Welcome to week 8, friends! What a joy to have you on board our cruise ship as we sail the seas of Bible prophecy! We will spend the week looking at specific Bible prophecies concerning Syria (Isaiah 17), Israel’s neighbors (Psalm 83), Egypt and Assyria (Isaiah 19), Jerusalem (Zechariah 12) and Babylon (Isaiah 13). Today, however, we’ll attempt to determine whether or not America is mentioned in Bible prophecy.
One might think that because America was founded on Biblical principles, is dominant in world affairs, and has the most powerful military in the world, surely the Bible would have something to say about America in end times. Or, perhaps we think more highly of ourselves than we ought! Nonetheless, several passages are mentioned as possible references to America in prophecy, the most common being Isaiah 18:7, Revelation 12:14, Revelation 18 and Ezekiel 38:13.
Isaiah 18:7 says:
At that time a gift of homage will be brought to the Lord of hosts
From a people tall and smooth,
Even from a people feared far and wide,
A powerful and oppressive nation,
Whose land the rivers divide—
To the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, even Mount Zion.
What would lead some to see this verse as referring to America? Well, for starters, “a people tall and smooth” might refer to the “Hollywood image” of Americans that some have. In addition, “people feared far and wide, a powerful and oppressive nation” might lead us to think of America’s powerful military and the fear they strike in enemies. Finally, America has many rivers and the Mississippi River indeed divides the US. So, does this verse describe America?
Any time we study Scripture, context is key! If we go to verse 1 of this chapter, we find reference to a land that “lies beyond the rivers of Cush.” Thus, this chapter refers to the region of Cush…modern-day Ethiopia! By context alone, we can rule out this passage as referring to America in end times.
What about Revelation 12:14:
But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.
In this passage, the only potential reference to America is “the two wings of the great eagle.” Yes, the eagle is the symbol of America. However, we get a very big clue in the phrase “a time and times and half a time.” Recall, as we studied God’s plan for the Jews, that 69 weeks of years have past. The 70th week of years is the 7-year tribulation yet to come. “A time and times and half a time” is indicative of a year, two years, and 1/2 a year…3 1/2 years. That is reference to the second half of the tribulation. The context is God’s promise to provide a place of refuge to His people during the Great Tribulation. If the “two wings of the great eagle” reference the US, exactly how do we make it on the scene?
Additionally, references to wings of a great eagle are also found in Exodus 19:4 and Deuteronomy 32:11, each referring to God’s deliverance of His people. This verse is in reference to the same thing! Thus, this verse does not refer to America.
Revelation 18 is a popular passage when the question of America in prophecy comes about. Revelation 18 speaks specifically of Babylon’s destruction and some believe the US is Babylon. That chapter talks about Babylon being the dwelling place of demons and causing all nations to drink the wine of passion and immorality. Most assuredly the US exports passion and immorality. Vile immorality (including pornography) is rampant and is spewed worldwide via the internet, TV, movies, music, etc. Much of it emanates from the US. Likewise, it can be argued that the US glorifies herself and lives generously, as described in Revelation 18. But, does that mean America is definitely Babylon?
Revelation 18 follows 13 chapters of tribulational chaos and destruction. The world as we know it will no longer exists at this point. Furthermore, the second coming of Jesus Christ occurs in the very next chapter. This is at the very end of the tribulation, when things reach such a catastrophic state that our minds cannot even comprehend. It is possible that nations (other than Israel) may not even exist. The description of Babylon seems more like an empire than a nation. Make no mistake, America has strayed far off the Godly path. But is America the empire (or part of it) of the antichrist? Is America even a viable entity at that point? Hard to know!
Could this chapter refer to America? Some say yes, though it is impossible to be sure. However, the Bible seems to teach that Babylon will be the New World Order that develops during the tribulation. Not likely the United States.
That leaves one passage that perhaps makes the most sense if, indeed, America is mentioned in Bible prophecy.
“Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?’”’
You will recognize that passage from our previous study of Ezekiel 38, the Northern Invasion led by Russia and Iran. Few Bible scholars would disagree that Sheba and Dedan are Saudi Arabia (or perhaps the entire Arabian peninsula), and Tarshish refers to Spain and/or the United Kingdom. Some say “all its villages” includes America and other colonies of Spain and Great Britain. We certainly cannot prove or disprove that America is one of those villages. However, if America is included, we do absolutely nothing other than stand on the sidelines, asking questions. In context, these nations will take no action when the Northern invaders swoop down upon Israel.
So, is America in Bible prophecy? We are definitely not named specifically. On the one hand, we can make a strong argument that the Bible does not refer specifically to the US in Bible prophecy. On the other hand, however, many passages of Scripture reference ALL nations!
- Zechariah 12:2-3 says that ALL will gather against Jerusalem. (Yes, America will ultimately turn her back on Israel.)
- Isaiah 34:2-3 warns that the Lord’s indignation will be against ALL nations.
- Jeremiah 30:11 and 46:28 indicate that God will shake heaven and earth, causing the wealth of ALL nations to fill HIs house with glory!
- Isaiah 66:18-20 tells us that ALL will gather to see His glory.
Indeed, whatever remnant of America might survive the tribulation, will turn against Israel and will be destroyed. Israel will be saved and God will be glorified!
Finally, why will America not be a major player in the last days? One likely reason is that America will cease to be a world power. God will not ignore the immorality that has overtaken our nation. The murder of the unborn, the rise in homosexual activity, and our bent in calling good, evil and evil, good will ultimately bring about discipline. Surely God will remove His hand of mercy and protection and America will no longer have His favor. Additionally, our nation is ripe for potential nuclear, biological and/or chemical strikes. Iran longs for nuclear weapons to destroy the little Satan (Israel) and the great Satan (the US), we are in Russia’s crosshairs, as well as potential threats from China and North Korea…all nuclear armed.
America is turning her back on Israel, which will also bring about judgment (Joel 3:2).
However, I believe a very important reason America will not be a major player in end times is because the rapture will take millions of Americans to meet Jesus in the air…not because we are Americans, but because America still has a large number of Christians (though that is changing rapidly)! Imagine the day when God the Father says to His Son, “Go get My kids!” What will America be like? Christians in positions of power and influence will disappear and disaster will strike our nation.
Regardless of America’s place in end times, we must be ready! As we’ve learned in our study together, Jesus could return for us at any moment! Let’s be ready! And, as we await the coming of our Blessed Hope, why not pray for Jerusalem, and for a Great Awakening to occur in our nation!
Enjoy this week’s study!