Back in 2015, I was beginning to see a sequence or development of events coming into view. At the time, it was all about Russia and what was going on between the world's superpowers in the Middle East. It was all over the news that Russia had deployed a small, but consequential military force into Syria, which had the potential of changing the dynamic in that war-torn country. It had been four years since the start of the Syrian civil war, with U.S.-backed rebel forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad and his faithful Syrian army. The sectarian war created a breakdown in authority, providing the opportunity for ISIS to get a foothold and begin building their caliphate. Russia said that they wanted to assist Syria in fighting ISIS, and that was their primary objective in coming to Syria's aid.
But, as always, when global powers begin making military moves, there is more to the story. From what I was able to gather, there was a history of a Russian/Syrian alliance, all the way back to the 1970s when Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad, aligned with Moscow. In fact, Syria is [still] among the last proxies, or representatives, of the Russian political influence in the Middle East. Interestingly enough, that puts Russia on the same side as Iran, who also provides military aid and guidance to Iran's proxy, Hezbollah. Apparently, in 2015, Vladimir Putin was getting a little concerned that Iran was having too much influence in Syria, hence the show of military force.
Fast forward to today, and 8 years later, it's looking like the age-old dynamic of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is once again in play. And, as always, oil is the common factor of all these conflicts. So, in 2023, we are left wondering if Russia and Iran are now aligned, perhaps to foil the prospective treaty between Israel and Saudi Arabia. And interestingly enough, I wrote this in 2015: "There are also those who surmise that Russia's escalating presence in the Middle East might forecast a threat to Western interests; or on the other hand, provide valuable intelligence and military aid in fighting Islamic jihad. Either way, Russia gives themselves a way to bargain for Western and European concessions in regards to Ukraine and economic sanctions". As you can surmise, it's a never-ending game of moving pieces on the cosmic chess board.
And just as in 2015, Russia now seems to be partnering with China to form a coalition against U.S. and European interests in the region. There are so many players on the field and they change partners so many times that it is difficult to discern what their plan is. Can I make all the puzzle pieces fit nicely to form a clear picture to determine if these are End Times events? No. But there is enough going on that my spiritual radar is up. And it just seems as if the world is careening towards [if not an apocalyptic alignment of a one-world government, economic, and religious system], then at least an Armageddon-style conflict that will result in the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies of an emerging New World Order and Anti-Christ kingdom.
And I can't help it, but I just sense that the global elite are manipulating events, alliances, and heads of state. To be honest, I'm finding it very difficult to find the truth in the midst of all the chaos. I don't trust the "official line" we are being told by any of the participants in this human tragedy. Who is on which side? Are the coalition forces really working together, or are they each trying to benefit their own political agenda? How do the various factions of the Islamic faith play out in relationship to each other and their goal to wipe Israel off the face of the map?
I just keep returning to the Bible's prophecy in Zechariah 14, that "I (God) will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped." Just like in Ezekiel 37-39, it is God who brings the enemies of Israel against them in order to shake their world in the hope that they will abandon their worldly ways and return to their original purpose in His plan for the redemption of mankind [by leading the world to the knowledge of the God of Israel]. At this point in history, and as I have explained in my previous post titled The Lord Has Chosen Zion, the current state of Israel [just like its history] does not resemble the nation God planned to be His spokesman.
In fact, the reality of modern Israel mirrors the historical nation that the prophet Isaiah lamented over in Chapter 1 of his prophetical book. Although a vision and prophecy was given to the prophet Isaiah about the destiny of the nation of Israel during the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, the king of Judah, it also foretells the future of the tribe of Judah during the End Times. Furthermore, I believe its message should be heeded by our own nation, as well. I just love the multiple layers of significance that the Bible holds throughout all generations! Those who say it is no longer relevant in our time are sadly (and dangerously) deceived.
Isaiah laments his sinful nation ... he accuses them of immorality and criminality; they have forsaken the God who made them a great nation above all others, and they now only show Him contempt -- worse, still, they ignore Him. Because of their "detestable disobedience", the future of their country is bleak. Their land has been attacked by enemies and strangers occupy what was once so generously bestowed upon them. And then the prophet tells them something that should have stopped them in their tracks, and caused fear to bring them to their knees. The nation of Israel -- indeed, all the world, including today -- knows what befell Sodom and Gomorrah. Ezekiel, Chapter 16, tells us: "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me...". The purpose of this post is not to dwell on the sexual immorality and perversion that were practiced in Sodom and Gomorrah [and indeed, in today's society], but to take to heart the judgment that fell on them, and will be due us if we don't repent and return to God. I also want to encourage you and and pray that you will recognize the hope that is in the remnant that will survive.
Isaiah received spiritual perception in the 7th Century B.C. to minister to the nation of Judah. He knew that God had a purpose for them, but he needed to make them see how far they had wandered from Him. All Israel knew that God had poured fiery sulfur on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, completely destroying them and all of their inhabitants. (To this day, the area where Sodom and Gomorrah were located remains a desolate wasteland.) So Isaiah wants them to ultimately understand what God did out of the midst of that tragic judgment, and how they deserve the same verdict. He points to a particular nature of God as their reason for hope.
He tells them that "the Lord of hosts" spared a remnant, and it is that Sovereignty and Mercy that He wants his nation to recognize. And it is very important to take note of the name for God he uses in this verse. In Hebrew, "the Lord of hosts" is spoken of as Jehovah-Sabaoth. From our human perspective, this is the name of God to run to when there is no other help. From God's perspective, this is the name He uses when He wants us to know that He is not only the One who delivers us, but also the One who judges us. He wants us to bow our knee to Him. This particular name of God meets our failure, and offers deliverance.
Isaiah wants Judah to realize that their actions deserve the devastating and complete punishment that befell Sodom and Gomorrah. They need to acknowledge that Jehovah Sabaoth -- "the Lord of hosts" -- has rightly judged them, but He is also going to deliver them by the means of that remnant. A small group will survive His judgments in order to fulfill God's purpose for them.
Over 700 years later, the Apostle Paul quotes Isaiah's forewarning of a remnant, in Romans, Chapter 9. He says, "And Isaiah solemnly cries aloud over Israel: Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, only the remnant will be saved [from perdition, condemnation, judgment]"! Paul is trying to tell the Hebrew nation that God's own prophets have foretold this sad and frightening truth -- that their disobedience deserves full destruction [as happened to Sodom and Gomorrah], BUT through God's mercy, He will leave them a remnant that will survive ... a Jewish remnant that will bow their knee to their King and Messiah.
If you will take the time to look into the current state of Israeli affairs, you will find both the same faults of ancient Israel in the Bible, and the same corruption, immorality, and deception that plagues all the nations of the modern world. But whatever happens in this current conflict we need to be praying that Israel will be drawn to their destiny; that God's name will be more honored through this Jewish remnant, and the world will be more blessed. This is the purpose of "God's chosen people" -- that a remnant will come forth and declare God and offer salvation to the world.
Isaiah knew it; Paul knew it; and we as the Christian component of the Body of Christ should and need to know it. We need to draw the comparisons with our own fallen state, and come out of our own Sodom and Gomorrah and fulfill our purpose in God's will!