Feb 9, 2009

Gog Getting Ready To Go

By Todd Strandberg

The prophet Ezekiel predicted that some day, Israel will be attacked by a massive army that will come out of the north. The leader of this invasion will come from the land of Magog, and most prophecy scholars identify this ancient tribal reference as modern-day Russia. Several Arab nations will join in this military campaign.

The word of the LORD came to me: 'Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army--your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords (Ezekiel 38:1-4).

I’ve been absolutely amazed at how rapidly world events have been shaping up to make this invasion possible. Some of the most dramatic developments have occurred in the past couple of months.

For a long time, Turkey has been an important ally of Israel. In fact, it has been the only Arab nation to have any lasting interchange with the Jewish state. Turkey was the first Muslim country to formally recognize the State of Israel. Turkey has played a major role in the indirect negotiations between Syria and Israel, and much of Turkey 's arms are supplied by Israel.

It has long been a problem for Bible prophecy to have Turkey and Israel so chummy. Several passages in Ezekiel 38 and 39 strongly imply that Turkey will be part of the invasion force. Even if Turkey could somehow be excluded from playing a direct role in the attack, you would still have this large roadblock in the way of one of the world’s largest military movements.

In recent days, relations between Israel and Turkey have suddenly soured over the fighting in Gaza. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of an economic meeting in Davos, Switzerland, to protest Israel 's actions. After returning home, he was widely praised by the public for standing up to “Israel ’s aggression.”

The Gaza war may not be the sole cause for this split. Turkey has long prided itself as a progressive and highly western society. Lately, its Islamic nature has been reasserting itself. In 2007, the pro-Islamic Justice and Development Party gained control of parliament in a landslide victory. With Turkey looking more like Iran than Germany, there may be no way to save the crumbling Israel-Turkey alliance.

Another major development related to prophecy was the announcement that seven former Soviet republics, including Russia, will form a joint rapid reaction force. President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia, Armenia, Belarus, and four Central Asian nations — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan — had reached the agreement to form the so-called Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) during a summit in Moscow.

Russia is clearly trying to restore influence in an area it considers to be its historic backyard. It just made a $2 billion financial aid deal with Kyrgyzstan that would oust the US from an air base at Manas. The move will make it more difficult for America to supply military operations in Afghanistan.

On the diplomatic front, Russia has been trying to assemble an international conference on the Middle East that will be hosted in Moscow. A foreign ministry official said most of the talks have been with Iran. “The Russian diplomat stressed the need for searching political solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of internationally recognized legal norms,” the official said.

Russia has always been on the side of the Arabs, but it has never before offered to play the role of peacemaker. Russia 's willingness to step into the fray stems from a view in Moscow that America is in decline. Russia ’s new freedom can easily go the other way as it may decide to try warfare to ensure peace in the Middle East.

The thing we are now waiting for is some major event to trigger Russia to make its move against Israel. I think the most likely cause would be a conflict between Israel and either Syria or Iran. Because Russia has close ties with both of these Islamic nations, it is easy to see why Gog and company would come rushing to their aid. If the global community is in an uproar over Israel defending itself against unprovoked Hamas rocket attacks, I guess nothing would be beyond bounds if Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the destruction of Damascus were to suddenly become fulfilled.

“The burden of Damascus . Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isa. 17:1).

Related Links

Russia and Iran's Missiles - World Politics Review
Gaza War Created Rift Between Israel and Turkey - New York Times