Living in the Shadow: Wars and Rumors of War

I have trees in my yard, and at a certain time of year, when the angle of the sun is just right, shadows creep across my back patio. When I see the first shadows, I know summer is soon to come, bringing with it the dreaded heat. Likewise, when we see the shadows of Bible prophecy, we know the real thing is soon to come.

According to experts (whoever they are!), war is imminent. Russian troops surround Ukraine, GPS of almost all air traffic in the entire region (including Israel) is being jammed, Russian naval exercises are in full swing (perhaps weakly disguising Russia’s intent to “go live”), field hospitals are built and fully stocked with necessary blood supplies and other medical necessities, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is flexing his muscle while virtually ignoring any and all attempts at discussion from other world leaders.

To go a step further, the world is leaderless. No one in power is capable or willing to step forward and guide the way through a world crying out for leadership.

Biblically speaking, two things come to mind:

  1. Russian President Putin appears more and more “Gog-like” every day, and
  2. Conditions in the world are leading to the fulfillment of the coming of the lawless one…the Antichrist.

Today, let’s consider similarities between Putin and Gog. The prophet Ezekiel, in chapters 38-39, provides ample details of Gog:

  • Gog is from Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. Magog was a grandson of Noah (Genesis 10:2) whose descendants settled far north of Israel (modern-day Russia), while Meshech and Tubal are sons of Japheth (a son of Noah), whose descendants settled around the Black Sea. On the map, what nations surround the Black Sea? Scholars believe Meshech and Tubal refer to areas known today as Russia (in yellow), Ukraine, Georgia and perhaps Turkey. Do you hear any of those places in the news today?
  • Rosh is not a place, but a title. Rosh means “head” or “czar,” which is used primarily to signify a Russian emperor having great power. Scholars equate “czar” and “Rosh.”
  • Ezekiel 38:15 says Gog will have a powerful army at his disposal.

There are more characteristics of Gog, but let’s overlay those Biblical truths over what we know of Vladimir Putin. Obviously, Putin hails from Russia, clearly the region from which Gog will operate.

Putin is undoubtedly a power-hungry czar with a very large military at his disposal. Putin knows he has the west over a barrel. Pardon the barrel pun, but Russian gas flows to Germany in the dead of winter, keeping them warm. Thus, the US will not impose sanctions or shutdown the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany, because Germans have become dependent upon Russian gas flow, thanks to Joe Biden’s reversal of Trump’s blockade, during his first week in the White House. Prior to that, Israel had signed a deal to provide oil and gas to Germany and other parts of Europe.

Germany, a NATO ally of the US and the west, is beholden to Russia. Europe has also been weakened throughout the years by progressive ideology, which includes open borders. Terrorists have poured in, European military forces have no power, and Europe is extremely weak.

Thus, Putin makes demands that back a weakened American administration into a corner: dismantle NATO by removing every US base in Europe that houses nuclear weapons, and don’t expand NATO any further to the east, particularly into Ukraine. American leadership has neither the ability or the fortitude to stand up to Russia.

What is Putin’s immediate goal? Replace America as the world’s only superpower. Russia currently equals or surpasses America in nuclear weapons and only has to disable a handful of American cities in order render the US powerless. On the other hand, Russia has a landmass far too large for America to take sufficient action to disable them.

What is Putin’s ultimate goal? Let’s answer that with a question: When a power-hungry tyrant accomplishes his goal (becoming the world’s foremost superpower), will he be satisfied? Of course not! He will want more. What is Russian’s primary currency? Oil and gas. That’s how they fund their government. Who has oil and gas? Saudi Arabia and the Arabian peninsula? Yes…but that is not “easy pickins!”

Israel has oil and gas in quantities unimaginable until a few years ago. Russia wants it and according to Ezekiel 38-39, will lead a coalition of nations (Iran, Turkey and others) into an invasion of Israel. Imagine the 150,000+ troops and full military equipment and power sitting on Israel’s border rather than Ukraine’s. Once Ukraine is in Russian hands, Russia could very easily expand its presence in Syria, making the raid on Israel appear to be child’s play!

As always, God’ Word is more accurate than today’s news. We know what to expect because God’s Word tells us what to expect!

God’s Word also tells us…

26″ …men’s hearts [will fail] them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

~Luke 21:26-28

Indeed, wars and rumors of war swirl, and we live in the shadows of what it to come. But we also live in the shadow of our redemption! That is why we look up and lift up our heads!

Tomorrow, we’ll look at a few examples of conditions in the world leading to the fulfillment of the coming of the lawless one (the Antichrist). See you tomorrow!

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