In seeming defiance of the US and allies, Russian President Vladimir Putin is flexing the muscles of the Russian military. Putin clearly recognizes the power vacuum created in the Middle East by the lack of American leadership, and he appears to be determined to step into that position. Even if it means blatant defiance to all other major world players.
Evidence of that is the military action taken today by Russian fighter aircraft as they obliterated rebel strongholds and residential areas in and around Aleppo Syria. Reuters reports that dozens of civilians were killed and 250,000 civilians are now trapped.
Under the guise of fighting ISIS, Russia has been very active in Syria. However, today’s actions send a clear signal that the Russian emphasis is not on ISIS, but on destroying opposition (primarily rebel groups) to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
An emergency session of the UN Security Council was convened, where Russian and American diplomats (along with others) had distinctly different opinions, and engaged in significant disagreement. US Ambassador Samantha Powers called Russian actions “barbarism,” while the Russians blame “indiscriminate bombing” by rebel forces. Assad’s regime is backed not only by Russia, but also Iran and Hezbollah. Despite at least 45 civilian deaths, the Assad allies claim to target only militants.
So, what’s my point in all this? Again, I point to Ezekiel 38-39 and Isaiah 17. Russian President Vladimir Putin appears more “Gog-like” every day. Gog is the leader of the Russian-Iranian-led coalition identified in Ezekiel 38 that will invade Israel in the last days. That stage appears to be set. The destruction of Damascus prophesied in Isaiah 17 may well be the match that lights that fire.
While I cannot say with absolute certainty that the Battle of Gog and Magog (or Northern Invasion), described in Ezekiel 38-39, is literally on the horizon, I don’t believe we can rule it out either. Might we be seeing the foundation being laid? We certainly know that Russia and Iran will be the military kingpins in that encounter. They are now poised to be so. We also know that other world powers, including the US, will be “non-players” in that invasion. We are seeing America vacate leadership militarily. (To be clear, that is due to the American administration handcuffing our men and women in uniform, not their inability to perform.)
Believers, we must be ready! Though we may or may not be raptured prior to the Northern Invasion, we certainly know we are living in the last minutes of the last days! While no one knows the day or the hour in which God the Father sends Jesus the Son to rapture us (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32), Scripture teaches us to know and understand the season in which we live (Luke 12:54-56). It’s the season of our Lord’s return!
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.