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Devotionals 2006

What if?
August 15, 2006 By Ed Wrather


When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD. In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign LORD. Every man's sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.' - Ezekiel 38:18b-23.

This passage in Ezekiel refers to what is known as Ezekiel’s War or the Battle of Gog and Magog. It describes an attack upon Israel and the intervention of God to protect Israel. Although the nations primarily affected by the destruction will be those attacking Israel, it appears that there will be some worldwide effects. There will be a "great earthquake." Every creature and all the people on earth will "tremble” as a result of that earthquake. In addition, mountains will be "overturned," cliffs will "crumble," and every wall "will fall."

The question for us and for Bible scholars of the ages is and has been when will this event of Ezekiel’s War occur? Many scholars simply ignore the issue; however, with Israel being reborn as a nation in 1948 and the continued events of the Middle East the timing of this event is very important to us.

Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins in their "Left Behind" series present the Battle of Gog and Magog as taking place prior to the beginning of the seven years of Tribulation. Joel Rosenberg, author of "Ezekiel’s Option," also presents this battle as taking place prior to the Tribulation period. LaHaye, Jenkins, and Rosenberg also present the prophetic timeline as having the Battle of Gog and Magog precede the Rapture of the Church. According to this timeline, we who are Christians will still be around to see the intervention of God and the destruction of the attacking enemies of Israel. According to this timeline, we will also be present to experience the effects of an earthquake that make the entire world "tremble."

I am not an expert on prophecy but what if? What if Rosenberg, LaHaye, and Jenkins are right? What if we wake up in the middle of the night to the shaking of our houses and when we turn on the television we see right there on CNN (or Fox, or MSNBC) fire and brimstone and giant hailstones raining destruction on the armies attacking Israel? Shocking? That would be a great understatement, wouldn’t it? Terrifying, might be a better word.

Now since we have considered that scenario how about this one? Perhaps, this is not some event that will take place far in the future but instead it is rapidly approaching. No one knows for sure - but what if? What if this event were to occur during your lifetime? How would you cope with it? How would your family cope with it? Would you survive it? If you did survive it, what would you do next?

Considering that this supernatural intervention of God and fulfillment of prophecy would take place before the entire world it would then present a great opportunity for evangelization of those around us. It could be that there will be a great spiritual awakening prior to the Rapture. What if…?

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