Scripture is replete with prophecies, both fulfilled and unfulfilled. Reflecting on fulfilled prophecies helps us see God’s faithfulness – that He always does what He says He will do. Studying unfulfilled prophecies, especially in uncertain times, can reassure us that God wins in the end!
Prophecy in Ezekiel 38 & 39
With the tremendous turmoil currently taking place in the world, we should look at an Old Testament prophecy some Bible scholars think is yet to be fulfilled. It is found in Ezekiel 38 & 39 which speaks of a war against Israel in the last days.
As you read Ezekiel 38 & 39, remember that prophecies are God-given windows of revelation that show both immediate and future truth. Even though they are sure and steadfast in their fulfillment, they are not the full picture of future events. They are certain specifics that God has chosen to reveal in His Word. Sometimes we don’t understand all the details, the timing, nor how one text might relate to another. So, we need to consider them with humility.
Israel in War
There are differing opinions as to the timing of this war against Israel. I tend to think it will be a war that is just before the beast/antichrist comes to full power (Revelation 13) and makes a covenant with Israel (Daniel 9). (Articles on Daniel and Revelation.) Regardless of your system of theology or eschatological position, we can still gather certain details from the text to help us see the big picture.
According to Ezekiel 38, this war will be commanded by a chief prince, Gog (probably a symbolic name), who is of the land of Magog.
“You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.” Ezekiel 38:15-16 (NASB)
The places mentioned (verses 2-6) have different names than what we know them as today. Listing them and their corresponding geographical areas will give us an idea of their location. (These areas are very general as it is hard to pinpoint their extent.)
- Magog – North of Black Sea and North/West of Caspian Sea
- Meshach – area above Black Sea; Russia, Georgia, Ukraine
- Tubal – Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan
- Persia – Iran
- Cush – Ethiopia, possibly Sudan
- Put – Northern Africa, Libya
- Gomer – Turkey, Southern Russia
- Togarmah – Turkey
So, what might be the circumstances of this war against Israel? Perhaps if Israel is abandoned by her allies, her enemies will be emboldened to attack her. Maybe Gog and his alliances are emboldened by events in the Middle East. Nonetheless, he comes against Israel.
“It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD, “that My fury will mount up in My anger.” Ezekiel 38:18 (NASB)
How will this war end?
“With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone. I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD.” Ezekiel 38:22-23 (NASB)
God will destroy Gog and the enemies of Israel directly, bringing glory to His name among the nations!
Looking at the current events in the Middle East, is it possible something like this could occur in the not-too-distant future? It is quite conceivable you and I could see this happen before our eyes!
But be encouraged. God is in control and will glorify His name! Although God has not revealed how everything will unfold, we can rest on the fact that God has a plan. Our responsibility is to remain faithful and steadfast in proclaiming the truth to a world that is watching.
*For more articles on what to expect next: