It may appear today that Iran – with its Islamic theocracy and nuclear aspirations – is poised to bring great harm to Israel and the world. It will try, but appearances are deceiving. God has another plan for Iran.
Biblically, Iran is composed of two nations: Elam and Persia. In looking at a map, ancient Elam is located in the southwestern quadrant of modern-day Iran, while the former kingdom of Persia comprises the rest.
We know from Ezekiel 38-39 that Persia in the latter days joins with Russia and Turkey in a fearsome coalition that will attack Israel from the north in Syria, over the Golan Heights. These nations, along with several others, are poised to do just that at the time of God’s choosing. When He is ready to exact judgment, the Lord will stir up the leader of Russia, known in Ezekiel as Gog, the chief prince of Meshach and Tubal. In Ezekiel 38:4 God says:
“And I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great host, all of them with buckler and shield, wielding swords. Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet…“
Those who lead these nations to their ultimate destruction will dance to God’s tune and do His bidding when He decides. They are not in charge of their own fate. Proverbs 21:1 describes the reason:
The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will.
Why is it that only Persia at that time is part of this coordinated attack, but Elam is not? After all, both make up the nation of Iran as we currently know it. The reason is because of a devastating prophecy that tells us much today as we observe the state of the world and what will likely happen. Let’s break down the passage that Jeremiah revealed about God’s intent for Elam:
Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the mainstay of their might.
The bow is the strength that Elam displays. God is saying that He will destroy the power inherent in the perceived might of Elam. What might God be referring to?
Interestingly enough, one of Iran’s major nuclear power plants is in the city of Bushehr. Iran is not bound by any treaties. It will do what it wishes. It is evident today that Iran is enriching its uranium stockpile to weapons grade.
Israel knows that Iran is an existential threat. In the past she did not hesitate to remove a similar menace. When Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq, Israel sent bombers in 1981 and destroyed the nuclear facility in Osirak, thereby eliminating the threat and establishing a precedent for similar scenarios in the future.
And I will bring upon Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven. And I will scatter them to all those winds, and there shall be no nation to which those driven out of Elam shall not come.
It is believed the fulfillment of this prophecy will occur because Israel will decide that she cannot live any longer under the shadow of a nuclear Iran. She will suddenly destroy the Bushehr plant with devastating results. A nuclear explosion causes tremendous winds blowing toward all four compass points. The civilian survivors of such an attack will scatter in every direction seeking safety.
I will terrify Elam before their enemies and before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, my fierce anger, declares the Lord. I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them,
The question of when this attack – presumably by Israel – occurs is intriguing. If it happens prior to Ezekiel’s War, it may be a precipitating event for that conflict.
Alternatively, what if it happens in the midst of the Gog of Magog War? If that were the case, the destroyer of this nuclear facility wouldn’t necessarily be Israel. It would be God Himself. We know from Ezekiel 38-39 that Israel is feckless and unable to defend herself for some reason. God does everything. He destroys the armies and the weapons. He brings destruction to the nations involved. Perhaps part of this devastation involves the horrific elimination of the Bushehr facility.
and I will set my throne in Elam and destroy their king and officials, declares the Lord.
One of the fascinating aspects of this prophecy is the fact that the people of Iran are completely fed up with Islam and the Islamic theocracy that has been foisted on them. The people are oppressed, depressed, and restless. Alcoholism, drug addictions, and suicide are among the highest in the world in Iran. Christianity is growing by leaps and bounds. When people hear the Good News of Jesus Christ, they jump at the opportunity to have a meaningful life, one of joy and abundance that Christ brings. Iran will be a Christian nation at some point in the future. God will indeed set His throne there.
But in the latter days I will restore the fortunes of Elam, declares the Lord.”
A day is coming for Iran, the combined ancient nations of Elam and Persia, when it will thrive and prosper because its people worship the Lord. Iran will be among those nations whose people come to honor God in Jerusalem as told in Revelation 21:22-26:
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.
When we see nations such as Iran flexing their might, we have nothing to fear. God is sovereign and completely in control. It is His plans and purposes that will prevail – not those of man.
Isn’t that a great comfort?