Thursday November 30, 2017 – Amazing Times Ahead!
Ezekiel 37-39 2 Peter 2
It is hard to fathom that it is already the end of November and there is only one more month in this year. For the past few weeks I have been reading through Ezekial as part of the daily scripture reading and typically I have not included any scriptures since Ezekial is filled with prophesies about Israel both during his time and looking to the future. In Ezekial 39 it looks to the future of Israel and conflict against Gog. In the early 19th century, some Jewish rabbis identified Napoleon’s invasion of Russia as “The War of Gog and Magog”. Over the past two centuries this view about Gog and Magog has quieted, but a 2002 poll indicated that 59% of Americans believed the events predicted in the Book of Revelation would come to pass and during the Cold War the idea that Russia had the role of Gog gained popularity, since Ezekiel’s words describing him as “prince of Meshek”—rosh meshek in Hebrew—sounded suspiciously like Russia and Moscow. I don’t know enough about these prophecies, but I do believe there will be a great world conflict and Gog is a real reference to a world power in place today.
Some Post–Cold War millenarians still identify Gog with Russia, but they now tend to stress its allies among Islamic nations, especially Iran. For the most fervent, the countdown to Armageddon began with the return of the Jews to Israel, followed quickly by further signs pointing to the nearness of the final battle—nuclear weapons, European integration, Israel’s seizure of Jerusalem, and America’s wars in Afghanistan and the Gulf. Even President George W. Bush told Jacques Chirac, “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East”. “This confrontation”, he urged the French leader, “is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase His people’s enemies before a new age begins.
I can’t speculate on the timing of this great conflict and I don’t know who really will be identified as this army of Gog, but I do believe that this great conflict will happen. 21 “I will display my glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the punishment I inflict and the hand I lay on them. 22 From that day forward the people of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. 23 And the nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offenses, and I hid my face from them.
25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: 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. 26 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. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will be proved holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. 29 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.”
I believe that this time for the greatness of Israel to be fully revealed is still ahead of us and even though I don’t know the timing I have full confidence that it will happen because everything else that the Bible had foretold has come true. It will be amazing times.