Read: Ezekiel 38–39
From all appearances we’re taken to the end of time in the reading this morning, a time when God will show his ultimate power and might. There’s a lot of discussion amongst scholarly writing, probably dissertations written on the subject, a rather provocative subject for many. While I look forward to the final days of reconciliation, I’m not anxious to advance the calendar. So many who write about the end days seem to want them to come now–not me. My heart breaks for those who are not living with Christ, those who have not turned their hearts and given themselves to Jesus. I’m in no hurry, but I’m not in denial. If anything, I hope these words stir us to action, to look for opportunities to be a witness and not wait for “that day.”
On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. Ezekiel 38:10-11
No walls, no gates, no security systems — all are caught by surprise. Whether spiritual or physical, the battle is raged against an unsuspecting people.
You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I am proved holy through you before their eyes. Ezekiel 38:16
This seems similar to John’s revelation, at least conceptually:
Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them… Revelation 20:7-9
There is no doubt that God is in control when this great battle takes place:
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. Ezekiel 38:22-23
The devastation will be so great that it will take months to bury the dead. Fires will be fueled by the former weapons of war, for there is no need for such in this future.
I will now restore the fortunes of Jacob and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. Ezekiel 39:25-26
Shame is forgotten, peace prevails — this will be that day! The day when the Lord is seen by all his people. In contrast to Exodus 33:20:
I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Ezekiel 29:29
This will be a great and glorious day indeed! I pray these words stir our hearts to action, that we would do something about the knowledge of Christ in our lives and not sit and gloat over the victory that is assured. Lord, help us to act as you would have each and everyone of us according to the gifts and talents you have poured out for your people.