Have you wondered why God has allowed Russia to invade Ukraine? King David in Psalm 139 declares that God knows everything, He even knows the words that we will speak before we speak them.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O LORD, You know it all.
Psalm 139:4 (NASB)
That is, God knows the hidden and secret things. He knew the events of March 3, 2022 before they occurred. He knew the Russian army would attack Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant in Ukraine in the city of Zaporizhzhia. He knew the fires would erupt during the battle over the nuclear reactor as the Russian invasion continued into its second week. He knew the fires would rage, fueling fear of a possible nuclear disaster that could sweep across Europe and the world. He knew that on the morning of March 4, the world would learn the reactor was safe, the fires would be extinguished, but the invasion was continuing. It is reported that the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, wants to restore all the territory once occupied by the former Soviet Union to Russia. While we do not know if Putin will invade other European nations, we know that God knows.
It is obvious that God knew about the war before it started, and He continues to know all that will happen. He sees every dead solider and murdered civilians and children. So, why did God allow this war to begin and continue? The question we explore here is, “What does the Bible reveal about Russia and Ukraine in the end times?”
Russia at the Battle of Armageddon
The first prophecy that helps to answer the question is Daniel 11:40-45. The prophecy describes a series of battles that will occur before and during the battle of Armageddon. The prophecy refers to the major countries that will be engaged in the battle of Armageddon. It states that the king of the north and the king of the south will attack Israel. So, who is the king of the north?
The prophecy in Ezekiel 38-39 reveals that most likely it is Russia. These two chapters provide more detailed information about the role of Russia’s army in the battle of Armageddon at the end of the tribulation. For more information about the battles, read “Does the battle of Gog and Magog occur after the Second Coming of Christ? — Ezekiel 38-39,” and “The Antichirst – The Past & The Future.”
Russian Ancestry in the Bible
Russia is mentioned only a few times in the Bible. Yet, what is revealed is very important. For example, Genesis 10:2 and 1 Chronicles 1:5 refers to Magog, who is the ancestral father of the people who moved into the vast territory we know as Russia. Genesis 10:2 states,
The sons of Japheth were Gomer and Magog and Madai and Javan and Tubal and Meshech and Tiras. Genesis 10:2 (NASB)
Flavius Josephus, a Jewish historian, wrote that the land of Magog was also known as the land of the Scythians. It is well-known that the Scythians occupied the territory north of the Black Sea. Today, the Scythians occupy the territory known as the Eurasian Steppes. It is occupied by Russia.
The church father Jerome stated that many Scythians had a reputation for being anti-religion. That agrees with our experience in modern times. Thus, the prophecies about Russia in the battle of Armageddon tell us that God will defeat this people who have historically hated Him. Even more impressive is that Revelation 19:7-21 gives another prophecy about the battle of Armageddon. In verse 19, we are told that all of the nations at the battle of Armageddon will attempt to defeat God. The passage says,
And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Revelation 19:19 (NASB)
Thus the prophecies about Russia reveal that this nation will be a major player at the battle of Armageddon.
Russia and Ukraine in the End Times
So, how does Ukraine fit into biblical prophecy? The historical records indicate they are the descendants of Magog. Therefore, the people of Ukraine are Scythians too!
It is very important to realize that the Russian president, Validmir Putin, stated that the Russians are descendants of Rus in his August 15, 2021 essay titled, “The Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” he said,
“Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians are all descendants of Ancient Rus, which was the largest state in Europe.”
That was a significant statement since the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon connects the Hebrew name of Rosh or Ros to the ancient name “Rus.” Other Hebrew lexicons demonstrate that the vowel in “Ros” may not exist or could be “a” or “i.” It is not clear if the Russian president’s reference to “Rus” refers to the Russian saint or to the Prince of Rosh in Ezekiel 38-39 (Ezekiel 38:2, 3; 39:1). However, the Russian saint may have been named after Rosh or Ros.
Yet, in his essay he argues that because Ukraine was historically part of Russia, they should be reunited with Russia. They are descendants of Ancient Rus. Whether, his genealogy is correct or not, his drive to reunite Ukraine with Russia would fulfill biblical prophecy.
Jeremiah 18:7-10 gives us an important principle about evil nations. Russia’s actions against Ukraine are those of an evil nation. The principle has two parts. Verses 7-8 records the first part of the principle. God says that if He had planned to “pull down” an evil nation, He would stop if the nation turns from its evil. The second part says that if God had planned to “build up or to plant” a nation, He would stop if the nation becomes evil. The principle is that God judges evil nations, and He uses one nation to judge another nation. Zechariah 1:15 also reveals that if the nation He uses to punish an evil nation is excessive in their war, then He will punish them. These principles reveal that God will judge Russia for its excessive evil. He will do this according to His own divine plan. Like dominos falling into place, biblical prophecies are progressively fulfilled. The world is moving toward the battle of Armageddon. At that battle, God will annihilate Russia.
This raises the possibility that God may be allowing the demonic forces, who greatly influence nations (Daniel 10:10-21), to unite the descendants of Magog into one nation. God’s purpose could be to prepare Russia for the end times events. Historical records suggest that the peoples of China may also be descendants of Magog too! If so, this may explain the support these two great nations are currently providing each other.
The Reign of God
Human history is like a drop of water in the bathtub of eternity. We are but a drop in the wide river that will flow forever. Genesis 1:1-31 tells us that God created our universe and 2 Peter 3:9-10 says that He will destroy it some day, according to His plan. He created us and will bring our days to an end when He pleases. God has made His plans and we cannot stop Him. In Isaiah 14 God announced His plans to punish the Babylonian Empire because of their sins. Then God declared that no one can frustrate His will. Here are His words,
This is the plan devised against the whole earth; and this is the hand that is stretched out against all the nations. For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” Isaiah 14:26-27 (NASB)
The message is that God rules over human history. No one can stop His plans. Scripture teaches that we are like grasshoppers compared to Him. Isaiah 40:1-23 says,
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been declared to you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain
And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
He it is who reduces rulers to nothing,
Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.
Isaiah 40:21-23 (NASB)
No one can frustrate God’s plans. Russia may plan, march, invade, murder, and destroy, but that nation cannot do anything that God does not permit and cause to happen. Proverbs 21:1 announces a wonderful reality. It says that God controls the hearts of kings and directs them as He desires.
The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD;
He turns it wherever He wishes.
Proverbs 21:1 (NASB)
An important fact that we often miss is found in Jesus’ prophecy in the Olivet Discourse. In that prophecy Jesus prophesied to the disciples that there will be wars and rumors of wars. He said,
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. Matthew 24:6-7 (NASB)
Notice that Jesus did not say He would stop the wars. Instead, He announced that they will occur. He knew they would occur, but He did not plan to stop them, nor does God the Father. God has a plan for the end times. The world is moving toward the tribulation and the battle of Armageddon. So, God the Father is preparing the nations. This is the most likely reason for the war between Russia and Ukraine, and God is allowing it. Ultimately, it is part of His plan. Russia will eventually be defeated at the battle of Armageddon. Then Christ will set up His millennial kingdom and reign for one thousand years.
Year-by-year, the world is moving closer to Christ’s return. Year-by-year the world is becoming more and more evil (Luke 17:22-31). The world is becoming more evil, and every day is revealing that God is and will be just when He destroys the nations at the battle of Armageddon. He is moving us to the ultimate humiliation of the nations of the world, and toward His glorious millennial kingdom.
Believers can rejoice that our God is controlling the affairs of men. We can trust Him to accomplish His will. Those believers who passionately desire that God the Father fulfill His plans, will rejoice for Him. Armageddon will occur and His kingdom will be established (Matthew 25:34). I believe if Ukraine falls, it will be but part of His plan. Yet, God grieves the unjust killing of innocents. He also takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23; 33:11).
Who will He permit to enter His kingdom? He will only allow believers to enter His kingdom. Therefore, may I ask if you are a Christian? Have you repented of your sins, and put your faith in Christ? One sign that you have done so is that you are willing to let God control your life. Those who have Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, while grieving the evils of the war can experience a peace knowing Who ultimately is in control. For more information, contact us or visit Searching For God.
1. Flavius Jospehus. Book 1, Chapter VI, Section 1. Josephus. Kregel Publications. 1960. p. 31.
2. William Langer. The Encyclopedia of World History. Houghton Mifflin Co. 2001. p. 17.
3. “Herodotus claims, and most modern scholars agree, they [Scythians] moved [west] from Asia into Europe by way of the great steppe corridor.” quoted from Patrick Scott Smith, “Scythians.” World History Encyclopedia. 18 March 2021.
4. McClintock and Strong. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. 1881. vol. V. p. 653.
5. Vladimir Putin. The Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians. Modern Diplomacy. August 15, 2021.
6. Brown, Driver, Briggs. TheBrown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Hendricksen Publishers. 1996. p. 910.
7. Koehler & Baumgartner. The Hebrew & Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. Brill. 2001. pp. 1975-1976. Also, Jenni and Westermann. Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament. Hendricksen Publishers. 1997. vol. 3. p. 1184-1194.