So much has been written about what the next step is for Earth. Israel is now a sovereign nation, meaning the world has now crossed the line definitively into the “last days”. But what comes next?
A war approaches on the horizon like the first fingers of the sun gripping the edge of the Eastern seas. Perhaps in Ezekiel’s time the battle partners seemed unlikely; But today we would not only say such a war was possible, most would say such a war is probable. The battle lines are to be drawn between a unified
nation of Israel against Turkey and certain portions of Mother Russia along with Iran, Libya and Sudan. Now I don’t know about you, but such a battle to me seems imminent. We have but to stray a little with the flame of diplomacy and such a powder keg will be lit as will set these nations to unstoppable war. In this regard it can be seen Scriptural prophecy seems far from fantastic but wholly credible.
Ezekiel 38:13 indicates that certain nations will oppose this war. Possible dissenters are: Saudi Arabia, Spain, Crete, Greece, England, America, Canada, Australia, even Japan, China and India. Any of these seem likely and plausible according to our current world picture.
Ezekiel indicates that the enemies of Israel will experience a resounding defeat at the hands of God (not Israel). The devastation will be so severe that it will take the Jews seven months to bury all the dead. The work of burying will be so great, in fact, that a whole town will spring up around the industry of grave-digging (see Ezek 39:15-16). Further, enough enemy weapons will be collected that Israel will be able to heat their homes for seven years by the burning of them (Ezek. 39:9,10).
Now what catches me about this prophecy is its imminence. I am not so interested in knowing exactly who all the players are but in the fact that this prophecy could actually explode onto the world stage with tomorrow morning’s headlines.
I have said before the church of today needs to be like the “men of Issachar who understood their times and knew what to do.” In light of the unfolding of final prophecy in which we live what are we to do?
We need to be like the wise virgins of Matthew 25 who when the bridegroom (Jesus) was delayed in his coming, “were wise enough to take along extra oil” for their lamps. Matthew 25:4
How do we take along “extra oil”?
1. By being prepared for the battle ahead: “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.” Eph: 6:11 NLT
We must be mentally emotionally and physically prepared for the days that lie ahead for “These are the times that try men’s souls.” (Thomas Paine, “The Crisis”). We do this by taking all our focus off the world and placing it in Christ.
2. By Praying without Ceasing: This is more than just being aware of God’s presence 24/7. It means no matter what comes against you, keep your habit of prayer and pray about everything from the loss of a nail to the threat against the nation.
3. By Staying in the word: The Bible is our source of truth and in the days ahead we are going to need to know it. Read and study it until you know it back and forth. John Milton, the blind bard who wrote “Paradise Lost”, could quote the whole Bible. When you get to that point you can probably consider a short rest from your studies.
4. By not getting involved in foolish arguments: There are plenty of things to fight about. Almost none of them are eternally important. Let it go and get back to worshipping.
4. By praising God in everything: Praise drowns out the voice of Satan and hopelessness. Thanksgiving brings peace. Every morning you should find ten things to praise Jesus for and spend some time thanking Him.
5. By getting Back to Church: I’m not just talking about going to Sunday morning service although that’s a start. You need to be active in your church body. You are a muscle of the church and every muscle that doesn’t work-out atrophies. Some Christians are as shriveled up as a paraplegic’s thigh because they refuse to be active in their church. In the days ahead such useless muscles will be amputated by God so they don’t hinder the whole body from getting into the Presence!
6. By keeping your eyes on the prize: This world isn’t our home! We have a better heavenly reward. No matter what don’t give that up!