To begin with, lets take Ezekiel 38/39. I think all of us have read these two prophetic chapters as well as an endless stream of articles giving various interpretations on the basics, and that's all fine and dandy. However, it's when one pays attention to the little noticed details that one actually notices them occurring in real-time, as in right now real-time, that one can feel the Holy Spirit leap within you. This happened to me last evening.
The verse that I would like to call your attention to is Ezekiel 38:7 where the LORD God is speaking through the prophet Ezekiel directly to the man who is known as "Gog, of the land of Magog." and He says:
“Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them."In this single sentence the LORD God has instructed Gog to prepare (Hebrew: kuwn qahal: meaning to be prepared as in a very high state of readiness for war or invasion) the military forces of his own country, the military forces of those countries he also has direct control over, as well as all those military forces of the other countries that are also in this military alliance with him, and to be a guard for them. The Hebrew word for guard here is mishmar, meaning a diligent ward or overwatch for their military capabilities.
In very recent news and as a direct result of the Russian invasion and annexation of the Crimean Autonomous Republic from Ukraine, the United States and our NATO allies in the EU have taken various economic measures known as sanctions. Most important of them was the one which resulted in kicking the Russian Federation out of the exclusive economic club, formerly known as the G8, but now just being the G7 (yes, 7 nations in a Trans-Atlantic and Global economic alliance which also includes Japan!).
In direct retaliation for these sanctions the Russian's have served notice to the G7 that they will henceforth act as guardian of the Iranian nuclear program in the upcoming round of talks which resume shortly following a 6-month hiatus during which Iran was supposed to have accomplished some benchmark reductions and shutdowns of its nuclear program. Now that the time has arrived for a viable Western military option to strike Iran to be raised, Russia has now openly committed to defend Iran's military-purposed nuclear weapons program against the US and Europeans.
Putting aside for a moment the billions upon billions worth of Russian weapons systems sales that are arming all of the the Ezekiel 38/39 Magog military confederation, is this new direct Russian defense of the Iranian nuclear weapons program not a literal fulfillment of Ezekiel 38:7? I absolutely believe it is, and this is why the Holy Spirit leapt inside me when I read about it. This will shortly be, or at least it should be, front page news or the lead story when the "E3/EU+3 Iran Talks" reconvene
Well, everybody knows the Iranians never intended per the negotiated E3/EU+3 interim agreement to reduce their growing nuclear weapons capabilities by even so much as a single spinning centrifuge. But what everybody may not know is the the United States and European Union made a hard promise to Israel to keep the Iranian military strike option on-the-table. This promise is what directly prevented Israel from launching their own well-planned and devastating unilateral strike against Iranian nuclear infrastructure targets in the summer of 2012. Now Russia's actions in Crimea and the very real Indications and Warnings (I&W) of an even larger Russian invasion of the rest of Ukraine probably have Israel's military commanders pounding on the conference table even before Bibi Netanyahu strolls into the room. If those IDF commanders understood Bible prophecy they'd know that God has a pair of hooks from which there is no escape in His hand that He will soon put to use. The appointed hour approaches.
Now to another item which I have posted on and written about many times in the past 5 years or so. Isaiah 17. And as much as I have read that prophetic chapter, and have believed it would be the event which launches the final battles of the ongoing Psalm 83 war (1947 to the present), it wasn't until very early in the morning the other day that I noticed something in those texts which even more directly points to a sequence of Isaiah 17 preceding Psalm 83.
We're all very aware of what occurs in Isaiah 17. The focus is always on the total destruction of Damascus, then of the cities of Aroer, and then of central Israel (Ephraim). It is the end result of the military action which results in the destruction of Damascus that I noticed is more profound and prophetic than I previosuly saw it to be.
Isaiah 17:12-13 reads:
"Woe to the multitude of many people
Who make a noise like the roar of the seas,
And to the rushing of nations
That make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters!
The nations will rush like the rushing of many waters;
But God will rebuke them and they will flee far away,
And be chased like the chaff of the mountains before the wind,
Like a rolling thing before the whirlwind."
Who are those many gentile people who are making a noise like the roar of the seas that Isaiah prophesies about? A rushing of gentile nations going where and to do what?
Of course, they are the gentile Arab Shi'a and Sunni Muslims nations and peoples from Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza and the Sinai in a headlong jihad rush to attack and destroy Israel so "the name of Israel may be remembered no more" (Psalm 83:4). Why do they suddenly rush in to do this? Because Israel has just destroyed to the point of complete obliteration the oldest Arab Islamic capital city in the world. But what happens when they come rushing in? The result is that these nations God rebukes them, they are chased like chaff off mountains before a wind, like a rolling thing before the Cuwphah (Sufa).
So why do I conclude that Isaiah 17 precedes the finale of Psalm 83? Because of the very specific language the singing prophet (chozeh) Asaph was inspired of the Lord's Spirit to use in his description of the military result of Psalm 83. This military result was nearly achieved in 1948, and again 1967 and again in 1973. This next time it will absolutely be achieved. Asaph's specific prophetic language in Psalm 83:13-15
"O my God, make them like the whirling dust,
Like the chaff before the wind!
As the fire burns the woods,
And as the flame sets the mountains on fire,
So pursue them with Your tempest,It appears to me that these two prophets, first Asaph and then Isaiah, were inspired by the same Holy Spirit to prophesy about the same event but from slightly different perspectives and about 400 years apart from each other. It is these two distinct perspectives about this great military defeat that is strongly suggestive of and reinforces what I have come to understand about their place in the sequence in events preceding the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38/39 which immediately precedes the start of the 70th Week. In this these verses sequence provide an explanation of why the resultant rushing of the Arab nations in Isaiah 17 occurs only after Damascus is obliterated, and why Aram-Syria-Damascus does not appear at all within the nations and peoples specified in Psalm 83.
And frighten them with Your storm."
Addendum: As a final note to the sequence of Isaiah 17 immediately followed by Psalm 83 being thereafter followed by Ezekiel 38/39, I again submit the confirming prophecies found in Isaiah 11:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:24-26.