Ezek. 38:14 Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?
YHWH is stating His awareness of the fact that Gog will recognize the time that Israel is most vulnerable to his attack. If I am correct, and Gog is the demonic spirit behind the Russian leader, he is one of Satan’s top commanders. Satan has ever been on the lookout for any opportunity to thwart God’s plan. He knows the prophecies and the scripture as well as we, if not better. In his mind, if he can destroy Israel, he can thwart God’s plan.
Ezek. 38:15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:
Ezek. 38:16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.
These verses reiterate the fact that God will force Gog’s hand, and he will attack Israel with a powerful army of great multitude (cf v9 & 15). Emphasis is made that Gog will come from the “north parts,” and it will be in the “latter days” (cf v8).
Emphasis is also made that it is God whose sovereign hand is in control of these events. What is His purpose for bringing about such events? “That the heathen may know Me.” The word know in the Hebrew is a reference to comprehending with understanding. It has always been God’s plan for all peoples to acknowledge Him as Lord. Because Israel has failed so miserably at fulfilling their chosen purpose before the Lord, it has directly affected how the nations have viewed God. In human reasoning, it has made Him seem weak and unable to carry out His purposes. When He intervenes for Israel according to this prophecy, the nations will have to recognize that He has been in control all along and that His purposes will be accomplished in spite of the failings of His people. I think it is significant to note that this will happen at a time when all nations will be able to watch events unfold “before their eyes” (e.g., television).
Frankly, the “church” hasn’t done much better than Israel in demonstrating the blessings of submission to God as LORD and loving Him with all your heart, soul and mind. The “church” has taken many actions in the name of God that have dishonored His name and caused people to reject Him. God’s purposes will be accomplished in spite of the rebellious and apostate church just as surely as they have been accomplished in spite of Israel’s disobedience to and rejection of Him.
Ezek. 38:17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
This is an intriguing verse. The indication is that God had spoken of Gog in times of old through the prophets of Israel. The Hebrew for the word old just means those that went before or previous to this prophecy. A word search quickly shows that there are no other prophecies related to “Gog” in the scripture (other than the one in Revelation).
Joe Focht explains that God is speaking in the prophetic future tense that indicates that God is talking in the present tense—the time of the attack—and referencing the prophecy of Ezekiel.
There are many prophecies regarding God’s judgment upon the enemies of Israel. One in particular that stood out to me is found in Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy 30:1–8 “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the LORD, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.”
These verses do not identify Gog, but they do speak of a time when Israel is being regathered to their nation after being “scattered” by God throughout the nations. It also speaks of the curses that will be put on their enemies and the fact that Israel will eventually return in obedience to follow YHWH. Since Gog, in my opinion, is a spiritual power working through a man, as part of Satan’s forces, it is reasonable to conclude that he would be utilizing Israel’s enemies to try and destroy her.
Ezek. 38:18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.
The wording seems to signify that this invasion is one of Satan’s last bold attempts to thwart God’s plan. Notice that it is referencing “when” not “if.” That this time would come has been known to God from the beginning. He is basically reminding Satan through this prophecy that his efforts will be in vain. This attack of Gog upon Israel is going to make God very angry.
It is always cause for me to stop and meditate as I see God’s hand at work bringing about a situation and then responding in fierce judgment in response to that situation. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to express the thoughts correctly, but I know that these are the actions of a righteous God. He is allowing man to make choices that correspond to the desires of his flesh and the influence and deception of the enemy to bring about His sovereign plan. I think we are limited in our ability to fully express the truth adequately from a heavenly perspective—at least I know I am.
Ezek. 38:19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
Ezek. 38:20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
It would seem that God is going to intervene at least in part through a great earthquake in the land of Israel. According to Jerusalem Newswire (Feb. 11, 2004) after a 5.0 earthquake struck Israel and states surrounding it, “Israeli geologists believe a major earthquake could strike Israel without notice, and based on research predict the arrival of ‘the big one’ in the next 50 years.” The Creator of the universe is in control of the forces of nature and will manipulate them as He so chooses.
Though this earthquake will directly impact the land of Israel, there will be no doubt that it is an act of God and men will tremble at His power.
In reading through this section again, I can’t help but wonder if this is the event that triggers the beginning of “the day of the LORD.” Peter Goodgame at www.redmoonrising.com makes an interesting observation: “…perhaps Jerusalem, God’s holy city, will be the exact epicenter of this great global earthquake. The tremors will first be felt in Israel, but then they will radiate outwards, gathering in momentum and intensity until the shaking of the earth affects the entire globe!”
The wording of verse 18 (“my fury shall come up in my face”) makes a strong connection with Revelation 6:17: “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
Ezek. 38:21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.
This verse indicates that the forces of Gog will turn on each other.
Ezek. 38:22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.
Gog’s armies will experience much more than a great earthquake, including the following:
- Pestilence – The Hebrew references plague (fever and disease).
- Blood – This speaks of loss of life.
- Overflowing rain and hailstones – The overflowing rain is reference to what we would describe as a torrential downpour. It is interesting to note that hail is often associated with God’s judgment and is declared by Job as being stored by God for that purpose.
Job 38:22-23 “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?”
It was one of the plagues of Egypt.
Exodus 9:18 “Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.”
He intervened for the troops of Joshua to cause a great slaughter at Gibeon with hailstones.
Joshua 10:10-11 “And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah. And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword.”
- Brimstone – burning sulphur (The hailstones and these last two make me wonder if a volcano could be involved. Many believe this to be a reference to the use of nuclear weapons.)
Ezek. 38:23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.
YHWH makes it clear that He will be magnified and proven holy and true when He delivers Israel from the armies of Gog. Again, He emphasizes that the nations will comprehend with understanding that He is LORD because of His miraculous intervention on behalf of Israel. In other words, whether by destruction through “natural” disaster and/or through the use of today’s technology in weaponry, the people on earth will “know that I am the LORD.”
(to be continued…)