Ezekiel 38-39
(Prophecy Against Gog)
September 6th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

"Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him."

- Ezekiel 38:2

Summary of Chapters

These two chapters conclude the section of hope for restoration of Israel, but they focus on prophecies against Gog, a leader of an opposing nation. The LORD tells Ezekiel that he will allow Gog to attack Israel at some point after the restoration. He will do this so that he can stage a great defeat of Gog:

    "In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground."

    "I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains," declares the Sovereign LORD. "Every manís sword will be against his brother. I will execute judgment on him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD."

    - Ezekiel 38:19-23 (NIV)

Chapter 39 continues with the prophecy against Gog. The defeat will be so overwhelming that the Israelites will be able to salvage Gogís weapons to use for fuel for seven years. The dead will be so many that it will take seven months to bury them and cleanse the land.

Reflection and Application

This is a complicated pair of chapters. Itís not clear who Gog is and when this invasion takes place. He may have been a leader from some northern country, he may be a generic term for many leaders, or he may depict a leader in the future - at the end of times.

There are many parallels with this story of Gog and certain sections in the book of Revelation that describe a major battle at Megiddo with many forces teaming up against Israel. Both describe a major battle, but in one case there is a clean-up effort for the survivors. The periods of seven years and seven months mentioned in Ezekiel 39 are symbolic of a cycle of completeness, as in the seven days of the week. After seven months of burying and cleansing, the cycle will be complete and the land refreshed and restored. By contrast, in the Revelation described by John there is no clean up required because God creates a new heaven and earth.

The main point in both events is that in the end, God defeats evil. He may allow it to get a foothold, but itís always temporary. When God pushes that foot off the step there will be a tremendous roar. Objects of his own creation and manís creation will fall to pieces. The righteous will be saved and live in a new and secure world. Which side do we want to be on?

We should not worry when it seems as if evil is winning. Itís not over until God declares victory. We shouldn't worry or spend time trying to predict these events. Some parties claim that Ezekiel 38-39 predicts a forthcoming World War III. Others say that the fulfillment of this prophecy is imminent and that Russia or Iran is Gog, or that Gog represents an alliance of Russia andIran, with Syria as a proxy, and that the fulfillment of this scripture is imminent.

But the truth is that only the Father knows when these events will take place. He runs the time clock, he calls the last out, and when he wins, the opponent will suffer a devastating defeat from which it will not recover.

We, as individuals and as a global community, may have to go through cycles in our lives where we need cleansing and should trust that the LORD is working on restoring us, according to his own time and schedule.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. Have you ever felt an earthquake? What was it like, or what would you imagine if you never felt one?
    2. What parts of our own lives need cleansing?
    3. How do we get help from God to renew us?
    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we know you run the clock and officiate over our world. Help us to stay on your team

    Suggested Prayer Concerns
    People living in Israel today

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: Ezekiel 40-42 (Plans for a New Temple)

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