By N. Brad Carter, JR PE / guest columnist
The Meridian Star
As the Russian Bear prowls the Ukraine, we ask, does this have anything to do with Bible prophecy? Ezekiel 38:9-NIV “You (Gog/Russia) and all your troops and the many nations (Persia/Iran, Cush/Ethiopia, Put/Libya and others) with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you (Gog/Russia) will be like a cloud covering the land.”
Russia has clearly stated to the U.S. that Gog controls the Middle East and will continue to prowl with greater dominance as “the bear” cherry picks Syria, Crimea and is pushing to take eastern Ukraine by internal resistance. Many world leaders and journalist of the 1990s considered Russia to be extinct.
Many wondered how Russia could be the Gog of the Bible. But, God said, in Daniel 11:40 "At the time of the end … the king of the North will storm out against him (the king of the South) with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.
The crash of the Soviet Union in 1991 was considered by many to be the end of Russia. The USA was thought to be the only world superpower. It is awesome to know that God is always right. The Russian Bear has only wintered out in hibernation and is coming out looking to rebuild a Communist super power.
Russia and Iran have engaged in a strategic partnership which includes oil, military advisors and nuclear power to mention a few. Reuters reported April 2, 2014 that Russia-Iran made progress towards an oil-for-goods deal. Sources said the agreement is worth up to $20 billion, which would enable Tehran to boost vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions.
Moscow is expected to buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods reported Reuters. Another tie for Middle East influence was reported by UPI, Baghdad, March 5, 2014. Iraq's agreement with Russia for a $4.3 billion arms deal is good news for Moscow as it strives to restore its Cold War influence in the Middle East.
Russia opposes Israel’s plan for their newly found natural gas and oil that could ignite the Gog/Magog war with Israel. One of the probable hooks in the jaw of Russia that will pull Gog into an invasion of Israel with the countries listed in Ezekiel 38 may have lit a fuse this April.
Russian energy giant Gazprom is a key provider of natural gas to Europe which may be as much as 38.7 percent of Europe's gas imports. Russia's South Stream gas pipeline was endorsed by Turkey on Wednesday to allow the pipe to pass through Turkey to central and Western Europe.
Turkey’s gas demand in the past 10 years has exploded and they have been counting on the Leviathan gas reserve discovered off the coast of Israel. Cooperation between the two countries is currently at a low point. However, the Israel gas reserve may bring healing between the two countries.
The challenge to Russian dominance by the new Israeli gas source may be directly from the Biblical plan. To entertain the idea of a pipeline at the bottom of the sea with an estimated price of $2.5 billion creates a powerful energy source. The success of this venture gives Turkey the gas they demand, gives Israel normalized relations with an important country in the region and of course, makes a lot of money.
This type of venture will probably be step one to providing gas to Western Europe and causing a political rift with Moscow.
The Russian economy depends on the sale of natural gas to Europe. The energy sector and export capability of gas, including oil, are approximately 58 percent of Russia's total exports. That means Israel could shatter the Russian economy by being a contender with Putin for the European market of oil products. We now see an actual scenario that could evolve an event of today found in Ezekiel 38:3. Thus saith the Lord GOD; “Behold, I am against thee, O Gog … I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out…(39:4) You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops.”
N. Brad Carter is a bible class teacher on WMER (1390 AM) Radio. Email him at email@example.com.