“Three Reasons Why the Economies of Russia, Iran, and Turkey Matter to Bible Prophecy”
Not long ago, I talked about the Ezekiel 38 and 39 invasion of Israel. Three of the main antagonists in that war will be Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Today, those nations have something new in common that the Bible says will be a driving force behind that war.
Bible scholars have long been intrigued by the war described by the prophet Ezekiel, where he describes Russia leading a confederation of nations against Israel. We know from history that the invasion hasn’t happened yet. And two verses in chapter 38 — 8 and 16 — identify the general time of the invasion as “the latter days.” So, as we look at the days in which we live, this war gets more and more intriguing.
With this in mind, consider that Russia, Iran, and Turkey have a long history of antagonism between them. While Iran and Turkey are both Muslim, Iran is Shiite Muslim and Turkey is Sunni Muslim. Those groups have been fighting one another since the 7th century. The rest of the Sunni world hates Iran. Russia has been fighting wars against Iran and Turkey for hundreds of years. But they’re together now in Syria. So, how did a prophet named Ezekiel know this 2500 years ago? Coincidence? I don’t think so!
And there is even more to this. At the beginning, I said Russia, Iran, and Turkey have something in common that the Bible says will be a driving force behind the Ezekiel 38 war. That something is a terrible economy. Today, North America, Europe, Asia, and much of the Middle East are in the midst of an economic boom. But Russia, Iran, and Turkey are missing out. Their past bad behavior has caused the nations to turn against them. They’re each being sanctioned, and their economies are falling apart. Why does this matter to Bible prophecy?
First — the Bible says the war will come about because the attacking nations will be greedy for the riches of the land of Israel. Ezekiel 38:11-12 says, “You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’ — to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.”
Their motivation will be to enrich themselves. And right now, they definitely need something.
Second — some of their economic problems stem from overspending on their militaries. They are cash-poor, and missile-rich. The Bible describes their vast military prowess. They are going to be looking for ways to turn what they have — military might — into what they need — financial wealth.
Russia in particular sees Israel as a threat to its economy. Russia’s economy is built on selling natural gas to Europe. But Israel’s massive, newly discovered gas fields in the Mediterranean are a potential threat to Russia’s natural gas monopoly in Europe. Making it worse, Israel, Cyprus, and Greece are building new natural gas pipelines under the Mediterranean to Italy. For Russia, the hand writing is on the wall.
Third — Since its Islamic revolution in 1979, a big part of Iran’s purpose for existence has been the destruction of Israel. The Iranians are using Russia and Turkey’s anger against the sanctions as a way to solidify their alliance against the United States and its allies — especially Israel.