Ezekiel 38-39: Know that the Lord is God
November 15, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
In Ezekiel 38 and 39, we hear of God’s judgment and opposition upon Gog and Magog, the continued trouble that Israel would face even after it had returned from exile, but God’s final victory over that trouble. We do not know exactly who these opponents of Israel were, perhaps the kings of Syria, as biblical history does not record these later events that are here prophesied. Also, from Revelation 20:8, we know that there is a final further fulfillment related to Gog and Magog that is still yet to come.
Throughout these chapters God’s purpose to reveal who he is, his holiness and glory, even in this world of trouble and difficulty, is again and again made clear.
“You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes” (38:16). Or, later “Then they will know that I am the LORD” (38:23).
Or then after,
“And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel” (39:7).
“The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God, from that day forward” (39:23).
“Then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore. And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God” (39:28-29).
God’s purpose in redemption, in salvation, in judgment as well, is to show his people who he really is. God is God—no idol is truly God—only God is God. We all tend to have idols (as Calvin put it, the human mind is a veritable idol making factory), and it is God’s purpose to cleanse us of relying ultimately on anything and anyone else other than God. Then we shall know that the LORD is God.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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