The Conflict Between Azerbaijan and Armenia
A lesser-known dispute of significance io the Bible believer.
Monday, October 12, 2020
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In the midst of a global pandemic, a tumultuous U.S. election season, talk of peace and safety in the Middle East...conflict has flared again in a lesser-known dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia, but of what significance is that to the Bible believer?Video Version:
There is a small region between Azerbaijan and Armenia, called Nagorno-Karabakh, that has been claimed by both countries. It is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan and has an Armenian ethnic majority. The area has descended into armed conflict since Sept. 27, 2020.
Like me, you may not have known just where exactly in the world these two little countries sit. Sounds like some small countries, with a regional dispute, that is probably not of much consequence, right? But look at a map and Christian Armenia sits on the border of Turkey next to Muslim Azerbaijan, which happens to be sandwiched between Russia and Iran of all countries…quite a hot spot, they look on the map like the gateway to the Middle East. The area is an important energy corridor as well. Unrest in this area, could surely not be without potential for interesting repercussions.
The Armenian people have been greatly persecuted by many empires. Most recently by the Ottoman Turks what is known as the Armenian genocide, with a death toll of 1-1.5 million.
Ever the expansionist, Russia would love to maintain influence over both of these countries that were once in the Soviet Union, especially as the area is a much relied on energy corridor. But Russia particularly has a defence pact with Armenia, not surprising considering their shared religion. And Azerbaijan? She relies on Turkey, of all countries! The same players joisting for power in so many regional conflicts.
The Asia Times proclaims, “Russia Checkmates Turkey on the Caucasus chessboard..Turkey’s military aid to Azerbaijan is approaching a red line that could put it on a collision course with Russia.”
Another article on the site Ahval says, “Erdogan edging towards crossing Putin in Nagorno-Karabakh.”
The time of the end sees the drying up of the river Euphrates, primarily in the First World War with the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey has only continued to wane in power since that time.
Moscow has now managed to broker a cease-fire in the area a few days ago, that was failing to hold on Sunday. So at the moment this event is a work in progress. It’s hard to see where it will go. But when we look to the Bible, we see Russia as a guardian power in Ezekiel 38:7:
“Be thou prepared, and prepare thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.”
At the time of the end they have a great sphere of influence with other countries looking to them for protection. We also see Russia with expansionist intentions. Daniel 11:40 says, “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.”
The Hebrew for “push at him” in that verse is more of a continual action than a one time push, as in “to contend with him.” Note also that “he shall enter into the countries.” As he comes south, “he will overflow and pass over”, completely swamping the area.
From these passages we would expect to see Russia’s influence expand, working to bring more countries into their sphere of influence. We also expect to see them be a strong military guardian power in the area, to keep and broker peace. As we have already seen them become the dominant power in the conflict in Syria, although through the backdoor. We wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen to other countries as well.
So watch this spot as we see the time get closer and closer to the return of our Lord, when He will set up the Kingdom over Israel. Thank you for joining us this week on the Bible in the News.
–Tim Billington, for the Bible in the News.