What's In the News?
Russia has been in the news a lot lately. Yesterday it was announced that 118 of its Olympic athletes were barred from participating in the Rio summer games because of an ongoing doping scandal. Two weeks ago Russia made front page news in regard to accusations of hacking into the emails of the Democratic National Committee, which exposed the dirty tricks of Debbie Wasserman-Shultz in slanting the Democratic party primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton (causing no small uproar among those who supported Bernie Sanders). In the last two years, Russia has (1) intervened in Syria, (2) continued its aggression into the Ukraine, (3) conducted hostile flyovers ("buzzing") of our warships, and made the United States, in general, look pathetically weak and vulnerable. Putin has made our President look absolutely naive and foolish.
The Bible Predicts a Russian Invasion
But the day is coming when Russia will be humiliated and its army decimated by a supernatural intervention of God. According to Ezekiel 38-39, there is coming an invasion into Israel by a huge northern army, commonly referred to as Gog and Magog. Notice what the Scripture says: "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the Prince of Rosh (Russia), Meschech (Moscow), and Tubal (Tobolsk). I will bring you against the mountains of Israel. Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause arrows to fall out of your right hand. You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops" (Ezek. 39:1-4). As a matter of fact, the Bible says only one sixth of the entire Russian army will survive God's destruction (vs.2).
How Will It Happen?
Well, certainly not because the United States does anything about it! "Sheba, Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions (that's us) will say to Russia: 'Have you come to take a plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold? (Ezek. 38:13). God will actually do 3 things to supernaturally destroy the Russian army. First, a great earthquake (38:19). Second, God will cause such confusion that Russia will end up turning their weapons of war against themselves (38:21). God did this same thing several times in the Old Testament in order to save Israel. And finally, God will rain down great hailstones, fire and brimstone on Russia's troops (38:22). It will be obvious that God is fighting on behalf of His people Israel.
This Has Been a Puzzling Problem
Bible teachers for decades identified Russia as the main enemy of Israel, citing Ezekiel 38 and 39 as proof. Great conferences on Bible Prophecy taught this Scripture passage in detail. But then, in 1989, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Bible teachers started moving away from the "Coming Russian Invasion" interpretation, erroneously believing Russia had no real power left in the world to ever march an army into Israel. President Obama ridiculed Mitt Romney for saying, in a debate, that Russia would become the greatest foreign policy challenge in the next few years. As it turned out, Romney was right, and the election of Obama actually hastened the danger posed by Russia in what has been called the "Russian Reset". So now, Bible teachers are right back where they started, and they don't dismiss Russia's evil intentions, military aggression, or anti-Israeli hostility any longer.
Even So Come, Lord Jesus
The only positive thing I can say about the new "ascendancy" of Russia is that it moves us one step closer to the coming of the Lord. In these days of turmoil, terrorism, and trouble coming from Russia, I'm glad Jesus is my Savior, and someday soon He will be taking me out of this old world into His glorious presence.