Summary: Part 2 of 3 Many claim that the church is now Israel. After examining the scriptures, we cannot draw that conclusion without denying the accuracy of the Bible. This section looks at the hatred of Israel by the nations, their date with destiny, Jesus’ def
Israel Hated (Part 2 of 3)
Israel was recognized as an independent nation on May 14, 1948. The Arabian nations promised to “drench the soil with Jewish blood” if this recognition were to be acknowledged by the world. The day after recognition, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq invaded Israel with all their fury. Against insurmountable odds, a nation less than a week old was able to regroup and defend itself. Not only did they drive these nations out of their territories, but they also gained new territory including Jerusalem. After utterly defeating the invaders, the Israeli army isolated the Egyptian army and were in route to the capitol of Egypt to overthrow it. Under the pressure of the Soviet Union, the UN declared a cease-fire in order to end the conflict and protect the 5 attacking nations. Though costly, Israel gained much of its ancient territory by victory over the invading countries.
Under another attack, Syria launched an attack and sent 1000 planes into Israeli airspace. None returned and Israel regained Jerusalem and more of its ancient territories. Each time Israel has been attacked, it has benefited territorially.
This is Israel after the 1967 war cease-fire. If history does not persuade us that God has a plan for Israel, the scriptures should. Hatred against the reborn Israel has been prophesied long ago.
The World’s date with destiny
3 "and say, ’Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal.
4 "I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.
5 "Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet;
6 "Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops -- many people are with you.
Rosh is the region of Russia. It is unknown where Russia gained its name. Many theories exist about how they received their name. One is that they were named after a river called ‘Ros’; another says they were named after the Swedish name Ruotsi; and some claim that when the hordes were attacking southward, they had no name so certain scholars stated that these must be the ‘Rosh’ spoken of in the Bible. However, during the time of barbarian hordes, the land of Russia was called Muscovy.
Meshech, and Tubal are easily identified by history. Meshech settled in western Russia. The name of the region became known as Moskva and later changed to the modern name, ‘Moscow’. Tubal settled in Siberia and the region was called Tobol. The modern day name of Tobol is the city of Tubolsk. Iraq and Iran are the modern inhabitants of Persia. Ethiopia, and Libya are the same. Gomer is the region surrounding Germany and Togarmah is modern day Turkey.
Identifying the exact names is not essential to understanding this prophecy. The focus of this prophecy is that the nations surrounding Israel will all attack. If you look at a map and locate these ancient settlements, you will see that Israel is attacked from the north, south, east and west. They are at the center of the entire world, just as the Bible states. Look at Ezekiel 38 again:
11 and you will say, ’I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates,
12 to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.’
I used the NASB because I believe the wording of verse 12 clearly describes what is going on – Israel will be at the center of the world. In the Bible God says to Israel’s enemies, “I will put hooks in your jaws…to draw you out”. It may be that these nations are financially desperate. The Bible says that they are coming to plunder Israel because they have acquired wealth.
I realize that some balk at this prophecy in Ezekiel. Some also claim that this has been fulfilled. However, if we read the passages we see clearly that it has never been fulfilled. For one, Israel has returned from being scattered across the whole earth. During their first captivity, they were in bondage but not scattered. When Israel returned the first time, they were not attacked on all sides. Some claim Ezekiel refers to the Greek invasion or that it was Rome who occupied Israel. However, Greece did not attack from four directions. Rome did not conquer Israel from four directions. Even more important, God did not defend Israel during any of these invasions in the past. God states the purpose for the invasion – “I am against you”. The nations are drawn out so God can judge them at the height of their might and pride. In the future invasion, God will defend Israel, destroy the kingdoms of the world and then will present Himself as their eternal King. This final conflict is for the purpose of judging the nations. Look at Zephaniah 3