It became apparent at the World Gas Conference in Buenos Aires last week that advances in technology for extracting gas from shale and methane beds have advanced enough to alter the global balance of energy faster than almost anybody expected. This has become a real potential for America to be energy independent and will weaken Russia's grip on Europe.
This realization has irked the Russians; Gazprom's Alexander Medvedev has tried to dismiss it saying, "There's a lot of myths about shale production." If the new energy sources materialize as expected, Gazprom will not be able to fund Russia's becoming a world economic power. I think this development makes it even more likely that Russia will jump at any excuse to have a military presence in the Mideast. Any disruption of oil supplies in the Mideast will drive the cost of oil up which benefits Russia.
I think it is likely that greed for greater economic power in the world is the hooks God puts into the jaws of Gog to bring him and his army into the Mideast. Gog is the leader of the land of Magog, which is the term used in Ezekiel 38 and 39 for Russia. The land of Magog has to be Russia because it is described as being the land to the "far north" of Israel (Ezekiel 38:6, 38:15, 39:2).
Christians may be encouraged by these events because they are described as happening in the "latter days" (Ezekiel 38:16), a term the Bible uses for the time-frame associated with the return of the Lord. "It is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed" (Romans 13:11, NKJ).