My family church, when I was a boy, was famous for talks about Bible prophecy. The pastor had giant charts the size of curtains, to explain what the Bible said about the future of the world. I remember that he could fill the church with his Sunday evening talks, and I vaguely remember pictures of animals with several heads, on those enormous sheets. This was before computers and projectors, and those wall-sized pictures were famous. Years later, as an adult, I met strangers in far away places who wanted to talk about those huge pictures.
Our pastor was a good man, and his ideas were conservative. He just wanted us to know what the Bible said about the future of the world, and he made a sincere effort to teach us. I may have been the only kid in my school who knew about Gog and Magog in the land of the north.
One thing I remember clearly from those talks was the advice to look north. From the Bible’s perspective, that means north from the land of Israel. The north is where the armies will come from to destroy Israel. They will fail because God will intervene to save Israel, which will bring the end of this time in history. In the north of Israel is the valley of Megiddo, “Hor Megiddo” in Hebrew, and that is Armageddon to us. According to the Bible, the final battle will happen there.
I also knew, as a boy, that the nations north of Israel could not threaten that Jewish nation. Syria was north of Israel, but that nation had fought to a stalemate with Israel and agreed to a cease fire. The Syrians had bigger problems and they are not really in the far north. North of Syria was Turkey, and north of that was the Soviet Union, now Russia. Possibly the Soviets might attack Israel, but they could never get there with their armies because Turkey was a NATO ally and a friend of Israel. The Bible story could not happen when I was a boy.
Things are different today.
Syria is in a terrible civil war, and the government side is winning because the Russians have sent in their army, navy, and air force. With that massive support, the rebels are retreating and the government in Damascus is regaining territory. Just about the time I write this, the Syrian army is occupying rebel territory on the northern border of Israel, and they are doing this with Russian military support. The impossible idea of an army from the far north traveling to the borders of Israel could happen any day now. The border is a few miles from the valley of Megiddo which means the armies can almost see Armageddon with their binoculars.
And then there is Turkey. This friend of Israel has become an angry critic of the Jewish nation recently, under the Islamic government of President Tayyip Erdogan. This has been mostly expressed through angry words, and Turkey is still a liberal democracy with opposition parties that want to replace President Erdogan’s conservative Islamic government.
Two things are happening at this time that might cause changes:
- The Turkish currency is losing value and possibly causing an economic crisis which could lead to radical decisions. The economy: Europe on ALERT: Turkish lira continues to FALL sparking fears of Euro CRISIS: The Express
- Also, on June 24, the voters of Turkey will probably replace their parliamentary democracy with a centralized state. The plan is to concentrate power in the office of the President with a new constitution; and at this time, the President is very unhappy with Israel. The nation of Turkey is being shaken and the election is a few days away. The election: The Desperation to Keep Turkey Different: Bloomberg
The new order that is emerging will make the impossible quite likely. The Bible prophecy stories that I learned as a boy could easily happen now. It’s as if an invisible hand is arranging the pieces on a chess board so the game can start.
I won’t pretend that I know when God will intervene in human history but I am sure that will happen someday. Our old pastor taught us well. I don’t even know if the end will come during my lifetime, but the pieces are now in place for the action to start, and they were not in place a few months ago, or even a few weeks ago.
We are living in interesting times.
“Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.” (Luke 21: 29 to 31)
As for you, O son of man, prophesy against Gog and tell him that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘Behold, I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, drive you along, bring you up from the far north, and send you against the mountains of Israel. Then I will strike the bow from your left hand and dash down the arrows from your right. On the mountains of Israel, you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you.” (Ezekiel 39: 1 to 4)