The Venezuelan Nightmare; The Prowling of the Russian Bear

Eyes are focused these days on the country of Venezuela.  Once one of the richest countries in South America, it has become one of the poorest.  Its economy is in a shambles with an inflationary rate that has sky-rocketed to astronomical proportions.  Food and medical supplies are scarce and, if found, are very expensive.  Venezuelans have fled their country in great numbers to neighboring Brazil and Colombia where refuge camps have been created.  The cause for this devastation is the dictatorial reign of President Nicolas Maduro.  He was recently re-elected in an election that most of the world viewed with great suspicion of its being rigged.  The United States took the leadership in recognizing Juan Guaido as the legitimate leader of Venezuela.  Dozens of other nations have joined in that recognition.  However, Russia and Cuba have sent military advisers and military personnel to prop up the Maduro regime.

Yesterday Juan Guaido encouraged his supporters to begin a strong campaign to overthrow the Maduro government.  Clashes were seen in Caracas and other major urban centers.  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Cuba that it needed to withdraw its forces from Venezuela or face the possibility of a full embargo for that island nation.  He also said that President Trump would not rule out the use of military force to help the legitimate Venezuelan leader, Juan Guaido. 

Once again we see the engagement of Russia and US interests - this time in Venezuela.  We have seen it previously in Syria and in Ukraine.  And there is the constant support by Russia of the Iranian religious dictators.  The "Russian Bear" has definitely come out of hibernation and is actively prowling about.  Just last week Russian President Vladimir Putin met for the first time with North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un.  I am sure the Russian leaders were becoming fearful when they heard of a possible third summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un. 

Is there any biblical significance to Russia's actions?  If our reading of Ezekiel 38 and 39 is correct, Russia will play a very significant role in the Middle East and possibly elsewhere during the last days.  The portrait of Russia, as seen through the eyes of Ezekiel, is one of strength and tenacity.  The Russian leader has forged a strong coalition that includes Iran (ancient Persia), Libya (ancient Put) [by the way, Libya is on the verge of another civil war; it bears watching], and Turkey.  I find it fascinating that the roots of this end-times coalition have already been formed.  When seen in Ezekiel, Russia is filled with confidence as it enters boldly into Israel.  I believe that what Russia is doing today around the world is a preparation for that tenacity.  Russian President Putin has a plan.  But, and here is what is so significant, God also has a plan.  And, when Putin's plan and God's plan clash - guess who comes out the winner?  It never pays to do battle against God and His plan.  The Russians and their coalition will make that discovery someday.

With the success of the movie "Unplanned" focus has once again been targeted upon the abortion industry.  I read an article posted on the Breitbart website and authored by Dr. Susan Berry, titled "Report: New York City Babies Aborted After 21 Weeks Outnumbered Homicides."  In 2015, according to statistics available through the Center for Disease Control and later published by both the New York Police Department and the FBI, the number of homicides within New York City totaled 352 victims - an average of 0.96 persons per day.  In that same year, 1,485 babies were aborted at or after 21 weeks - an average of 4.1 babies per day.  Following Governor Andrew Cuomo's signing of the New York Reproductive Health Act this past January, it only seems that the number of late term abortions will increase. 

Tony Perkins wrote a very interesting article posted by The Patriot Post on April 30.  The article can be found at:  Perkins begins his article with the account of a woman being arrested in Columbia, Maryland, after police found the body of her newborn baby "wrapped in a towel and zipped up in a plastic bag in a closet."  The mother was charged with murder, yet, if this had happened in a hospital this would have been considered to be an "act of choice."  Perkins then cites the actions of Wisconsin's Governor Tony Evers.  "After years of pro-life leadership in the state, the successor to Governor Scott Walker wants voters to know: there are far more important things to worry about than the brutal killing of newborn babies.  'We have all sorts of issues to deal with in the state of Wisconsin,' he told reporters, 'and to pass a bill [like born-alive] seems to be not a productive use of time.'"

During a political rally in Green Bay, President Trump spoke about the Governor's attitude: "Your Democrat governor here in Wisconsin shockingly stated that he will veto legislation that protects Wisconsin babies born alive.  The baby is born, the mother meets with the doctor, they take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby.  I don't think so.  It's incredible." 

As I have shared with you in previous blogs, if infanticide becomes legal, and it certainly seems we are heading in that direction, then euthanasia will soon follow on its heels.  When absent from a foundation of God's love, the value of life is determined by what it can contribute to society.  We know that as the philosophy of utilitarianism.  But God says that all life has value.  Each person is created in the image and likeness of God.  Each person is so special that Jesus Christ came and died for each person. 

Friends, there is so much happening right now that I am finding it difficult to keep abreast of everything.  Sounds like President Trump's "Deal of the Century" - his plan to bring peace to the Middle East - will come sometime in early June.  I am anxiously awaiting the details of that plan.  And, of course, the 2020 Presidential race is heating up - might be as hot as our summer days.  I believe the field of contenders will soon begin to find separation.  And all the while just remember this: God is in control!  And His plan is to bring about the coming of the King!  Hallelujah! 


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