Wednesday, March 21, 2012
What is the Battle of Gog-Magog?
The 38th and 39th chapters speak of a great shaking felt by all of creation and resulting in the destruction of five-sixths of the assaulting group led by Gog-Magog. The 37th chapter had already described the revivifying of the "valley of dry bones", Israel in its declension and dispersion. The prophet witnesses in a vision the return of the people, the placing of flesh upon bone and the infilling of restorative breath (the Spirit of God) for the creation of an army.
I had always looked at the battle of the next two chapters as the conclusive battle of Armageddon described in Revelation 16-19, the one so overwhelming that there would never again be its equal. But an interesting feature arrests the attention in Ezekiel 38. The enemies have noted a time of relative security, peace and prosperity in Israel and they become encouraged to bring the pre-emptive strike in almost total surprise. Certainly this will NOT be the scenario for Israel at the time described in the Revelation.
Consider these verses: 11And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, 12To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land. 13Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil? 14Therefore, 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? 15And 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: 16And 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.