By Nathan Jones
One of the largest and most detailed prophetic event in Bible prophecy is the Gog-Magog Invasion found in Ezekiel 38-39. Ezekiel records the future invasion of Israel by the prince of Meshech and Tubal, and the lands of Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer and Beth Togarmah. These are the ancient names for Russia, Iran, Ethiopia, Libya and Turkey. These nations will unite and God will "put hooks" in their jaws and drag them onto the battlefield. Those invading nations will seek to plunder Israel for its wealth, but God will use this event to "show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD" (Ezek. 38:23).
The invading nations will encounter God's personal form of warfare. "When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD. In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign LORD. Every man's sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him" (Ezek. 38:18-22).
Ezekiel 39:4-6 elaborates, "On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals. You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD. I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in safety in the coastlands, and they will know that I am the LORD." Ezekiel 39:12 records that it will take seven whole months for Israel to bury the dead from the invasion.
The result of the utter annihilation of the Russian and Iranian armies will have amazing consequences for God. God says in Ezekiel 39:7, "I will make known my holy name among my people Israel. I will no longer let my holy name be profaned, and the nations will know that I the LORD am the Holy One in Israel." God uses this battle to revive Israel's excitement about Him, to warn the nations that He does indeed exist, and to show the world that God will protect Israel — even miraculously.
Not only will Israel then be free of these countries that in today's news threaten Israel on a daily basis, but Israel will reap the spoils of those nations. Ezekiel 39:9 records that Israel will collect and use the weapons and fuel of the defeated armies for seven years. "And they will plunder those who plundered them and loot those who looted them, declares the Sovereign LORD."
Because the nations will be terrified over the supernatural protection of Israel and the seven year timeframe given for Israel to use the conquered fuel, it is believable that the Gog-Magog Invasion as it is called will cause the Antichrist to make a treaty with Israel (Dan. 9:27), starting the 7-year Tribulation and countdown to Jesus Christ's Second Coming. Without the Restrainer holding back the evil of the world and these invading nations (2 Thess. 2:3-7), the Gog-Magog Invasion must happen right after the Rapture of the Church. And so, this invasion by Russia, Iran and its allies will occur directly after the Rapture but immediately before the Tribulation countdown begins.
Let's rewind a bit and come back to today. The news is daily full of intimidating reports coming out of Russia and Iran. Russia has reemerged on the world scene anxious to attack bordering nations, build missile shields along their borders, and grab access to Middle East and Venezuelan oil. Iran screams that it will "wipe out the filthy germ Israel" as they move hell-bent on building nuclear weapons.
The Heritage Foundation reported on Oct. 27, 2008, ("OPEC Redux: Responding to the Russian–Iranian Gas Cartel" by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.) that Russia and Iran continue to solidify their alliance by building their own gas cartel. An excerpt from the report reads:
"Steadily and stealthily, a natural gas cartel has emerged over the last seven years. On October 21 in Tehran, the Gas Exporting Countries' Forum (GECF) agreed to form a cartel. Russia, Iran, and Qatar announced that they intend to form a yet–unnamed group to 'coordinate gas policy.' The Group of Three (the 'troika') will meet quarterly to coordinate and exercise control over close to two–thirds of the world's gas reserves and a quarter of all gas production. To compare, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) controls more than three–quarters of the world's oil reserves but only 40 percent of global production.
Iran has the second largest gas reserves in the world after Russia and the second largest petroleum reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia.
Russia prefers to coordinate energy policies with Tehran rather than compete. The two countries recognize that together they control roughly 20 percent of the world's oil reserves and about half of global gas reserves, an immense geo–economic clout."
It's this grab for control of gas and oil that has many concerned, for he who holds the resources rule the world. And yet, we can look to Ezekiel 38 and 39 and know that God will put a stop to the mad grab for resources that like hooks is pulling Russia southward. Russia and Iran and the other nations that align with them will find that their ambitions are really God's, and to their undoing discover "the nations will know that I the LORD am the Holy One in Israel."