We need help to understand our next chapters of prophecy! So, we are turning to Warren Wiersbe’s Study Bible for help. He states, “Many Bible scholars consider this section of Ezekiel to rank among the most difficult prophetic passages in Scripture, and they don’t all agree in their interpretations. Some have identified this invasion with the Battle of Armageddon, described in Revelation 16:13–16 and 19:11–21, but these two events differ greatly. Others see Ezekiel 38–39 as a description of an imagined, idealized battle, assuring the Jews in exile of God’s power to protect His people. While the assurance is certainly there, this approach doesn’t explain the many details recorded in these two chapters. We will approach these chapters assuming that they are describing actual events.”
It is not about necessarily agreeing on what is described here, it is more about who God is, how great He is and that God was, is and always will be God. God wins. God always wins. So, if you want to be on the winning team—Go with God! Come and stay close to God! Trust and obey God, especially when this world tells us to “go your own way”, “do your own thing”, along with “do what makes you happy”. Follow Truth. Truth will come out on top every time.
Ezekiel 38, The Message
God Against Gog
1-6 God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, confront Gog from the country of Magog, head of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him. Say, ‘God, the Master, says: Be warned, Gog. I am against you, head of Meshech and Tubal. I’m going to turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, and drag you off with your whole army, your horses and riders in full armor—all those shields and bucklers and swords—fighting men armed to the teeth! Persia and Cush and Put will be in the ranks, also well-armed, as will Gomer and its army and Beth-togarmah out of the north with its army. Many nations will be with you!
7-9 “‘Get ready to fight, you and the whole company that’s been called out. Take charge and wait for orders. After a long time, you’ll be given your orders. In the distant future you’ll arrive at a country that has recovered from a devastating war. People from many nations will be gathered there on the mountains of Israel, for a long time now a wasteland. These people have been brought back from many countries and now live safe and secure. You’ll rise like a thunderstorm and roll in like clouds and cover the land, you and the massed troops with you.
10-12 “‘Message of God, the Master: At that time you’ll start thinking things over and cook up an evil plot. You’ll say, “I’m going to invade a country without defenses, attack an unsuspecting, carefree people going about their business—no gates to their cities, no locks on their doors. And I’m going to plunder the place, march right in and clean them out, this rebuilt country risen from the ashes, these returned exiles and their booming economy centered down at the navel of the earth.”
13 “‘Sheba and Dedan and Tarshish, traders all out to make a fast buck, will say, “So! You’ve opened a new market for plunder! You’ve brought in your troops to get rich quick!”’
14-16 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy! Tell Gog, ‘A Message from God, the Master: When my people Israel are established securely, will you make your move? Will you come down out of the far north, you and that mob of armies, charging out on your horses like a tidal wave across the land, and invade my people Israel, covering the country like a cloud? When the time’s ripe, I’ll unleash you against my land in such a way that the nations will recognize me, realize that through you, Gog, in full view of the nations, I am putting my holiness on display.
17-22 “‘A Message of God, the Master: Years ago when I spoke through my servants, the prophets of Israel, wasn’t it you I was talking about? Year after year they prophesied that I would bring you against them. And when the day comes, Gog, you will attack that land of Israel. Decree of God, the Master. My raging anger will erupt. Fueled by blazing jealousy, I tell you that then there will be an earthquake that rocks the land of Israel. Fish and birds and wild animals—even ants and beetles!—and every human being will tremble and shake before me. Mountains will disintegrate, terraces will crumble. I’ll order all-out war against you, Gog—Decree of God, the Master—Gog killing Gog on all the mountains of Israel. I’ll deluge Gog with judgment: disease and massacre, torrential rain and hail, volcanic lava pouring down on you and your mobs of troops and people.
23 “‘I’ll show you how great I am, how holy I am. I’ll make myself known all over the world. Then you’ll realize that I am God.’”
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Did you know…
- The leader of this army is named Gog, ruler of “Magog,” which means “the land of Gog.” This land was located between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.
- Prince Gog’s allies will be Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, Libya, Gomer, and the house of Togarmah (located near the Black Sea).
The prophet encouraged his listeners and readers by telling them the end of the story even before he began: God would defeat this vast coalition army and rescue His people Israel in their land. This invasion wouldn’t occur until “the distant future” (v. 8), when Israel would be enjoying peace and security.
Gog against God. Whatever Prince Gog’s thinking, clearly the Lord would bring out this army. Prince Gog would think he had worked out the whole scheme to win it all and take over—but clearly God was, is and always will be in charge. God in no way would violate their own freedom to think and decide, but He would overrule Gog’s decisions for His own purposes, just as He had done with Babylon (Ezekiel 21:18–24).
Daily skirmishes go on even though the battle has already be won by Jesus. Evil still thinks he can win so he still works his schemes of evil against us in all kinds of ways in his limited power. No matter is happening right now in our lives, God knows. No matter what will happen, God knows. God has a greater plan for saving us from all that is happening around us and in us that is evil. Evil’s plan is death. God’s plan of action was, is and always will be Jesus who confronted all that is evil and stopped him in his plan to take us away from God, bringing life abundant and forever. Evil presented us with sin of self, beginning with Adam and Eve. God gave us Jesus who paid for our sins and provided the Way back to Him.
God is love. Evil is hate. God is Truth. Evil is full of lies. Jesus is Life. Evil is death. Who do you want to follow into the battle for your very soul? Choose life. Jesus is the Way to Truth of Eternal Life. Believe and be saved forever!
Even though the details and imagery are difficult what remains is easy to understand—Trust you no matter what! I do and I will.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen. I believe.