Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?’"’ (Ezekiel 38:13). Is America in Bible prophecy? Many Americans, myself included, have pondered this question over the years. I have been studying Bible prophecy for more than 25 years. I have probably heard every argument for and against the idea of America in Bible prophecy but as far as I can tell, America is not specifically mentioned in Bible prophecy. It may, however, be mentioned indirectly. Ezekiel's prophecy of the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel in the last days notes a group of nations that will protest the invasion but not get involved. Some prophecy teachers believe the phrase, "with all its villages" (some translations read, "young lions") may point to nations in the west that were originally colonized by western Europe. Some go so far to say the merchants of Tarshish is the United Kingdom. This would naturally include America. I doubt, however, that this is the case. John MacArthur notes, "The location of Tarshish, known for its wealth, is uncertain. The Greek historian Herodotus identified it with Tartessus, a merchant city in southern Spain."
The idea of America not having a specific place in Bible prophecy doesn't sit well with some. This is probably true because America has been, and in a sense, continues to be the greatest nation the world has ever known--a free superpower that has promoted freedom around the world to the extent she is known as the leader of the free world. For this reason many are convinced she has to be in Bible prophecy so they go looking for her in the Scriptures rather than letting the Scripture speak for itself. There are numerous books promoting the idea of America in Bible prophecy. All of these books, however, resort to eisegesis rather than exegesis. Eisegesis is a method of Bible interpretation that expresses the interpreters own ideas, bias, or the like, rather than the plain sense meaning of the text.
One book on the subject--"The Hour that Changes Everything," by Richard Pearson--teaches the idea that the Book of Revelation confirms America will, "play a pivotal role in fulfilling Bible prophecy and has 53 biblical descriptions." He insists, "The United States of America meets every description." Unfortunately, not only is Pearson guilty of eisegesis. He has also fallen victim to allegorizing the text--the practice of using a story that conveys a meaning beyond the literal sense of the words in the biblical text. The problem with allegorizing the biblical text is that there are no allegories in Scripture. God says what He means and means what He says. Pearson shows great creativity in his attempt to find America in Bible prophecy but he doesn't demonstrate a sound hermeneutic and his argument falls flat.
If America is not in Bible prophecy the question that naturally follows is, why not? In answering this question we need to remember, first of all, God doesn't owe us an explanation. Any answer we come up with will likely be our own best guess. I believe America is not in Bible prophecy because she simply doesn't have a primary role to play. We need to remember when the biblical authors wrote the inspired text, they were primarily concerned with that part of the world we call the Middle East in general and Israel in particular. We also need to remember the last days world is described by the prophets as being "devoured and crushed" (Daniel 7:7) by the final form of the ancient Roman Empire. As I noted in a previous article, we need to take a wait and see approach as we consider how this empire will come back into existence, take on its final prophesied form, and spread around the world consuming everything and everyone in its path.
Since America doesn't have a primary role to play in last days Bible prophecy, what happens to her? There are so many possibilities. One that has been heavily promoted by many good prophecy teachers is that the Rapture decimates America leading to her decline. I must admit I have considered the Rapture a strong possibility and it may very well work out this way but something tells me America will do herself in long before the Rapture occurs.
Another possibility that has been floated is some kind of nuclear attack such as an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). This type of nuclear detonation occurs at high altitude as a brief burst of electromagnetic energy that disrupts communications and damages electronic equipment. Remember, most of our modern vehicles today from cars to airplanes to space vehicles are basically electronic equipment. An EMP attack on America would be devastating.
A final possibility I want to consider is economic. America has for decades been the economic leader of the world. This reality, however, appears to be changing rapidly (think acceleration). One of the last days prophetic trends we are watching is economic in nature and will ultimately lead to the beast system described in Revelation 13. One of the Kings of the East appears to be on the move. Consider recent news reports such as this one: China rallies countries against dollar as US bickers over gender. This article was published March 31, 2023. The journalist notes, "As the US bickers over the gender of the latest mass shooter, China is nearing dominion over the United States by playing peacemaker among the world's most powerful countries and rallying them against the dollar." Other noteworthy and perhaps near prophetic observations from the article includes China's peacemaking activities between Russia and Ukraine, and Iran and Saudi Arabia. China and France recently conducted a liquefied natural gas trade using the Chinese yuan which ended reliance on the US dollar for energy trades. China and Brazil also agreed this week to conduct their transactions with the yuan and reals instead of the dollar. And lets not forget about the so called BRICS economic alliance (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa). All of this likely has America on the fast road to Deminishedville (yes, I just coined that word).
America is in serious trouble and Washington fiddles. At the end of the day, however, we need to recognize things are not falling apart, they're falling into place, just as the Bible predicted millennia ago. These prophetic trends are converging along with pretty much every other prophetic trend we find in the Bible for the last days. But that's not all. They are also accelerating. I am amazed at the swiftness with which these things are occurring. Keep an eye out for more unexpected yet predicted events. Things are definitely moving in the direction the Bible predicted. The Tribulation Period cannot be too far off and if that is true, then the Rapture is a whole lot closer than most folks are willing to believe. Are you Rapture ready? Are you ready to meet Jesus face-to-face? If not, please take a few moments to place your faith and trust in Him for the forgiveness of your sins and receive His free gift of eternal life.
You are welcome to leave comments and you don't have to necessarily agree with me. However, I expect a civil tone and charitable spirit. We can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt." (Colossians 4:6)
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