Gog, Magog, and Ukraine

By Hal Lindsey
In a recent column entitled, “Rumors of War,” I explained why the Russian-led invasion of Israel detailed in Ezekiel 38 and 39 will include Ukraine. These passages give the leader of this coalition the symbolic name, “Gog.” Could Putin be Gog? He sure could. Is he? We simply don’t know.
Some believe that he is, and that the choice to go into Ukraine was not really his at all. They say God is “compelling” him. Ezekiel 38:4 speaks of God putting hooks in Gog’s jaws to draw him into a war against Israel. But Ukraine is not Israel. God did not put hooks in Putin’s jaws, forcing him to attack Ukraine.
Still, the prophetic significance of Russia’s move into Ukraine cannot be denied. And it does not end with the fact that Ukraine will join Russia as a part of the Ezekiel 38 coalition. The war is also impelling Europe to arm itself. In recent years, at the urging of the United States, Europe’s NATO nations made token increases in their defense budgets. But they clearly preferred for US taxpayers to shoulder the cost of their defense.
Putin changed that. Today, Europe is looking to arm itself. Previously neutral countries are suddenly hoping to join NATO. During the Cold War, Finland and Sweden were famously nonaligned. Soviet atrocities were not enough to get them to stand with other western nations against the Soviet Union. But now, they see Putin as willing to attack any nonaligned, nonnuclear power. By joining NATO, they would instantly put themselves under the protection of American, French, and British nukes.
Putin’s action in Ukraine also puts pressure on the European Union to arm itself. The EU has always been an economic and political entity. For years, several key leaders have wanted to also make it a military power. Now, with Putin’s help, that idea has new momentum. A central command and control over all the armies of Europe would, in an instant, make the EU a global military power. The Bible says that such power will one day be handed over to Antichrist.
Despite “green new deal” politics, the real world still depends on fossil fuel. That fact looms large over Putin’s war. In recent years, we learned that Israel has an abundance of natural gas. The Israel-to-Europe gas pipeline is scheduled for completion by the end of 2025. At that point, Israel becomes a major threat to Russia’s natural gas monopoly in Europe. That gives “Gog” a major incentive to one day attack Israel.
Bible prophecy also speaks of economic instability (especially inflation) and a general atmosphere of chaos and fear in the last days. Those things were already happening, but they have been made dramatically worse by Putin’s war.
We need to have compassion on those who are suffering. And we need to know that this war will almost certainly have a negative impact on the rest of us. But we also need to trust God with our lives. When we escape the fear that threatens to engulf us, it will give us space to see with awe the God who told us about these things thousands of years in advance. He told us about technology that would not be invented or even imagined until our generation. He told us about national alliances before the nations involved had even been founded.
And He told us that in all these things, to rest in Him (Psalm 37:7).
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