The general reason behind these questions is because of the world situation today. In the neighborhood of the world, the United States is the big guy on the block. She pretty much has been since World War II. Also, many Christians believe the recreation of Israel in 1948 marked the beginning of the last days. Putting these two items together, with the prophecies of Jesus and others contained in the Bible, then it would seem reasonable that the United States would be a major player in the wars and rumors of wars, the rise of the Antichrist, the natural disasters and other events as prophesied in the Scriptures.
Many believe specific Biblical passages refer to the U.S. because of the wording. An example would be the “young lions” of Ezekiel 38:13. The problem with this is we must grab things from outside the Bible to make the Bible fit our theory. The explanation of the “young lions” being the United States flows like this – Since America won its independence from England, and a lion is prominent on the English coat of arms, along with America’s relatively young age as a nation, and the fact that America is made up of 50 individual states then “young lions” must refer to the United States.
Could God use “young lions” as a reference to the US..? He could have, but there is not enough evidence within the Bible to dogmatically claim that He did. The prophecies of the Bible will always use other Bible passages to bring us to a clear interpretation of the prophecy (2 Peter 1:20).
Again, because of America’s power and prominence in the world, many believe, especially Americans, that the U.S. must be a part of biblical end-time prophecy. The thought is since America was not around when the Bible was written then God had to use obscure references like “young lions” when writing about America. The problem with that is God is not limited to what man can do. There is much documentation that God had the prophet Isaiah mention King Cyrus by name 150 years before hand (Isaiah 44:28; 50:1). He then goes on in detail about what Cyrus would do. A century and a half later, he appears on the scene and Cyrus does it.
Could God had named America in the Scriptures before she ever became a nation? He did it with King Cyrus, so the answer is yes. But He did not. Could God be referring to the U.S. with obscure wording such as the “young lions?” He could have, but there lacks evidence when using the standard rules of biblical interpretation.
So what about the United States? Is she in Bible prophecy? There are more than 100 passages that talk of “all nations.” The U.S., of course, is part of these. Maybe we Americans should swallow our pride a little bit and understand that there will be things happening on the world stage and we will not be the center of it. In many of these things, it appears we will not be a major player.
Our influence in the Middle East dwindled during the last decade. Russia has risen as the lead negotiator and leader in shaping Middle East policy. Only Israel seems to turn to America first anymore. Iran has advanced to have its fingers all over the scales in the balances of power throughout the region. Russia and Iran are the two largest players in the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 mentioned above. Has American foreign policy of the last decade or more set the stage for the words of Ezekiel to come to pass? Time will tell, and only God knows.
The great chess game of history is being played, and God is preparing for His final moves.
Preacher Tim Johnson is pastor of Countryside Baptist Church in Parke County, Ind. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit preacherjohnson.com.