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Weekly Commentary
“The Hook in Russia's Jaw”
by Art Sadlier   
November 28th, 2010

In Ezekiel 38, the prophet tells us about the war that is to take place between Russia with her allies against Israel. The alliance of nations is named in verses 5-6, “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.” Basically this involves Iran, Turkey, Libya and Ethiopia and the Muslim nations that surround Israel.

The leader of this alliance will be Russia, which is identified in verses 2-3. We see the leadership role of Russia in verse 7, “Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.”

The question is often asked, what will motivate Russia to be involved in this war? The answer is found in verse 4, “And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth....”  God will move Russia to come against Israel. He will do that in order to bring Russia into judgment for her antagonism against Israel and for her atheism. Russia is the only nation in history which is officially atheistic.

No doubt the Lord will set a bait; a hook, to draw Russia against Israel. This week in a news item, I believe we see what that bait may well be. The following headline suggests it, “Moscow Eyes Potential Gas Fields Off Lebanese, Israeli and Syrian Shores.” The three gas fields dubbed Tamar, Dalit, and Leviathan, which Israeli entrepreneurs struck in the past year off Israel's Mediterranean coast are currently estimated to hold reserves pegged at 25 trillion cubic feet.

The story continued, “The Mediterranean gas bonanza did not go unnoticed by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who has a sharp instinct for opportunities in the field of energy.” The stage is being set for this coming war.

The timing of this war is clearly given in the text. Verse 8, “After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.” Notice first, “in the latter years” that would refer to our own day. Second, it says when Israel has been regathered to the land that is also our day. Third, it says when Israel is dwelling safely, that is not the present hour. This peace factor is mentioned three times in the chapter.

The only time Israel will be dwelling safely is for a brief time after the peace treaty is signed by Antichrist. That puts this war early in the tribulation period.

As we see this alliance forming and the hook being set to draw Russia, we know that the rapture will take place first, therefore the rapture must be drawing near.

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