Part 1 here
Part 2 here
The suddenness with which the ISIS coalition has burst into the world stage is certainly startling. The swiftness with which the ISIS organization has made sweeping gains in Iraq is also startling. Any time there is dramatic movement in the Middle East, God's prophetic lands, it is wise to keep watch and also refer to prophecy.
Here are some resources for you to learn more about ancient Iraq. The resources are biblical and historical. Please stay away from conspiracy theorists and prophecy theorists who incorrectly meld blood moon theories and personal dreams and visions with bible prophecy that they rip from context and incorrectly interpret. It brings disrepute onto prophecy as a study topic to tweet, 'like,' blog, video, and otherwise promote such incorrect and unbiblical information.
Please also have a heart for the people there. The refugee situation from Syria is terrible, millions have been displaced. I read today that there are more Syrian children in Lebanon than there are Lebanese children. And more millions are fleeing Iraq- where will they go? Where can they be absorbed? Turkey and Jordan are filled to the brim with Syrians already. Most importantly, remember that these fleeing Iraqis don't know Jesus.
In 1903 W. Eugene Sallee gave a talk about the importance of missions to the Chinese. He demonstrated the need:
In his hand he held his watch. Looking at it constantly for one minute, and then looking at the audience, he said, “A million a month in China go down to their Christless graves, and every time the minute hand makes its circuit around the face of your watch, one thousand, three hundred and eighty-eight souls in China have gone into Eternity.”
How many Iraqis go to a Christless eternity every minute in the war-torn path of the rabid ISIS soldiers?
Here is a map of the lands in the news today. They are ALL in bible prophecy in the end times.
Ancient names for Iraq are Babylon, Shinar, Chaldea, and Mesopotamia. Smith's bible dictionary entry for Shinar states:
Shinar- (country of two rivers), the ancient name of the great alluvial tract through which the Tigris and Euphrates pass before reaching the sea --the tract known in later times as Chaldaea or Babylonia. It was a plain country, where brick had to be used for stone and slime for mortar. (Genesis 11:3) Among the cities were Babel (Babylon), Erech or Orech (Orchoe), Calneh or Calno (probably Niffer), and Accad, the site of which is unknown. It may be suspected that Shinar was the name by which the Hebrews originally knew the lower Mesopotamian country where they so long dwelt, and which Abraham brought with him from "Ur of the Chaldees."
Here is a short study of the Biblical History of the Land of Shinar from Keyway Bible Study.
Joel C. Rosenberg is a political Middle East expert AND a bible prophecy expert. He has written numerous fiction and non-fiction books about the various countries in the prophetic lands, which he calls 'the epicenter' because "current rumblings in the Middle East will change your future."
When the Syrian War broke out Rosenberg put together study notes from Isaiah 17 and Jeremiah 49 because he had been asked so many times whether the civil war in and around Damascus was potentially part of prophecy coming to fulfillment. While he cautions that we can't know for sure when the prophecies in the Old Testament relating to the end of the end times will come to pass, (including Isaiah 17, Isaiah 19, Jeremiah 49, 50, 51, Ezekiel 38-39, Psalm 83, etc) he explains what these prophecies are in an easy-to-read, bullet point set of study notes that he graciously put online. The link below opens in .pdf. It is helpful to read it, very helpful.
NOTES ON THE FUTURE OF DAMASCUS ACCORDING TO BIBLE PROPHECY
Joel C. Rosenberg, updated September 2013
Daniel 11 may also be a good chapter to read in light of current geo-shifting events in the Middle East.
Here is a link to an exegesis of Daniel 11:1-45 (which is the whole chapter). At the link there is a transcript and another link to the audio of the sermon. I recommend listening while reading along. The sermon is titled "The Willful King". It is about the fourth and final world kingdom led by the antichrist. From Babylon, Iraq.
In Jeremiah 50:23 God called Babylon "The hammer of the whole earth ..." Yet God is the hammer that will finally bring Babylon down - to judgment. Is the beginning of that prophesied end time judgment happening in Iraq today? Time will tell. Sadly, many there need to repent before it comes. Please pray. Meanwhile I agree with what Joel C. Rosenberg said of prophecy:
"That said, my goal is to help make people aware of what the Bible says about the future of various countries and cities, help them understand Bible prophecy, answer their questions, and encourage them to seriously consider whether they want to follow Christ or not. And for Christians, I want to encourage them to know the power of God’s Word, and encourage them to obey Jesus when He commanded us to love our neighbors and love our enemies" said Joel C. Rosenberg
S. Lewis Johnson ended his exposition of Daniel 11 this way:
"The prophecy ends on the note of the sovereignty of God and the sovereign victory of God through the second coming of the Messiah who will establishes kingdom at that time. Let me close with a word of prayer.
[Prayer] Father, we are grateful to Thee for these unfoldings of the prophetic word and we pray that Thou will give us enlightenment, enable us Lord also to recognize the trends and signs of the things that are happening in our society today, and Lord we pray that in our own personal life, we may be driven to a closer and deeper walk with Thee and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ whom to know is life eternal."