“The Lord God says, ‘I spoke of you long ago through My servants, the prophets of Israel. Back then, they prophesied for many years that I would have you invade them. When that day comes, when Gog invades the land of Israel,’ says The Lord God, ‘My furious anger will boil up. In My jealousy, in My heated fury I speak: when that day comes, there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel; so that the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the wild beasts, all the reptiles creeping on the ground and every human being there in the land will tremble before Me. Mountains will fall, cliffs crumble and every wall crash to the ground. I will summon a sword against him throughout all my mountains,’ says the Lord God; ‘every man will wield his sword against his brother. I will judge him with plague and blood. I will cause torrential rain to fall on him, his troops and the many peoples with him, along with huge hailstones, fire, and sulfur. I will show my greatness and holiness, making Myself known in the sight of many nations: then they will know that I am the Lord.’” Ezekiel 38:17-23
The promises in the previous chapters of a return to the land might have sounded fine if Babylon was all there was to contend with. After all, the Babylonian empire was already beginning to diminish. But, as Paul put it,
“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against authorities, against the power of this dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
You see, the “Enemy” was never Babylon. The Enemy is the Devil. He is the root source of all opposition to Godliness. Jonah did not understand this concept. That is why he resisted God’s call to preach to Nineveh, Israel’s international enemy in Jonah’s day. If the enemy were Nineveh, how could they repent and follow God? And if the true enemy were Babylon, how could Nebuchadnezzar eventually repent? (Daniel 4:34-36)
All of Israel’s past international (and intra-national) enemies have been humbled by the Lord, as will be the case of their present and future enemies. If God is FOR His people, who could be against them? (Romans 8:31) In today’s passage, Ezekiel is speaking prophetically of the rise of an international enemy called “Gog.” The nation of Gog didn’t exist at the time of Ezekiel’s prophecy, nor does it today (although it may be forming at the moment). But of course, that is an arbitrary item because we know who the real enemy is, and we can spot his lies & tactics if we are familiar with God’s Word.
It is easy to misinterpret chapters 38-39. For example, citing that a figure called “Gog” comes out of the North, for the past century, many theologians with a Bible in one hand and a TV remote in the other have proclaimed Gog to be Russia. But the collapse of the Soviet Union has challenged that interpretation. Who knows? Have you considered that, while Babylon was prophesied to have been an invader from the North, they actually resided to the East? When they conquered Israel, Babylon invaded from the North, but my point is that anyone in Ezekiel’s time, looking for a northern invader, would have ruled out Babylon. All we must know is that what God promises, He brings to pass.
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