When it comes to setting the table for the Ezekiel 38-39 prophecy, there are times so much is happening it becomes difficult to keep track of it all. We are experiencing just such a time!
If you are unfamiliar with Ezekiel’s prophecy, take a few moments to read it. Meanwhile, here are the cliff notes. Russia, Iran and Turkey will one day spearhead an invasion from the north into Israel in an effort to take what Israel has. (Namely, newly-found oil and gas.) Libya and Sudan will play a part as well, while Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and other moderate Sunni nations standby, but do not join the attack.
Meanwhile, God spoke another prophecy through the prophet Isaiah regarding Damascus Syria. It is a simple one, found in Isaiah 17:1 which simply states that Damascus will one day be utterly destroyed and will cease to exist as a city.
For the first time in the history of the world we see every one of those entities taking their position according to Scripture.
On Monday night Iranian-held munition depots near Damascus were targeted by what is believed to be Israeli and American fighter jets, drones and helicopters. The mission was highly successful, and Hezbollah terrorists and Iranian militiamen were also killed in the attack. As a result, Hezbollah has issued new threats of retaliation against Israel. Throughout this week, other attacks have occurred.
This comes only days after Syria and Iran signed an air defense deal. Syria and Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon lie directly north of Israel and will serve as the gateway into Israel during the northern invasion described by Ezekiel.
The kingpin of the coalition mentioned in Ezekiel 38 is Gog, the prince of Rosh (Russia). Russia is currently running the show in Syria, and is becoming heavily engaged in Libya. President Vladimir Putin, who many describe as “Gog-esque,” is incredibly power hungry and intent in bringing Mother Russia back to world dominance. Russia has bankrupted the country in rebuilding their military, and has been stonewalled on oil and gas deals, which drive the Russian economy. Putin has waited many years to get his hands on the oil and gas in Syria, yet American presence in areas where oil and gas is found prevents him from accomplishing his mission. He has set his sights now on much bigger oil and gas resources…those belonging to Israel.
Just as hungry for power is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, who deems himself to be the Sunni Muslim sultan who will revive the old Ottoman Empire. (It will never happen.) Thus, in a power grab, he too is well entrenched in Syria and is meddling in Libya in an attempt to gain territory. Turkey and Egypt are at odds there, so Egyptian President El-Sisi has ordered troops to Egypt’s western border with Libya to fend off Turkey’s attempts at encroachment. Just like Russia, Turkey’s economy is in the tank and they need resources. Israel’s oil and gas is looking pretty desirable to Erdogan, as well as Putin.
The Iranian regime has vowed to wipe Israel off the map, yet finds itself between a rock and a hard place. Having denied for years they have a nuclear program designed for anything other than civil purposes, it is worldwide knowledge that Iran is working on nuclear weapons to be used against the “Great Satan” (the US) and the “Little Satan” (Israel). Interestingly, well over a dozen explosions and fires have occurred at Iranian nuclear facilities in the past couple weeks, almost assuredly carried out by Israeli (and perhaps American) cyber attacks. Yet, they can’t come out and say their nuclear facilities are under attack because they don’t have any! (wink, wink)
Meanwhile, Iran is deeply entrenched in Syria via militiamen, mercenaries and terrorist proxies (such as Hezbollah). The attack on military facilities near Damascus on Monday destroyed Iranian assets in Syria and killed at least one Hezbollah operative and several Iranians.
One of the most complicated places in the Middle East right now is Libya. However, since the death of Muammar al-Gaddafi, Libya has become a nation divided, and now controlled by opposing parties and other nations. Why? They have oil and everyone wants it! It is also “no man’s land,” so has proven to be effective training grounds for various terrorist groups, including ISIS. Those trained fighters will be “employed” by the coalition that will invade Israel from the north. Today, they are being sharpened as they engage in tribal battles over control of the country.
To unravel the complication that is Libya, check out What is Libya’s Part in the Ezekiel 38 Invasion.
Of all the coalition partners, Sudan has perhaps played the least-known roll. Another area ripe for terrorist training, Sudan has become a very dangerous place, particularly following two bloody civil wars. Currently, Sudan is also part of a 3-way dispute with Ethiopia and Egypt over a dam that is preventing water from flowing into the Nile region of Egypt. Tensions are high and, again, warriors are being honed to perhaps become mercenaries of the “big 3” (Russia, Iran, Turkey) during that northern invasion of Israel.
That’s table-setting for Ezekiel’s prophecy. However, let’s circle back to where we started. For years, Iran has been bolstering its position in Syria, creeping as close to Israel’s border as possible. Once the Obama administration implemented the JCPOA (nuclear deal) with Iran, Israel had only one direction to go: do whatever it takes to defend her borders. With a pro-Israel administration, Israel now has US backing and support to take the necessary actions to keep Iran from setting up shop just over the border in Syria, and to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons the Iranian regime has already threatened to use to annihilate the Jewish state.
Thus, Israel is taking full advantage of Iran’s denial of nuclear weapons by destroying what they can without causing all-out war. Meanwhile, the Iranian people are rioting in the streets, protesting their government, while the Iranian regime sinks Iran’s economy to depths that threaten their existence.
Something has got to give! Russia wants power. Turkey wants a revived Ottoman Empire. Iran wants Israel destroyed. All are operating in Syria, just over Israel’s border. Keep your eye on Damascus, because once Isaiah’s prophecy regarding her destruction occurs, the flood gate is open for the northern invasion described by Ezekiel!