The latest issues in Iraq are happening for many reasons, I’ll list just a few. First, a weak Iraqi government and fearful spirit in their military personnel. Second, a weak U.S. leader whose foreign policy is to let whatever terror group take over what they can. Then, there is that whole Bible prophecy thing.
The obvious reason, in plain site of the world, is that the Iraqi military has not stood up and held back what is yet another radical Islamist terror group taking over a middle-eastern country. This is a bit different though in that our U.S. government (CIA, etc.) is not secretly backing this takeover like in the other countries that have recently undergone regime changes. No, this takeover is really just another replay of an age-old battle that has been happening over and over for a few centuries in the region. This battle is between different Muslim groups who claim rights over the country, and one of these groups happens to be very strict and is known to be very evil in terms of how they treat women.
Our government leadership in the U.S. has known that this was happening for several months now, and has chosen to drag their feet on a response and worry about poll numbers and how a response may or may not lead to votes in the mid-term elections in November. I know that putting boots on the ground in Iraq again is not an easy decision. That may not be the approach we should take, but we should at least provide the support that is requested from the Iraqi government. Unless for some reason our leadership wants that country split into three regions for some reason (Kurds, Sunni, and Shi’ite). This may not be a bad idea if your only goal is stability, but the Shi’ite group should not be allowed to continue their horrible treatment of women and overly cruel practices of punishment and religious intolerance.
Now, the real reason behind this is that it is part of a bigger plan. A part of Bible prophecy. I know, we hear this every time something happens in the middle-east. Somehow some religious personality is going to link anything they see to the end times. Well, if the shoe fits!
So, here is a little short breakdown of what to watch for. If you see these signs over the next few months/year, you’ll know what is up. You should know that Bible scholars are not all in agreement on the literal nature of some of these prophecies because you could very easily see where Babylon could actually refer to the current day economic center of the world (maybe New York).
1. Zechariah 5:5-11 talks about wickedness being taken to Shinar (Iraq or Babylonia) and oddly enough the chapter uses a woman to symbolize the wickedness. I don’t know why. I know a woman is used as a symbol in prophecy a few times, but I don’t think they all tie together. It also mentions a cover made of lead over the basket. This may mean nothing, but you could note that bullets contain lead and so do bombs.
2. The Iraq wars in the 1990s and 2000s were bad. However, the Bible prophecy talks of great numbers of casualties that would take place in that region in the end times. This makes one think that there would need to be some weapon of mass destruction used against a major population center in the country (Jeremiah 51:29). Might that come from Iran or terrorists? I’m not sure. Israel will also get involved somehow.
3. According to which scholar you read, insert WW3 here. (not necessarily Armageddon, but an attack on Israel where God intervenes)
4. After this great loss of life and desolation, a leader will stand up and will convince this region and the those around it to sign a 7 year peace arrangement. Somehow Israel and its foes will be talked into having peace together and they will sign a peace initiative of some kind. (Daniel 9:27) This may also include Russia and Iran (Gog and Magog maybe) as they are surely part of the WW3 scenario above.
5. Babylon (current day Hillah, south of Baghdad), will be rebuilt and will become the center of trade for the region. Some scholars differ and say that this may be any new city built that is set up as the economic and religious center of the world. Also, a new Temple will be built in Jerusalem (which will of course anger many Muslims).
6. About 3.5 years into the new Peace time (7 year covenant) the anti-Christ will desecrate the new Temple, which is obviously a bad idea because that is going to bring the wrath of God. (2 Thes. 2:3-4)
So, when does the rapture and the tribulation period take place? There is a lot of debate on those. Let’s just make sure we are all ready for the rapture when it happens.