Sheba and Dedan and the
merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to
you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your
hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take
away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?”
These questions will be directed at
the leaders of Magog (modern Russia) by the uninvolved
nations as they witness the surprise attack on Israel,
prophesied in Ezekiel 38-39. Almost everyone
agrees this attack is still in our future, and many have
wondered what type of plunder would prompt Russia to
undertake such an effort.
Since its reappearance on the world
scene in 1948, Israel has not been known for its wealth.
In fact, just
the opposite has been true.
Golda Meir, who was Israel's Prime minister from
1969 to 1974 is said to have complained that Moses led
the children of Israel through the desert for forty
years until he found the only place in the Middle East
where there wasn’t any oil.
That Was Then
But the Lord is not constrained by
a lack of knowledge of the future the way man is.
2,500 years ago He knew Israel would someday have
sufficient wealth to make the tiny nation an inviting
target, and it's beginning to look like that day has
If you follow any energy related
news sources, you know about the recent discovery of
large natural gas deposits off Israel's shores.
The size of these reserves keeps being revised
according to US Geological Survey estimates there could
be as many as 100 trillion cubic feet of natural gas
beneath the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean.
Much of it is in Israeli territory.
This could not only supply all of Israel's
projected needs for the next 150 years or so, but could
also make Israel a major exporter of natural gas to
Some experts are convinced that
Russia, the world's largest exporter of natural gas,
will try to prevent Israel from entering the market in
Having recently failed in their bid to acquire a
financial interest in the gas field itself, it's
believed that Russia will work to strengthen its
monopoly in Europe by building another
pipeline to augment the one that currently runs
direct to Germany. The new
pipeline, called South Stream, is already under
construction and will terminate in Austria.
Russia looks unfavorably on competition of any
sort and will likely do whatever is necessary to protect
The fear is that this could include taking by force of
arms a resource they've been unable to acquire
On their own, Israel's gas
discoveries could be enough to justify Russia getting
involved with the Muslim coalition that Ezekiel said
will attack Israel. But there's more.
Through a process known as hydraulic fracturing
(aka fracking), previously inaccessible deposits of
shale oil and gas can now be tapped.
Here's how it works.
A vertical shaft is drilled to a point below the
deepest aquifer containing fresh water. Steel casing is
inserted into the shaft and concrete is poured around
This prevents the fresh water sources from being
disturbed or contaminated.
Then the drilling continues down into the shale
formation. A combination of explosives and high pressure
water is used to fracture the shale to open cracks
through which the gas or oil can flow to the main well
and from there to the surface. Horizontal wells can also
be drilled off the main vertical shaft to further
increase the release of gas and oil from the shale.
According to EPA studies, over 1 existing million
wells have been subjected to the fracking process in the
US since 1947 without a single case of fresh water
The US has used this technology to
effectively become independent of imported natural gas
in the last 5 years while substantially reducing the
price American consumers pay for it.
If not for the current political climate, experts
believe we could duplicate
effort with oil within 7 years, given our proven
reserves of shale oil.
Imagine what unlimited supplies of cheap domestic
oil could do for our economy, not to mention our
national security. But with the consumption of fossil
fuels no longer being politically correct, only time
will tell whether these reserves will be accessed.
Who Else Could Do This?
But there are other countries that
will benefit from this technology, and one of them has
estimated reserves of
250 billion barrels of shale oil.
That makes them a very close second to Saudia
Arabia in terms of oil reserves in the Middle East.
That's right, it's Israel.
If they can master the technology,
and Israel is very good at such things, they could soon
stand beside OPEC as a major Middle Eastern oil
The OPEC nations would still be rich, because
their oil will be less expensive to produce, but as a
major competitor, Israel could break both their monopoly
and their political hold over much of the world.
Observers say the Middle Eastern nations most seriously
impacted by this would be Iran and Turkey, two of
Israel's major antagonists in the coming Battle of
It would take Israel a few years to
accomplish this, but wars are fought over what nations
are afraid will happen as often as over what has
happened. Every one of Israel's enemies will want to
steal this potential wealth before it can be used
You can see how this could play
right into the Lord's hand. If Israel is allowed to
exercise its full military might, no coalition of
neighboring countries can currently stand against it.
If the Battle of Psalm 83 becomes a
reality, Israel will win and for the first time in 60
years will have secure and uncontested borders.
A strong and secure Israel could begin working
toward becoming a major player in the oil and gas
industry. It wouldn't take long for two things to
happen, because they're both consistent with human
First, Israel would become more confident and less
vigilant, and second, Israel's enemies would exploit
their relaxed vigilance, seeking to win by conquest what
they have not been able to acquire by legitimate means.
Just when Israel has become a peaceful and
unsuspecting people, they'll attack (Ezek. 38:10-11)
For Russia the prize will be
Israel's oil and gas. For its Muslim partners it will be
the long promised destruction of “the Zionist entity” as
will advance against Israel with such a mighty force it
will be like a cloud that covers the land (Ezek.
For all intents and purposes Israel's defeat will be a
But the God of Israel will have
been waiting for just such a time as well.
In fact He will have orchestrated it.
With His signature weapons of earthquakes,
torrential rain, hail and burning sulfur, and by turning
his enemies against each other, He will decimate the
enemy forces. Listen to Him describe it.
This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks
the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused,
declares the Sovereign LORD.
In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that
at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the
land of Israel (Ezek. 38:18-19).
will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains,
declares the Sovereign LORD.
Every man’s sword (weapon) will be against his
brother. I will execute
judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour
down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on
him and on his troops and on the many nations with him
will strike your bow (launcher) from your left
hand and make your arrows (missiles) drop from
your right hand. On the mountains of Israel you will
fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you.
I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds
and to the wild animals. You will fall in the open
field, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD
What Israel's enemies will have
thought to be an easy victory will quickly turn into a
Who Is Gog?
Through out Ezekiel 38-39
God exclusively addresses Gog as the leader of the enemy
Long time readers will know that I believe Gog is a
supernatural figure, perhaps Satan's commander in chief.
I say that because while all the other parties in
the muslim coalition have their origins in the
of Noah's sons, no such claim can be made for Gog.
He appears three times in the
first one is in the first two verses of
but you have to be reading Amos from the Septuigent
translation to see it. There, Gog is identified as the
king of a swarm of locusts. To further shroud him in
states that locusts have no king, and observers of
locust swarms agree that no obvious leader directs them,
as a queen would direct a hive of bees for example. The
swarm of locusts led by Gog in
was symbolic of a judgment that was scheduled to
come upon the Northern Kingdom, but the Lord stayed His
hand because of Amos' intercession.
The next time Gog is mentioned is
Ezekiel 38:2, where he is called by name
as the leader of
the coalition of Muslim nations attacking Israel.
His final mention comes from the
Book of Revelation where he will again lead the people
from Magog against the Lord's army at the end of the
20:8). That's a span of nearly 4,000
years. Far too long for any human leader.
The Bible clearly states that
behind the human seats of government stand supernatural
figures manipulating the thoughts and actions of the
world's leaders. We can see this in
Daniel 11:13 where an angel sent to speak with
Daniel was delayed 21 days by “the Prince of Persia”.
The angel told Daniel he was not finished fighting
against the Prince of Persia and soon be fighting
against the Prince of Greece as well (Daniel 11:20).
Only the archangel Michael was sufficiently
powerful to free him, so we know he was not speaking of
contending with human rulers.
These supernatural figures are in
Satan's employ, helping him in his effort to wrest the
ownership of Planet Earth from its Creator. (In
Isaiah 14:3 Satan himself is called the King of
Babylon, and in Ezekiel 28:11 he's called the
King of Tyre.)
Gog is at least the supernatural figure behind
the throne of Russia, and perhaps is even Satan's
counterpart to Michael, who commands the Lord's armies (Rev.
This could be a clue that the Battle of Ezekiel 38
won't be undertaken for purely human reasons, although
it will look that way to the human world. It will really
be one more in a long string of attacks Satan has
mounted against God's people in his ongoing effort to
I believe this is the reason the Lord addressed
only Gog in Ezekiel 38-39. He's talking to and
about the one who is really in charge.
From that day forward the house of Israel will know that
I am the Lord
their God (Ezekiel 39:22).
But this time Satan's effort will
produce the opposite effect.
Where in the past the Jewish people have credited
their own superior ability for their victories, this
time they'll see that they couldn't have survived
without the Lord, and it will open their eyes to the
fact that He's still their God and is still fighting for
realization will lead to the reinstatement of their Old
Covenant relationship with Him, and they'll immediately
set about rebuilding their Temple, a requirement for Old
The clock that has been stopped for 2,000 years
will will start ticking again and Daniel's missing 70th
Week will begin.
Time will tell whether this view is
correct. But one of the great advantages of living in
our day is that it won't be long until all our questions
will be answered. You can almost hear the footsteps of
the Messiah. 02-09-13