A semi-official newspaper in Turkey recently called for an “Army of Islam.” This army would be formed from 57 Muslim nations to “besiege and attack Israel.” If such an army was created, it would be as large as the total population of Israel as well as the largest army on earth.
The report came just ahead of the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and was published under the headline “What if an Army of Islam was formed against Israel?” It was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
But it wasn’t a rhetorical question. It was actually a suggestion to combine the military forces of all Islamic countries to overwhelm the Israeli army in manpower, budget and equipment – even boasting with statistics….
It also advocates establishing joint bases for the army’s ground, air and naval forces that will arrive from all over the Muslim world to besiege Israel, while noting that Pakistan, as the only nuclear country, has “a special status” among the OIC countries….
I do not know what happened in my readers’ minds when they read the above information. I can tell you that my mind went “Whoa! This sounds serious!” Then my mind went immediately to the scriptures and the battle of Gog and Magog. I stopped at the Bible Dictionary and found the following information under “Gog.”
King of Magog, whose invasion of Israel was prophesied by Ezekiel (Ezek. 38; 39). The prophecy points to a time when the heathen nations of the north would set themselves against the people of God and would be defeated, and led to recognize Jehovah as King. All this appears to be at the second coming of the Lord. Another battle, called the battle of Gog and Magog, will occur at the end of the 1,000 years. This is described by John in Rev. 20:7-9; see also D&C 88:111-116.
So Gog is the name of the king of land of Magog, and he will lead an attack on Israel. The attacking army will be defeated, and the attackers will be forced to recognize Jesus Christ as King. The last two references have to do with the battle that will take place at the end of the Millennium, so I went to Ezekiel to find the prophecy. The word of the Lord came to Ezekiel telling him to tell Gog, of the land of Magog:
Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I am against thee ….
And I will turn thee back and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords….
… In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes….
And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face….
Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord (Ezekiel 38:3, 4, 14-16, 18, 23).
I do not know of any nations today that fight with horses, shields, and swords, but I recognize that Ezekiel would not have known what to call tanks, trucks, jets, and armored vehicles. Those words were probably not in his vocabulary. However, we can believe that there will be “a great company” and “a mighty army” that will be so large that it will cover the land like a cloud. We can also believe that it will happen in the “latter days” – our day.
Ezekiel 39 tells of the cleanup work to be done. There will be so many weapons of war that it will take seven years to burn all the equipment. It will also take seven months to bury all the dead.
I would warn those who are calling for an Army of Islam to attack Israel that they probably should reconsider their call. They should look at history and understand that God fights on the side of His people. Those who fight against Israel seldom prosper, and the results of this great battle have already been foretold. The time is coming when all the earth will recognize that Jesus Christ is King!