God Versus Gog.
“But this is what the Sovereign Lord says: When Gog invades the land of Israel, my fury will boil over! In my jealousy and blazing anger, I promise a mighty shaking in the land of Israel on that day. ” – Ezekiel 38:18-19 NLT
Too often we read the Old Testament as if it was simply ancient history. We tend to look at books like Ezekiel as prophetic only in the sense that they contain detailed descriptions of what God was going to do against Israel and her enemies, and that He has already done. They are past-tense, filled with old news that has little impact on us today, except for any insights they may provide regarding God’s character. But in Ezekiel 38 we are given a prophecy that has yet to fulfilled. We have described in this passage a situation in which Israel finds itself back in the Land of Promise, experiencing God’s rich blessing, and prospering in an atmosphere of peace and abundance. God says that in that day, which has yet to happen, a mighty nation will rise up with thoughts of plunder and plans take advantage of seemingly defenseless people of God. “On that day when my people Israel are living securely, you will take notice and come from your place, from the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a vast army. You will advanceagainst my people Israel like a cloud covering the earth” (Ezekiel 38:14-16 NET).
They will rise up against Israel, but totally unaware that God is about to use them as a visual lesson of His holiness and wrath. God then describes a scene filled with earthquakes, plagues, bloodshed, hailstones and burning sulfur. It is a vivid description of God’s final judgment on all those who oppose Him and His people here on this earth. “In this way, I will show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:23 NLT). But when will all this take place? When will this event finally be fulfilled? We are given a clear answer in the book of Revelation.
Nowwhen the thousand years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceivethe nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog,to bring them together for the battle. They are as numerous as the grains of sand in the sea.Theywent upon the broad plain of the earthand encircledthe campof the saints and the beloved city, butfire came down from heaven and devoured them completely.And the devil who deceivedthem was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur,where the beast and the false prophet aretoo, and they will be tormented there day and night forever and ever. – Revelation 20:7-10 NET
Christ will have returned as the conquering King and set up His kingdom in Jerusalem, sitting on the throne of David. He will have fulfilled God’s promise to give David a descendant who would sit on his throne and rule in righteousness forever – for a period of 1,000 years. At the end of that time, Satan, who will have been imprisoned for all those years, will be released and wage one last war against God. He will deceive the nations and cause them to rise up against God in an attempt to remove Christ from the throne. This vast army will attack Israel, but fail miserably. God will defeat them once and for all, making Himself known to all the nations of the world through His infinite, unmatchable power. Then everyone will know that He alone is God. Case closed.
The book of Ezekiel is not ancient history. It is a glimpse into the eternal plan of the Sovereign God of the universe. His plan is not yet complete. His work is not yet done. But that day is coming because His Son is returning. Which assures us that the victory is certain.
Father, thanks for reminding me that You are not done yet. Help me keep my eyes on the future. You are far from ancient history. You are alive and well, and active in our day today. You are working Your plan and one day it will be fulfilled completely and successfully. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men