OPINION (Greg Laurie) – The little sliver of land known as Israel is practically in the headlines every day—and even more so in recent weeks as the nation has been under attack. Hamas, an Iran-backed terrorist organization, fired thousands of rockets into Israel, hitting population centers.
If it weren’t for the Iron Dome defense system stopping 90 percent of those rockets, the damage would have been far worse. Let’s pray that the cease-fire agreement holds. What is it about Israel, and specifically Jerusalem, that draws the focus and attention of the entire world?
The answer is quite simple. Israel is the eye of the hurricane of the great event of the end times. God predicted this long ago. Israel occupies center stage in God’s drama of the ages, and we see that playing out before our very eyes.
God gave Abraham a special promise: “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). One of the reasons that God has blessed the United States of America is because of our support of the nation Israel. It’s also why it’s a big mistake to move away from that.
Take a look at history, and you’ll see that it turns out badly for any nation that raises its hand against Israel or the Jewish people. Nations such as Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Rome, and, in more modern times, Spain and Germany, have turned against Israel and paid a price.
The ‘City of Peace’?
Ironically, the very name Jerusalem means “city of peace,” yet more wars have been fought at her gates than any other city on Earth. In fact, God predicted that Jerusalem would be the hot spot of the globe.
Jerusalem became the capital of Israel under King David and was actually known as the City of David. It was in Jerusalem that the first and second temples were built. Also, it was in Jerusalem at Mount Moriah, which is the area we know today as the Temple Mount, that Abraham was willing to offer his son Isaac to God.
After the modern state of Israel was declared in 1948, a war of independence left Jerusalem divided, with Jordan maintaining control over the Old City, including the Temple Mount and most of the historic sites.
But during the Six-Day War in 1967 (when Israel was attacked), they were able to regain control of the entire city. And for the first time in many centuries, Jerusalem was under the control of the Jewish people again. And the prophetic clock was ticking.
The Bible tells us that the final conflict of humanity will not be fought over Paris or Rome or Los Angeles or New York City. It will be Jerusalem. That’s why the Bible tells us to pay attention to Jerusalem.
Jesus said, “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near” (Luke 21:20 NKJV).
Speaking through the prophet Zechariah, God said, “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples” (Zechariah 12:2–3 NKJV).
Today we have leaders like the president of Iran who frequently speak of wiping Israel off the map. You might dismiss this as ridiculous, but they are developing nuclear weapons in Iran right now. Therefore, Israel is in a very difficult situation, and they take these threats seriously.
The Bible speaks of a large force, known as Magog, from the extreme north of Israel attacking her. And it’s very clear in pointing out this will happen in the last days (see Ezekiel 38).
From the Scriptures we know that Magog was the second son of Japheth. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Magog settled north of the Black Sea. Then there were Tubal and Meshech, the fifth and six sons of Japheth, whose descendants settled south of the Black Sea. These people came together and were known as Magog. And in Ezekiel 39, verse 2, God says they are to the north of Israel.
Any map today would show you that Russia sits to the extreme north of Israel. So is Russia Magog? No one can say with certainty. But there are some interesting things developing that cause us to wonder.
An Unlikely Alliance
The Bible also mentions allies that will march with Magog against Israel.
Until very recently, there was no real alliance to speak of between Russia and Iran. However, Russia recently signed a billion-dollar deal to sell missiles and other weapons to Iran. And there are a thousand Iranian nuclear scientists who have been trained in Russia by Russian scientists.
So while no one can say with absolute certainty that Magog is Russia, this much we know: a force known as Magog from the north of Israel will attack her. And when they attack, God will step in and save Israel. Five-sixths of this invading force will be turned back, and then the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon Israel, and a great revival will sweep the nation.
But this cannot happen until something else happens first. God has been working in this era theologians call the Church Age, waiting to bring those last few believers in before he pours out His Spirit upon Israel. READ MORE