Gog Has a Thought…Ezekiel 38

June 7, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Gog, the leader of the Northern Invasion that is introduced to readers in chapter 38 of Ezekiel, has a thought.  That thought has a bad effect on him, as it leads him to act.  That action causes him to first notice, then take up weapons against Israel and their Land.  This gets him in deep trouble with God.  Up until that point, Gog is completely unaware of what God is up to, but of course, God knows because He designed it.

In Ezekiel 38:14-16 we read words that almost sound like Almighty God is taunting Gog.  “Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “On that day when My people Israel are living securely, will you not know it?  You will come from your place out of the remote parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great assembly and a mighty army; and you will come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. It shall come about in the last days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.”

God repeats Himself here and that’s one of things I love about the Bible.  God repeats Himself enough times so that there is no way to miss His point.  Yet, sadly enough, people still miss it.

God sums up here, stating what we already know from previous chapters of Ezekiel, but He adds something, something that is extremely important for us to see and comprehend.  This new bit of information is pertinent to the situation and it proves that God is behind this action that Gog believes is his own idea that came from the emptiness of his own head.  Though Gog believes it is his idea to attack Israel because there is something he wants, the entire scenario is God’s idea.  The reason God chooses to do this is so that He will be sanctified and he is going to use Gog to accomplish it!

Isn’t that like God?  He takes what we do as evil and makes it something that will ultimately bless and glorify His Name.  There are many instances of this throughout the Bible, but let’s just take a moment to look at one of them.

We’re all familiar with Joseph and his brothers, the Patriarchs of Israel, sons of Jacob.  They grew very jealous of Joseph and treated him badly.  It all came to a head one day after Joseph had prophesied that they would all bow down before him (cf. Genesis 37).  Of course, this did not go over well with Joseph’s brothers.  In fact, they hated him for it and decided they needed to do something about him.  They were going to kill him, but Reuben persuaded them to not do that and instead, put him in a well so that he could not escape.  Reuben was planning on getting Joseph out later.

Before Reuben could help Joseph, the brothers decided to sell Joseph into slavery and then make it look like he had been killed by a wild boar.  They even dipped Joseph’s coat in blood to convince their ailing father that the story was true.

Joseph spent time in Potiphar’s house and became the chief servant under whom all others worked.  The problem was with Potiphar’s wife who just could not resist Joseph’s good looks apparently.  She tried on several occasions to get Joseph to commit adultery with her, but he would have none of it.  He did what he could to avoid her, but eventually she managed to corner him and when he tried to get a way, hung onto his outer cloak, leaving him running from the house naked.

Even though Joseph had done nothing wrong, he was imprisoned because Potiphar’s wife accused Joseph and even had his clothing to “prove” her allegations.  Joseph spent time in prison until he was needed by Pharaoh to interpret a dream; a dream about a coming famine.  Joseph did interpret the dream, but he made sure he gave all the credit to God for that ability.

Eventually, Joseph was made the highest officer of the land, just under Pharaoh.  With God’s help and wisdom, Joseph made excellent decisions that worked well in Egypt, especially in the face of the major famine heading their way.

It was because of this famine that Joseph’s brothers were sent down to Egypt by their father Jacob to buy grain and it was there they met their brother for the first time in roughly 20 years after selling him into slavery.  At first they were not aware of who he really was because he was the second in command in all of Egypt.  Beyond this of course, time had passed and Joseph certainly looked different and was dressed far differently than on that fateful day 20 year prior.  Eventually, Joseph revealed his identity to them and they became understandably extremely afraid that Joseph would deal with them the way they dealt with him.

However, Joseph had learned a great deal and responded to their concerns with grace and love.  He basically said that what they had meant for evil, God had meant for good (cf. Genesis 45).  This is the mark of a man who had submitted himself to God over the years and had come to terms with what God had put him through.  Because of it, God was fully glorified in and through Joseph.  That is what God wants for all of His children, to use each of us to glorify Himself.

Though the outcome of the Northern Invasion is good, as far as God is concerned, Gog will not willingly learn his lesson.  He will not of his own volition, submit Himself to God’s rule.  Everything Gog does toward Israel, he does as if it came from his own brain.  He credits himself with the idea to attack Israel, not realizing that what he means for evil, God means for good.

One of the wonderful things about God is the fact that He takes the time to tell us what He is going to do before He does it.  Why does He do this?  It is certainly not because He has to do it.  He has no obligation to let us know of anything He does or will do.

He does it because He wants us to know that He is trustworthy.  He tells us His plans so that when they come to fruition, we will be able to say, “Praise the Lord! He has done it as He said He would!”  God actually stoops to our level, understanding our weak state and frame and provides us with inside knowledge of His plans and purposes.

With respect to Gog, He (God) has given us His plan long before it happens.  It is still yet future, but what do you think will happen for those who are familiar with this plan of His, to use Gog to invade Israel?  Those who know about this section of Ezekiel will either marvel or shut their mouths.  They will marvel if they love Him, and they will shut their mouths if they want no part of Him.  The former may try to say that this was all merely a “coincidence,” but they won’t be able to convince themselves of that, try as they might.  Ultimately, they will simply reject it out of hand, in spite of the fact that God has told them ahead of time what He will do.

God wants people to know Him.  He doesn’t just want people to know about Him.  He wants all people to individually enter into relationship with Him and that can only happen when people believe Him.  If people refuse to know Him as He wishes to be known, they will be stubbornly left out of things and they will learn to know Him only as a God of wrath.

Verses 17 – 23 explain the details of God’s reaction to Gog’s attempted invasion of Israel.  He tells us exactly how He will deal with Gog and his troops.

“‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Are you the one of whom I spoke in former days through My servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring you against them?  It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” declares the Lord GOD, “that My fury will mount up in My anger. In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground.  I will call for a sword against him on all My mountains,” declares the Lord GOD. ‘Every man’s sword will be against his brother.  With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone.  I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD’.”

The images conjured up by the text are pretty intense.  God reminds us that He has been speaking about God through many prophets and for many years.  He does not want us to forget that this event will occur because God will make it happen and it will happen in the last days, the time during the last period of human history before Jesus returns.  I believe those days are now.  But let’s look and see what God does in response to Gog’s attempts to crush Israel and take spoils.  When Gog moves against Israel, here’s what happens:

  1. God will become furious
  2. God will cause a tremendously powerful earthquake to occur to be noticed by
    1. The fish of the sea
    2. The birds of the heavens
    3. The beasts of the field
    4. All creeping things on the earth
    5. All people will hear it and feel it
    6. The mountains will fall
    7. Steep pathways will collapse into rubble
    8. Every wall will fall to the ground
  3. God will turn the tables on Gog, causing his armies to turn on one another
  4. Pestilence (sickness and disease) will affect them
  5. Torrential rains
  6. Hailstones
  7. Fire and brimstone

Wow, that is some picture we are getting there.  Imagine it.  God will become so angry that He will cause a very large earthquake to occur and it will affect every living thing on earth as well as inanimate things like mountains.

The earthquake is just the start though, because God will then cause the troops to turn on each other and start fighting against one another.  Wait a minute, weren’t they there to attack Israel as one?  Yes, but God confuses them so that they begin to see one another as the enemy and react accordingly.  This will undoubtedly be caused by great fear that runs through the entire army of Gog.

As if this is not enough, God is still not finished.  Please notice that God says, “It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel…” and it is for that reason that God acts.  Notice God is not acting because Gog has attacked the people of Israel yet.  God is acting purely because Gog and his troops have dared to stampede God’s Land.  This is the reason for God’s tremendous anger.

How dare Gog think he can simply waltz onto God’s Land and do what he wants to do, taking what he thinks he can take!  God is going to let Gog have it once and for all because by taking his troops and invading Israel, he has called God out.  The Land of Israel is God’s Land and He has had enough of people trying to divvy it up and break it apart.  The world needs to know that God is the Owner of the Land in question and no one else.

Ultimately, God does this to spare the Land an assault from a godless enemy and to bring glory and honor to His Name.  God will show Himself as Someone who is set apart from all of godless humanity and the godless system that moves throughout the world.  It is governed by Satan and for him, it is the beginning of the end.

So upon seeing Gog and his forces move across His Land to the Mountains of Israel, God says “ENOUGH!” and causes the earthquake.  That earthquake not only gets everyone’s attention, but causes tremendous damage.

It is my opinion that this event will occur prior to the start of the Tribulation period.  When? I have no clue, but I do believe it is a precursor to it.  Because of this, I also believe that the resultant major earthquake will take out the two mosques that currently sit on the Temple Mount.  After all, if this earthquake is powerful enough to bring down mountains and walls, knocking over the Dome of the Rock should be a piece of cake.  Could this be the very thing that opens the door for Israel to build their third Temple?  If it happens like this, it could, but only time will tell when the actual events occurs.

With this earthquake, God is warming up.  He then pulls out even more big guns.  Pestilence, disease, and brother-fighting-brother become part of the event.  But this is not the end.  God then begins to send torrential rain, hailstones, fire and brimstone down onto the troops.  Try to imagine the scene.  A huge earthquake has occurred leaving plenty of major damage and death in its wake.  That is merely the beginning though as God really starts to cause havoc.  The troops that are left (who have not been killed by the earthquake) become thoroughly confused and start fighting each other.

God then joins the fray and begins bombarding the enemy troops with major rainfall, hailstones, fire, and brimstone.  I cannot imagine anyone surviving that onslaught and certainly with Gog dead, God rains down retribution on the area from which where Gog came in the far north of Israel.  God is making a statement here and He wants the world to see it and hear it.

In fact, at least temporarily, the world will recognize something supernatural in all of this.  They will see that this could not have been a coincidence at all.  It was too violent and the timing was too perfect.  No, it must have been something beyond this world’s powers.  Will people turn to God because of it?  Some might, but the majority will not, as we will eventually learn in a future post.

You can listen to Fred on his weekly program “Study-Grow-Know” on AM950 KAHI (www.kahi.com, until June 11th).  Starting July 1st, Fred will have his own page on OnePlace.com where his program will continue with new content added weekly.  He is also currently on Live365.com.

Fred has written over 24 books on a variety of theological and doctrinal subjects.  Visit his Web site at:  http://www.studygrowknow.com for more information, to purchase his books (which are also available on Amazon.com), or to donate to his tax-deductible ministry.

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