Well, we seem to keep coming back to the same Biblical prophecy in Ezekiel 38-39. It is most definitely not the only end time prophecy showing signs of imminent fulfillment, though it seems to be one in which today’s news is almost always relevant. We focused on an Iranian commander’s threat this morning, and we’ll stay on that theme this afternoon.
If you are not aware, Ezekiel 38-39 describe a coalition of nations/people groups who will invade Israel, only to be totally destroyed on the mountains of Israel (Ezekiel 39:4). I encourage you to read those two chapters of Ezekiel if you are not familiar with them. I believe you will see that today’s headlines seem to be ripped from those very pages of Scripture.
Ezekiel 38:2-3, 5-6 names the groups of people (sometimes nations) that will form that coalition. Remember, that passage was written a few thousand years ago, so the modern country names and boundaries must be determined through study of ancient lands. Most scholars believe Rosh, Meshech and Tubal are likely parts of Russia or surrounding territory today. Gog is a person. In fact, he will be the “czar” of Magog. Though Russian President Vladimir Putin is very “Gog-like,” it is too early to state unequivocally that he is Gog. Whoever Gog turns out to be, Ezekiel seems to indicate that he will be the leader of that invading coalition.
Persia is most definitely Iran. Gomer and Beth-Togarmah are a bit more difficult to identify, but there is strong evidence these regions are modern-day Turkey.
As you know, if you have followed current news at all, the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey have been in cahoots for quite some time, and indeed, met together in Sochi Russia just days ago to discuss Syria. Of course, civil war is going on in Syria and everyone involved has vested interest there. For that northern coalition, one vested interest is that Syria shares a border with Israel…thus providing a gateway for that coalition to invade Israel, just as Ezekiel says!
However, there are other coalition partners named in Ezekiel 38:5-6. Along with Russia, Iran and Turkey, people groups from north Africa will join the invasion. Here’s where we plug into very recent news! Bloomberg reported just yesterday that Russia has now welcomed Sudanese President Umar al-Bashir into official relations! One of their first orders of business was the signing of cooperation agreements including in agriculture, nuclear power and mining. (That guy is trouble! Read the article for additional detail!)
So, why is that important news? Because when Ezekiel 38:5-6 mentions “Ethiopia,” most scholars who have studied the historical locations mentioned in Ezekiel 38 believe “Ethiopia” may well encompass the lands we know today as Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea. (“Put,” by the way, definitely includes at least parts of Libya and perhaps part of Algeria.)
Keep in mind, Egypt and Jordan have treaties with Israel, and Saudi Arabia is becoming more and more friendly with the Jewish state, in attempts to fend off Iranian threats. Thus, Israel (the tiny nation sandwiched in between Egypt and Jordan) is directly exposed only to the north…on the Syrian border. Not surprisingly, Ezekiel tells us the invasion will happen from the north!
So, with yesterday’s news, we find one other coalition partner (Sudan) officially joining hands with Russia to become an active member of the coalition!
Events are happening at rapid pace, and every day’s news seems to connect one more piece of the puzzle together. When will the last piece be snapped into place? We don’t know…but it could be soon. Will God the Father send His Son to snatch us away (rapture!) before that invasion occurs? We don’t know for certain. But what we DO know is that God has not destined us for wrath. (1 Thessalonians 5:9) Thus, we could be taken soon!
The real question is: are you ready?