The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has awakened fears of the communist giant of the North which have not been felt for a very long time. And fear is something that all bullies, including Russia, enjoy even when everything else around them fails.
While living in Russia, journalist David Satter recount to wait in a line of potatoes when a fight breaks out between passers-by. “These lines are a disgrace. How can we live like this? asked a man to whom an old woman quickly replied: “Never mind – the whole world is afraid of us.
With this in mind, Vladimir Putin’s military action should come as no real surprise to anyone. When you have a disgraced country with a failed worldview, a crumbling economy, a capital that mirrors Gotham City, utter anarchy that makes America’s recent crime wave tame in comparison, allies who look like serial killers and Olympic athletes who can’t compete without doping, waging war is the most effective way for him to shore up support for his deteriorating regime.
Looking at the situation, political commentators recall the annexation of Crimea in 2014 which caused the “Crimea effect”, in which, according to Nikolai Petrov of the Moscow Higher School of Economics, the Russians “have forgot their worries and felt that anything went and anything was possible.” Deflection, a favorite tactic of political failures, works wherever naïve populations exist (just look at our own country).
So in a sense, it’s a win-win for Putin bolstering his own failing approval numbers while causing unreasonable fear everywhere else. This seems especially true in America, where the panic-porn media touts the potential for nuclear clashes and the stock market sells in terror, not to mention the fact that before the invasion, Ukraine is a country to which 99 % of Americans have never given a moment’s thought.
Although I am grateful each day that God has saved me and given me the privilege of knowing his truth, it is at times like these that I am especially grateful to rest in his sovereign control over everything and to know that he is never taken by surprise. And that includes the actions of nations like Russia whose fate is clearly spelled out in scripture.
God’s plan for the nations
When it comes to all the nations that have or will ever exist, there are basically two eschatological (End Times) buckets: (1) Israel, a nation divinely brought into existence and chosen by God to deliver the Messiah ( the human Word) and the Bible (the written Word) to the world, and (2) the Gentile Nations: Gentiles both loved (the Church) and hated, used by God for His purposes.
When it comes to national leaders, whether it is Alexander the Great or Vladimir Putin, their actions are ultimately controlled by God, who treats their hearts, “like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it where He wants” (Prov. 21:1). God is “master over the kingdom of mankind and grants it to whomever He wills. It is He who changes times and epochs; He takes away kings and sets up kings” (Dan. 4:32, 2:21).
Because mankind is estranged from God and others, the end result is constant turmoil and the rise and fall of nations. The more humanity attempts to rule the Earth apart from God, the more degenerate this rule becomes.
That being true, the big picture that scripture paints for nations is consistent around the world: troubles, troubles, wars/threats of wars (Mast. 24:6-8) which ultimately culminates first in the gathering of the nation of Israel at the End Times (Is. 11:11-2, Is. 66:7-8, Jer. 16:14–15, Eze. 36:22–28, 37:1-10) and then the establishment of a false peace by a world government and its designated leader (Rev. 6:1-2).
And what role does Russia play in all of this?
God’s plan for Russia
A telltale sign of a nation ruled by Satan is its hatred of Israel and God’s people.
You probably won’t be surprised to to find that Russia is brutal towards everyone in general, including its own people. Russians lodge more complaints with the European Court of Human Rights than citizens of any of the 46 countries that make up the Council of Europe, 13,645 complaints in 2020 alone (in contrast, the figure for the UK was 124).
But his anti-Semitic worldview makes it especially difficult for Jews. In the 1800s, Russian Jews were murdered or forced to immigrate if they did not join the Russian church. Fast forward to the early 1960s and we find a Times magazine article indicating“The main center of persecution of Jews today is the Soviet Union. In a land openly dedicated to atheism, Russia’s 3,000,000 Jews suffer more than any other religion because they are under attack from the both for their religion and as a despised national minority.
But Psalm 121:4 says, “Behold, he who guards Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep”, and so we find a very fitting end to Russia set forth in the scriptures.
The prophetic Word of God declares in several places how God will bring Russia to ruin, the fullest description being found in Ezekiel 38–39. In these chapters, Russia is referred to as “Gog and Magog.”
Interestingly, Magog is identified by Josephus as the land of the Scythians, the region north and northeast of the Black Sea and east of the Caspian Sea – now occupied by three countries: Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The Great Wall of China was originally called the Wall of Magog by Arab countries in reference to the protection of the Chinese against Russian invaders.
At some point in the future, God says he will, “put hooks in your jaws, and I will bring you out…on the day my people Israel live in safety…you will come from your place of the remote parts of the north , you and many peoples with you… and you will come up against my people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It will come to pass in the last days that I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me when I am sanctified by you before their eyes, O Gog” (Eze. 38:4, 14-16).
Russia is also mentioned as a “northern” people several times elsewhere in scripture (e.g., Dan. 11:40-41) so it’s no surprise that when you look at a map and draw a line north of Israel, you go squarely into Ukraine and then into Russia. Theologian CI Scofield was ridiculed in the early 1900s for saying in his Study Bible that there would be a future Russian invasion of Israel, which did not exist at the time, but he said: ” I don’t understand it, and I can’t explain it, but the Bible says so, and that’s why I believe it.
The scriptures are crystal clear in their prediction of Russia’s demise, while today they can show confidence in their military might and lay claim to Ukraine, the reality is that they are outright carrying out God’s will and in the collimator of his trap from which they will not come out one day. escape.
So, knowing that God is in charge and has told us in advance what will happen, do not be afraid of the actions of Russia or any other nation, and pray for the Ukrainian people. Never forget that our God is sovereign over everything: “He enlarges the nations, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations, then pushes them away” (Labor 12:23); “The Lord of hosts swore, saying, ‘Surely, as I willed, it happened, and as I planned, it will happen'” (Is. 14:24).