Goading Gog: Sanctions in the Jaws? :: By Daniel Payne

The events currently taking place in Ukraine have got me wondering again about what the “hooks in the jaws” could possibly be. What would cause the leader of Russia to invade Israel? Quite obviously, God will do whatever He decides, and no power on earth can resist Him, Amen. However, I can’t help but wonder about it all.

The reason for Russia’s current military invasion of Ukraine may not be as simple as most media outlets make it out to be. Be that as it may, the simple reality is that Russia has indeed invaded Ukraine with a large military force.

As events are still unfolding in Ukraine, why not have a look at the very well-known prophecy given in the Book of Ezekiel:

Ezekiel 38:3-4, 8-9,” Thus says the Lord God: ‘I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. And I will turn you back and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords…. After many days you shall be called. In the latter years you shall come into the land that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered out of many peoples, against the mountains of Israel which had been always a waste. But its people were brought out of the nations, and they, all of them, are dwelling safely. You shall ascend and come like a storm; you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you and all your troops, and many peoples with you.'”

“Gog” very likely refers to the leader of the nation currently identified as Russia, and “the land that is restored from the sword” is, of course, Israel.

As a side note: I believe that the Gog-Magog invasion of Israel will take place after the Rapture because God doesn’t need to make His name known among His own church. In fact, it’s the current mission of the church to make the gospel known among the nations (The Great Commission). And in keeping with this fact and the fact that the church will not be present on the earth after the Rapture, the church is not mentioned at all by the Lord when He says that He will make His name known in Israel and among the nations, after the failed invasion attempt:

Ezekiel 39:6-7, “I will send a fire on Magog and among those who dwell safely in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the Lord. So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel. And I will not let them pollute My holy name anymore. And the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel.”

Back to Ukraine; a large group of nations from the Western alliance (NATO, the E.U., the United States, etc.) have fired a punitive response at Russia as a result of its military invasion of Ukraine. This punishment—mostly in the form of economic sanctions—might be representative of what will provoke Russia into attacking Israel at some point in the future.

Here’s a look at some of the economic sanctions recently levied against Russia:

  • Russia’s access to $630 billion of its own money has been cut off by the United States.
  • Russian state-owned companies have been banned from doing business with the U.S.
  • Russian banks have been expelled from the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) banking system.
  • Putin’s family and Russian oligarchs have been personally targeted by sanctions.
  • Russian aircraft have been banned from flying over European airspace.
  • Russian tech exports have been banned…etc.

As a result of these punitive sanctions, the Russian Stock Market and the Ruble have recently plummeted in value.

As Putin himself—along with the rest of Russia—start to truly suffer from the economic consequences of the Western sanctions, he may become desperate enough to attack a certain Middle Eastern target (Israel) in order to please another Middle Eastern country (Iran) and obtain a substantial discount on much-needed oil and fuel. Or maybe he’ll secure a deal to sell Russian oil through the marketplace of OPEC stealthily flowing through the pipelines of Iran and Syria.

Another possible provocation is that certain countries that Russia currently views as enemies—including NATO allies and other Western nations—have been sending increasingly more powerful and sophisticated weaponry into Ukraine. As a result, Russia may be provoked to up their own military might within Ukraine—and elsewhere. Putin may also view this as a legitimate pretext to militarily attack these Western nations—and their close allies.

As for the common and very reasonable assumption that America must be severely weakened by the time of the Gog-Magog invasion—since there is no mention of America as an ally or defender of Israel in Ezekiel—America is already too weak to defend Israel. This may, of course, change in the future, and then back again. However, even now, we’re already too weak and wimpy to defend our closest ally. Not that they would ever need our help, praise God!