The Prince of Rosh of Gog and Magog

The Prince of Rosh of Gog and Magog

“Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face  against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Mesheck, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, “Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Mesheck, and Tubal. 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.” Ezekiel 38:1-4

“And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, “Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; and I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north and bring you against the mountains of Israel.” Ezekiel 39:1-2

For a long time I have written about the ultimate destiny and plans of the Russian Federation. These include regional hegemony as we now see unfolding in the Ukraine and strategic domination in Eurasia and beyond reaching into the Middle East. This is not political analysis but the teaching of scripture to be found in the book of Ezekiel. The ultimate end game of what we are witnessing now will be Israel. Even as I write, given Russia’s penetration into the Middle East and America’s loss of prestige and influence in the region after the withdrawal fiasco from Afghanistan, Israel is increasingly having to play a careful diplomatic game with Putin. She is literally dancing on “hot coals.”

The truth is, the God of the Bible is putting hooks into the Russian bear’s jaw and dragging it down into a final conflict with Him whereby it will finally fall on the mountains of Israel. In the process peoples and nations, like that of the Ukraine, are facing war and turmoil. How then should we pray? The answer lies in the understanding that God gave Habakkuk. He could not alter or change the revealed purpose of God but he could pray in alignment with it, meaning:

1. That God is sovereign and his ways are far above ours. He thus, when wickedness overflows in nations will move to judge it by war. The Prophet Habakkuk was truly scandalized at this thought because he knew Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to be a wicked ruthless tyrant. The idea then that God would call him forth as an instrument of judgment against the nation of Judah was consequently unacceptable to him and he told God as much. God is surely using Putin in the same way!! Believe me, this is just the beginning as the nations are ” ripe for judgment” because of their rebellion against Jesus of Nazareth and their overflowing wickedness. Hear then the words of God to Habakkuk:

“Look among the nations and watch- be utterly astounded! For I will work a work in your days which you would not believe, though it were told you. For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, a bitter and hasty  nation which marches through the breadth of the earth to possess dwelling places that are not theirs.” Habakkuk 1:5-6

2. We must then pray that in the Ukraine God, in His wrath, will have mercy and thereby bring many of the unsaved to Himself. That is, our prayers should be concentrated on the lost and their need for salvation.

3. When the truth finally dawned upon Habakkuk he wondered how the true people of God would survive all of this? The answer was swift and very encouraging, ” The just shall live by their faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). The actual word “faith” here means faithfulness. This is not sloppy Christian living but true dedication and zeal for God validated over time. The promise of God to the Christians of the Ukraine is that they will live, or be safe and survive, if they have been faithful. We would be wise to take note of this and so we should pray for Ukrainian Christians in this context.

4. That this trial will purify the Church in the Ukraine and bring many of its members to repentance and renewal. This is the picture presented by Habakkuk’s oracle and we must also pray for the Church in the Ukraine with this in mind and for its leaders. Hear is Habakkuk’s prayer in this regard:

“O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.” Habakkuk 3:2

5. Habakkuk knew that God was in control of Judah’s destiny as a nation and that beyond the raging conflict peace would come with great blessing. He therefore arose from the depression and confusion that had beset him and with much joy praised the God of Israel:

“Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fall, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls. Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord is my strength: He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.” Habakkuk 3:17-19

The prophet finally learned that our well being and spiritual life does not emanate from national leaders and the state of our nations but from God! No doubt we must learn this too and we must pray that the Ukrainian Church will find this truth and rejoice in it at this time. This does not mean that we should not pray for our nations and their leaders. We must for this is the command of scripture (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

6. Finally, it is clear that Habakkuk was deeply concerned about the welfare of his nation, and rightly so as we all should be. We must pray then that God will bring peace to the Ukraine and that nothing, by the design of demonic power, would go beyond the determined purpose of God. It is of course comforting to know that God is set against Putin and his plans and will in the end bring him down. This is something that we must hold before the throne of God in intercession. Let us all be on our knees in prayer.

In this urgent and terrible time may God be with the Ukrainian people, its Church and their leaders and save them from the bully of the north.

Malcolm Hedding