What prophetic importance might be attached to the current U.N. Resolution 1973 establishing a no-fly zone in Libya? For the past week Western nations, including the U.S., Britain, and France have destroyed anti-aircraft targets and command and control systems in Libya to keep its leader, Colonel Muammar Gadhafi from slaughtering the masses there who are protesting against his corrupt regime.
It is well known that Libya and Colonel Gadhafi have been sponsors of terrorism for the past 42 years – starting long before our own “War on Terrorism” began in 2001.
In 1986 President Reagan bombed parts of Libya, including Gadhafi’s residence, in retaliation for the terrorist bombing of a disco in Germany which killed or injured many U.S. servicemen. Libyan terrorists were also responsible for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland.
Libya is only mentioned 7 times in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament. The Hebrew word used in the Old Testament is Phut (or Put), who was a grandson of Noah and a son of Ham (Genesis 10:1-7).
The most interesting prophecy of Libya is in Ezekiel’s account of a great war, known as the War of Gog and Magog. This war is described in chapters 38 and 39 of Ezekiel. This End-times conflict, will take place after the “rebirth” of Israel as a nation, which was predicted in chapters 36-37. Israel has indeed become a nation again, after more than two thousand years of being scattered all over the Earth. That great event took place in 1948.
This War of Gog and Magog is to be a great war – perhaps a world war – against Israel. Since we are living in the time after Israel’s rebirth but before a war that fits the description of the Magog scenario, it makes sense to identify the forces that will be rallied against Israel. When we do so, we see that it looks a lot like our present world scene.
Some Bible teachers equate this war to the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the Tribulation Period, but there are many differences. Another description of a great war is given in Revelation 6:3-4, after the opening of the Second Seal, near the beginning of the Tribulation. It seems more likely that this would be the Gog/Magog conflict.
The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshek and Tubal; prophesy against him 3 and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshek and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. 5 Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, 6 also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you. – Ezekiel 38:1-6
Magog has been identified since before the rise of the Soviet Union as the area of Russia and the countries nearby. Magog and his allies are nations that have developed from some of Noah’s descendants in Genesis 10. They include other lands north of Israel, Gomer and Beth Togarmah, which could include Turkey. Other allies of this northern coalition will be Persia, which is modern Iran; Cush, the ancient name for Ethiopia; and Put, which is Libya. All of these nations stand against Israel today.
Last year Russia announced that Libya will be the first country in the Middle East to obtain their top-of-the-line S-300 PMU-2 interceptor missile batteries. Some of the Islamic countries near Russia, which used to be part of the Soviet Union, could be allies in this coalition. When U.N. Resolution 1973 to impose a no-fly zone was adopted last week, Russia abstained from the vote. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin compared the air strikes by Western militaries on Libya to a “medieval crusade.”
Turkey, the center of the last Islamic Caliphate, disbanded by World War I, has drifted recently from attempts to become part of the EU, to open enmity with Israel. Following the Israeli capture of a ship carrying aid for Palestinians, Turkey’s very popular Prime Minister Erdogan, called for a jihad against Israel. As the only Muslim country that is a member of NATO, Turkey expressed disagreement with some aspects of the military action against Libya.
Now Libya will enter into a political vacuum that could lead it in either direction, but most likely into a stronger alliance with the Gog and Magog coalition. It will be most interesting to see what happens next in that part of the world.