake, the conflict is real. However, as Bible believers, we must remain focused on what God’s Word guides us to. In many places, Scripture lays out what we are to expect in the last days, and there is one key fact to consider: the Bible does not talk about conflicts between nations, but rather nations’ relationships to Israel.
You will not find anything written about Russia vs Ukraine, or China vs Taiwan, or North Korea vs South Korea, etc. Rather, what we find throughout Scripture (including the entire Old and New Testaments) are references to how people groups and nations relate to ISRAEL. Israel is the epicenter in world history, and the epicenter in the last days.
Rather then being consumed by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict or what might transpire in other global hotspots, we are wise to focus on the relationships of those nations and people groups with Israel. God’s Word is accurate from first to last verse, and we can bet Russia, Iran, Turkey and areas of North Africa will soon turn their sights upon Israel, just as Ezekiel 38-39 declare.
My friends, these are dark days through human eyes. But, as we fix our gaze on Jesus, we rest in peace, knowing He has already promised to save us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:10) The wrath of God will fall swiftly and overwhelmingly in the Tribulation, yet we are promised to be taken from this world before then! Hold fast, believers! We may see difficult days, but, by the grace of Jesus our Savior, we will escape the wrath of God.
Refuse to allow smokescreens to cloud your vision!