The present and the following chapters, comprising the next oracle, or “word of God,”
delivered by the prophet, relate to the expedition (vs. 1-13), overthrow (vs. 14-23),
and destruction of Gog (ch. 39:1-20), with the results of the same to the heathen world
which the world’s
hostility to the
it should be utterly and finally broken. The uprising of Gog is located in
“the latter days,” and by the author of the book of Revelation, who seems to
allude to the same event, the last battle between the powers of evil and the
emergence of the new heavens and the new earth (Revelation 20:8).
1 “And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,”
2 “Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the
prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,”
Magog mentioned in Genesis 10:2, along with Tubal and Mesech, are among the
descendants of Japheth. From the circumstance that in the table of nations Magog
stands between Gomer (the Cimmerians) and Madai (the Medians), and that Gomer
appears in Gog’s army, it has been not unreasonably concluded that to Ezekiel, Magog
represented a fierce Northern tribe, most likely, as Josephus (‘
the Scythians, whose territories lay upon the borders of the sea of Azov and in the
distinct reference to
vs. 8 and 16
According to Halley’s Bible Handbook, Ezekiel, by speaking of the “north quarters” –
(v. 6, ch. 39:2) – there can be little doubt but that he means the nations beyond the
the same words “Gog and Magog” are used as representing the nations that Satan
will use in his final and furious attack or the people of God – Revelation 20:7-10
Henry Morris in his book The Genesis Record says that the word
from the word “rosh” in this verse – and that generally speaking, the three sons
of Japeth, Magog, Meshech and Tubal can be considered as the progenitors of the
modern Russian people.
but recently seems to be making a comeback.
3 “And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O
Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:” I am against thee, O Gog - Just
because Gog was against
land would be a declaration of war against
rather be between Jehovah and Gog than
this prophecy Jehovah is represented as the principal actor on the
seeks her defense, not in walls and bulwarks or in earthly alliances and military
combinations, as in the days of the monarchy before the exile, but in THE PRESENCE
OF JEHOVAH in her midst.
4 “And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will
bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of
them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with
bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:”
I will turn thee back and put hooks into thy jaws - this is God speaking –
God’s superior might and omnipotence is brought into play – notice the
references to armaments – in those days no one could visualize the “weapons
of mass destruction” with which we have to deal today but they will be NO
MATCH FOR JEHOVAH GOD, especially when His fury comes up in His face
Gog and Magog (vs. 1-4)
If we take these names as representing the Scythians and their king, we
have a description of God’s judgment of the most wild and remote heathen
tribes and of their relation to
Gog and Magog — it is intended to reach the Scythians. It has to do with
all people in the world. The Hebrew prophet was not permitted to narrow
his thoughts to the parochial mind; His vision was world-wide. A Jew of
the Jews, he was nevertheless a preacher to mankind. Much more is the
Christian apostle a preacher to all men. Here is a great motive for
circulating the Scriptures among all nations.
to Gog and Magog. God’s hook will be put in the jaws of the distant
prince. The heathen are under God’s notice and affected by His supreme
authority. To be far from the Church of God IS NOT TO BE FAR FROM
THE POWER OF GOD! The ends of the earth feel His great energy. The
arms of God are long. This is a reason for our seeking to enlighten the most
remote and heathenish people; for they all belong by right to God.
times were about the wildest known people; they were to the Easterns of
the past what the cannibals of
was difficult to make civilized nations feel that they belonged to the same
species with such wild men of the Northern forests. Yet God knew these
people. God does not ignore the most degraded savages. They, too, are
naturally made in the image of God. Judged according to their poor,
obtuse, perverted consciences, even they will have to give account to THE
GOD OF ALL! They are not responsible for the ignorance and degradation in
which they are born, and surely God will deal very leniently with these
unhappy races. Yet for their acknowledged evil even they must be
punished. But if there is a judgment of Gog, much more must there be a
deeds done in the body, much more
must the Christians of
gracious outlook; Paul taught that the Scythians were to share in the
common brotherhood of the Christian Church (Colossians 3:11).
Ø The gospel is suited to the lowest heathen. This fact is proved by its
effects. While the dreamer at home pronounces the Christianizing of
savages to be an impossibility, the worker in the missionary field
answers effectually by quietly accomplishing the so-called impossible
feat. Charles Darwin was so struck with the good work of missionaries
in civilizing the inhabitants of
as about the most degraded savages on the face of the earth, that he
subscribed to the society from which the missionaries had gone forth.
Ø The gospel should be spread among the lowest heathen. We have no
excuse to despair of any. The very dedication of heathendom is a call to
Christians for help. Rousseau’s fancy of the innocence and happiness of
the simple savage is not justified by experience. Oppressed with cruelty
and superstition, degraded in uncleanness, the savage greatly needs
Divine Control (v. 4)
The picture of
heart depending upon human aid, defense, or deliverance. Gog and his
armies, the hostile nations in league with him, are described with all the
pomp and circumstance of war. Yet, when Jehovah declares, “I will turn
thee about, and will put hooks into thy jaws,” this declaration outweighs all
the professions, all the threats, all the designs of the enemy. We are
reminded — and the whole Church in every age needs, in time of danger
especially, to learn the lesson — that above all the plans and purposes of
men there reigns DIVINE CONTROL!
matured, nothing is further from the mind of the enemies of God’s people
than the unquestionable fact that the Lord of all is supreme. Some poor,
faint human opposition may be anticipated; but it is not expected that a
superior Power should intervene.
the dragon? Shall the wild horse of the desert be bridled? Shall the lion of
the jungle be tamed? The very thought is repudiated and resented. The
mighty of the earth are not wont to brook restraint or interference. Those
who plan the ruin of the cause of God, of the religion of Christ, of the
Church on earth and all its agencies — whether they so plan in the name of
atheism and secularism, or in the name of worldly policy — spurn and
contemn the restraint of Heaven. They see no power which they need to
fear, and in their view it is superstition to fear the unseen.
by natural causes and instrumentalities. The destroying angel comes down
upon the camp and smites the host; pestilence decimates the bands of the
enemy; an earthquake opens the prison-doors; the storm scatters the
invader’s fleet. Sometimes God controls the foe by human agency. One
enemy of God makes war upon another, and cripples the forces which were
on the point of being employed against the Lord’s people. Or a great
deliverer is raised up, whose valor and heroism crush the enemy, and set
the threatened free from fear and danger. In any case God is never at a loss
for means by which He may bring His counsels to pass.
God’s enemies, and it may be ignored or distrusted by His friends. But it
exists, and it is superior to all earthly powers and machinations. Revelation
is full of instances of this control as manifested in the
in the history of the infant
through long centuries, contain abundant confirmation of the great and
blessed truth — “ the Lord reigneth.”
may withhold the confession. But sooner or later it shall be publicly
admitted that all powers are subject to the King of kings. (“at the name
of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in
earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should
confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Sent Back by God (v. 4)
“I will turn thee back.” “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man,
but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). There are
paths that attract us, that we enter upon with keen expectancy, that we
pursue with pleasure, but that, in time, we find to be wrong; then is it best
to turn back, and to “return on our way” at once.
Ø Extravagance. A larger expenditure of our means than we can properly
afford, pointing toward and leading to financial embarrassment and grave
difficulty and distress.
Ø Unregulated activity. Such mental or physical work as, either in measure
or in method, draws too largely on our resources, and ends in nervous
disorder or some serious illness.
Ø Self-indulgence; either in unwholesome literature or in the grosser
gratifications of the flesh.
Ø A skeptical habit. The disposition, which in time becomes a habit, to
regard everything with a cynical and distrustful eye, and would rather
accept the uncharitable view than the generous one.
Ø Worldliness. The way in which the multitudes are walking; the endeavor
to find satisfaction and rest in the interests and engagements, in the
treasures and the pleasures, of time and sense.
the way that has been chosen is the wrong one. This assurance may come
through one of many channels; it may be the utterance of one of many
voices; it may be the solemn warning of some providential occurrence; or it
may be the faithful rebuke of a true and fearless friend; or it may be a deep
and bitter sense of insufficiency, of failure, of heart-ache, of perversion of
power and misuse of opportunity, a sense of wrong and sin; or it may be
the direct enlightenment and appeal of the Spirit of God. But the
conviction is written on the tablet of the soul that the way is wrong; a voice
is heard in the inner chambers of the spirit. “Turn back, return on thy way,
pursue a different course, start in an opposite direction, seek another and a
better goal.” (There is no right way to do the wrong thing!)
Ø We can afford to return. It may cost us something; there may be some
companions to forsake, but these are best at a distance; there may be some
tender regrets, but these are temporary and will soon be left behind; there
may be some humiliation to endure, but this is not of an unmanly kind, but,
on the contrary, honorable and commendable; there may be some sacrifice
of enjoyment or of treasure, but this can very well be borne with a
moderate measure of fortitude, — we shall very soon reconcile ourselves
to that. But:
Ø We cannot afford to go on. If we do, we must prepare for the very
worst that we can suffer; the wrong road leads:
o to embarrassment,
o to saddest loss,
o to bitter disappointment,
o to helplessness,
o to ruin, and eventually
o TO DEATH!
Moreover, God has met us with a Divine encouragement. He has
taught us that:
Ø There is a way upward, which we can all take. One has come to us to
say, “I am the Way” (John 14:6). Intimate association, living union,
with Him is:
o the way of wisdom,
o the way of righteousness, and
o THE WAY OF LIFE!
helmet: 6 Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north
quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. 7 Be thou prepared,
and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto
thee, and be thou a guard unto them. 8 After many days thou shalt be visited:
in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the
sword, and is gathered out of many people,
against the mountains of
which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations,
and they shall dwell safely all of them.”
in context – think of the attitude of Mahmoud Ahmadinijad, the former president
THINGS ARE SHAPING UP LIKE THE BIBLE HERE AND ELSEWHERE
SAYS! (Since this was posted in 2009, there is a new player on the world stage today
called ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and
goals – CY – July, 2014)
vs. 5-8 – These allied nations are depicted as coming from the four quarters of the
globe with Gog being in command of these nations.
“After many days thou shalt be visited” – Jehovah’s stirring up of Gog was the first
step towards his ultimate overthrow – it is a judicial visitation.
“in the latter years” - literally, at the end of the years — a frequent prophetic
phrase (see Genesis 49:1; Numbers 24:14; Isaiah 2:2; Daniel 10:14; Micah 4:1), here
denoting the Messianic era, and should assume the form of an
invasion of the
been made to desist from war, through being henceforth peacefully inclined
(Isaiah 2:4; Micah 2:8), or of their having ceased to expect war, because of
living ever after securely (v. 11), but in that of having been recovered from
its devastations (ch. 6:3-5);
a phrase, which while starting from and including the return
manifestly looked beyond that event to the wider dispersion of
should precede the final ingathering. Consider that
put them in captivity and they were dispersed throughout the world,
a dispersal from which they never recovered until 1948 when
became a nation again – also the capture of
Jesus said that “
until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” - Luke 21:24 – CY – 2014)
waste continually. If such was their condition prior to the return from
captivity, it is undeniable that such has practically been their condition ever
since, and such it is likely to continue to be, until the final ingathering of
the dispersed of
It is because of
barren – Deuteronomy 28 gives the scenario:
consequences – we want to sin like the devil and be blessed like the righteous –
our attitude is “it’s the economy stupid” when in reality it is morality that has
made this nation great – Exhibit # 1 – The Economic Stimulus Package of 2009 –
the cost of disobedience – 800 billion dollars and that does not even count our
souls – “What shall a man profit if he gain the whole world and lose his
own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
After Many Days (v. 8)
Time is an element which needs to be taken into calculation in the
consideration of all human affairs. We are too short-sighted, too hasty, too
impatient. God has the leisure of eternity. (I recommend The Preciousness of
Time by Jonathan Edwards – December, 1734 – this website # 7 – CY – 2014)
“The mills of God grind slowly,
But they grind exceeding small.”
We must learn to use the telescopes of FAITH and HOPE, and look far beyond
the scene of the present, if we would form a right estimate of any important
would be a pertinent consideration in regard to the evil work of remote
Gog and Magog. (In the 21st
CY – 2014)
Ø The mischief may be slow to develop. At first men enjoy the pleasures of
sin; the pains come later. Judgment is deferred. God is patient and
longsuffering (“not willing that any should perish but that ALL should
come to repentance.” - II Peter 3:9), and He gives ample time for
repentance. Nevertheless, the accumulations of wrath will at length,
finally burst over the heads of theimpenitent.
Ø The mischief may long endure. It may last for many days. A hasty sin
may be followed by a lengthy penalty. The crime of a moment may be
punished with penal servitude for life. One man’s wickedness MAY
BRING MISERY ON GENERATIONS.
Earnest men work, and yet see but little results coming from their labors;
so that they seem to be laboring for nothing. Like the disciples who toiled
all ‘night and took nothing, perhaps they are ready to despair just when a
grand reward is within their reach. We have to learn to WORK and WAIT
and to obey our Master’s command even when we expect but little good to
come from our labor.
DAYS. The Christian preacher may have to go forth weeping, but he bears
precious seed. (Psalm 126:4). Therefore, though he sows in tears, he will reap
in joy. What we have to remember is that our work is seed-sowing, not the
planting of full-grown trees. The latter process would give us the more
immediate results; but it would be the more precarious, for the trees would not
be easily kept alive. Now, since our work is a sowing of seeds, necessarily it
cannot produce visible results at once. The field that has been sown all
over with the best seed looks at first much like one that has been left waste
and neglected. The Christian preacher, the Sunday school teacher, the
missionary, have all to sow in patience. Perhaps one may sow and another
reap. A man may not live to gather the harvest of his labor; then his works
will follow him (Revelation 14:13).
ENJOYED AFTER MANY DAYS.
Ø We may have to wait for them. Some inestimable blessings may be
had at once. We have no delay in receiving the pardon of our sins
and the regeneration of our souls when we truly repent and yield
ourselves to Christ. Still, “this is not your rest.” We are not yet in
heaven. The cross must now be carried; we must wait for the crown.
Ø They will endure forever. We shall have them after many days, and
after many days more THESE BEST BLESSINGS OF GOD WILL
STILL ENDURE. The things which are not seen are eternal
(II Corinthians 4:18). No moth nor rust corrupt the heavenly treasures
(Matthew 6:20). When all things on earth fade these shall abide, THE EVERLASTING INHERITANCE of God’s people.
9 “Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud
to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with
thee. 10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the
same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an
evil thought: 11 And 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, 12 To 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. 13
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?” Gog shall ascend like a
storm over the
The thought that
this sinful project. The world’s nations are depicted as following in the wake of Gog,
like vultures in the rear of an army, wishing to be partakers of the spoil. Instead literal
vultures will feast on them – see ch. 39:17-20 Years ago I heard that vultures were
multiplying rapidly in the
An Evil Thought (v. 10)
the mind. Like a bird of passage from a distant continent, like a stray seed
dropped into a well-tilled garden, like a breath of infection on a healthy
person, evil may come from without unsought and even unsuspected.
Every one must be conscious of the way in which a thought will flash into
his mind. But often a suggestion of evil may come from some visible
external thing. An evil sight will suggest an evil thought; therefore we need
to pray that God may turn away our eyes from beholding vanity. (Psalm
119:37). Bad companions will prompt evil thoughts; therefore we have to be
on our guard as to what society we frequent. We cannot but be in the world,
though we should not be of it (John 17:15). Sights and sounds of evil assail
us on every side — in visible occurrences, in conversation, in newspapers,
in books. It is impossible to bar every avenue against the intrusion of an evil
thought. It may come to the purest soul. (“You can’t keep a bird from flying
over your head but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair.”
and the Australians are much concerned at the character of persons who
pour into their territories from the overflowing population of
(Written over two centuries ago. The American people still feel this
way but the current executive leadership in the
a sham of this! - Laws are not enforced and our borders are insecure –
perhaps hastening the day of this prophecy as the same leadership is
distancing itself from
Hence their regulations setting conditions to the reception of emigrants.
We cannot always prevent the incoming of evil thoughts, but we must
beware of the mischief of their presence when they have come.
Ø An evil thought tends to spread. It is like the little leaven that leavens the
whole lump, like the worthless seed which, growing up, produces a host
of new seeds, and so makes the weeds take possession of the soil. A
striking idea starts a whole chain of thoughts.
Ø An evil thought tends to rouse an evil desire. The active evil from
without appeals to the latent evil within the soul. Thus while in one place
James writes of Satan as our tempter (James 4:7), in another he
says that we are tempted by our own evil desires (Ibid. ch.1:14). The evil
thought is most dangerous because it is lodged in an evil nature.
(I wholeheartedly recommend Jeremiah 4 – Spurgeon Sermon – Bad
Lodgers and How to Treat Them – this website – CY – 2014)
Unhappily, the seed of evil falls on congenial soil. The germ of sin attacks
one who has what the doctors would call a sinful diathesis, a
temperament that is naturally prone to sin.
cannot prevent its coming; but we may refuse to give it quarter. If we
harbor it we consent to its presence, and take the guilt of it on ourselves.
Thus we make it no longer a foreign intruder, but our own thought. The
practical question is how may the evil thought be cast out?
Ø Directly, by resisting it. We should pray against an evil thought, and
firmly set our foot upon it when it has come near to us.
Ø Indirectly, by encouraging a better thought. An empty mind is always
ready to receive bad guests (An idle mind is the devil’s workshop!
H. G. Bohn – 1855). The last state of the house from which the evil
spirit was cast out became worse than the first, because, though it was
swept and garnished, it was LEFT EMPTY (Matthew 12:44). There are
plants the very vigor of which, when they are once well established, will
prevent the growth of weeds among them; in the struggle for existence
they are stronger than the weeds. THE PRESENCE OF CHRIST IN
THE HEART is the best antidote to evil thoughts.
An Evil Device (v. 10)
We have been taught by the Divine Master, Christ, that it is from within that human
conduct takes its origin (Mark 7:15). It is the heart which is the source alike
of good and of evil The tree bears fruit, whether sound and wholesome and
palatable, or harsh and useless; the living well, the fountain, sends forth
streams, whether sweet and cheering, or bitter and polluted. So the
thoughts, intents, and devices of the heart find their expression in the
words which reach men’s ears and in the deeds which draw men’s eyes.
God, who knew the inmost nature of men, as well as their individual and
political acts, revealed the secret spring of the malicious efforts of the foes
into thy mind, and that thou shalt devise an evil device.”
nature a principle assuming various forms — impulse, propensity, passion.
If there were no such principle, we cannot see how human life could go
forward. It is the spring, the motive power, of the machine. It is not
implanted within us in order that it may be eradicated, but in order that it
may be governed, directed, controlled. In itself it is not bad. But passions
become bad when misdirected and uncontrolled by reason and conscience.
a certain course of action. The mischief is wrought when the man, in the
exercise of choice, accepts as the motive of his action, and identifies
himself with, a passion, the indulgence of which works evil, preferring such
a principle of action to a higher and better one. The device thus adopted by
the enemies of
the expense of justice and good feeling.
purpose, which usually accounts for a man’s, a nation’s, evil ways. The
mischief, when isolated, might be checked. But it is too often fostered and
thus encouraged, complicated, and multiplied, as the mind broods upon it.
A mere fancy becomes, when encouraged, a desire; a desire, when
encouraged, becomes a settled purpose.
remain such; it tends to its satisfaction. The device is a means to an end,
and achieves itself. God’s mercies are permitted, in some cases and to
some extent, to “bring wicked devices to pass .” (Psalm 37:7) For wise
purposes, the Ruler of all suffers men not only to think evil thoughts, but
to accomplish evil deeds.
proverb is a true one, “Man proposes, God disposes.” (Thomas a Kempis)
The All-wise has His own plans, the Almighty has His own means; and the
wisdom and the power of men, measured against the Divine resources, will
surely be brought to nothing. “Hitherto shalt thou go, and no further; and
here shall thy proud waves be stayed” (Job 38:11). There is no occasion for
the people of Christ to be dismayed or overmuch distressed when evil devices
enter into the minds of their adversaries. All is known to their Divine Friend and
Protector, who is abundantly able to defend and to deliver His own. “He
taketh the wise in their own craftiness” (Job 5:13; I Corinthians 3:19), their
wisdom is seen to be but folly. “In quietness and in confidence shall be your
strength;” (Isaiah 30:15); “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold
your peace.” (Exodus 14:14). The enemy may devise; but he will not be
suffered to execute his devices.
The Stability of God’s Kingdom (vs. 1-13)
The lengthened subjection of the Hebrews had sapped their courage and
their hope. The promises of a return to
apathy and self-diffidence. A latent fear was growing up that, even should
they regain their old possession, they would soon be exposed to fresh
invasion from some grasping monarch. They felt their lack of organization,
their lack of military prowess, and men devoid of energy felt that it was
better to remain in exile than to be more completely crushed alter a
temporary restoration. Hence Ezekiel was commissioned to deal with this
form of indifference before it grew into active opposition. A vision
respecting a great confederacy against
anticipates the gravest evil. He reveals to his people that this criminal
conspiracy will end in complete disaster to its originators, and that
triumph will be complete and perpetual. Ezekiel’s face was set firmly
against Gog, because God’s face was against him.
WORLDLY CONFEDERACY. The theory that is propounded in this
prophetic picture is that possibly all peoples adverse to righteousness will
combine against the righteous nation. (We live in a day of godlessness
and many are prone to be vociferous and take sides against God, BUT
GOD’S WILL AND KINGDOM WILL STAND! – CY – 2014). The
empires of the extreme North will, sooner or later, coalesce with the great
empires of Asia and
of a righteous and spiritual kingdom. As darkness is the foe of light, water the
foe of fire, death the foe of life, so selfish wickedness is the foe of goodness.
(Starting in the Garden of Eden with Cain – Wherefore did Cain slay his
brother Abel? “Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s
righteous!” - I John 3:12 – CY – 2014) Sooner or later, these two great
forces shall meet for final and mortal combat on the earth. But the mightiest
forces are not those which are visible. Victory will not finally sit on the
banners of largest battalions (Those who get there firstest with the mostest –
Nathan Bedford Forrest - CY – 2014). These numbers count for nothing with
God. Minor rivalries are often forgotten by reason of a mightier passion, viz.
a common hatred of truth and God.
MILITARY TACTICS. Men have enormous faith in swords and shields, in
rifles, cannons, and dynamite (Now bombs, drones and technology – CY –
2014). Against the empire of righteousness the most complete and prudent
preparations will be made. No precaution foreseen by human sagacity will be
omitted. Each nation will fight with such weapons as they can most skillfully
wield. The most clever inventions in offensive artillery will be pressed into
service. The hostility will be pressed on with all the arts and machinations
possible to the human mind. Yet there is a force enlisted upon the side of the
righteous kingdom that shall baffle all human combination, and make all
human energy to appear as an embodiment of weakness. Man’s strength
and skill are only borrowed instruments.
NEUTRALS. “Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish… shall
say to thee, Art thou come to take a spoil?” These peoples were neighbors
desiring to see
aggressive leaders of the foe, moved by a selfish hope that they might
avoid the toil and the peril of war, and yet gain some advantage out of
scarcely minor to the crime of invasion, and such neutrality will be covered
with disgrace. The most hidden motive of man,
and in proportion to wrongdoing will be the award. Neutrals are usually
despised by both sides. Nor can we forget how deeply God felt a selfish
neutrality upon a former occasion, when the voice of the angel said, “Curse
ye Meroz; curse ye bitterly the inhabitants of Meroz, because they came
not to the help of the Lord against the mighty!” (Judges 5:23)
UNDER THE RESTRAINT OF JEHOVAH. Every selfish passion of man
is under the control of God. A world of meaning is in that phrase, “I will
put hooks into thy jaws.” At any point in the development of the hostile
project, God could have defeated it. He could have bridled the malicious
impulse of Gog, the originator. He could have deprived him of reason or of
life. He could have smitten with blindness all the leaders of the expedition.
But God sees it to be best to allow large liberty to wicked men. The inner
nature of wickedness is seen when it bears its full and proper fruit. Some
plants look well in the shoot and in the leaf, but the fruit thereof is deadly.
Men are seldom conscious of the action of God upon them. He “girded
Cyrus” (Isaiah 45:5) with strength and courage for his work, although Cyrus
knew him not. And Gog would pursue his brilliant march, proud of himself
and of his forces, least of all imagining that his Royal Foe had put already a
hook in his jaw, and was simply leading him on to destruction. Utterly insane
is the man who dares fight against God. The issue may be early foreseen.
14 “Therefore, 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? 15 And 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: 16 And thou shalt come up against my
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. 17 Thus saith the Lord GOD;
Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of
against them? 18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall
come against the
come up in my face. 19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have
I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of
Israel; 20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the
beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all
the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and
the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and
every wall shall fall to the ground.”
The Day of Security (v. 14)
There is a day of security! Then God’s people dwell safely. It offers us a foretaste
of heavenly blessedness. Heaven is a safe place, and its blessed inhabitants dwell
there securely. Their security, indeed, is sound and enduring; while ours on earth
may be but brief and treacherous, like the calm on a mountain lake, which may be
broken at any moment by a sudden squall. Still, while we enjoy the peace we may
be thankful for it, and gratefully accept it as an earnest of that in the eternal home,
“where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.” (Job 3;17)
The prophet is directed to assure Gog of four things:
direction (vs. 16-17);
(v. 18) and
I will be sanctified in thee, O Gog - Jehovah meant that taking
vengeance upon Gog for assailing
Holy and Righteous God (v. 16). I would like to recommend a perusal of
Ezekiel – Study of God’s Use of the Word Know on this web site – CY – 2014).
Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time? But it is doubtful if the interrogatory
form of the words had any other intention than to lend emphasis to the assertion that
Gog was he to whom the earlier prophets had unconsciously referred. As to which
earlier prophets the alluded opinions vary. Ewald cites Isaiah 10:6; 17:4; Smend adding
Micah 5:11; Zephaniah 3:8; Keil, Isaiah 25:5, 10; Jeremiah 30:23, 25; Joel 4:2, 11, etc.; Hengstenberg, Deuteronomy ch. 32.; Isaiah chapters 24-27.; 34.; and Fairbairn, Numbers
24:17-24; Isaiah 14:28-32; ch.18.; Joel 3.; Daniel 2:44-45; though Schroder is probably
correct in holding that all should be included which represent the hostility of the
heathen world as culminating in the latter days in a grand concentrated
From the first, the prophets had been guided in their utterances by One who was
intimately acquainted with the whole world-program, and knew the end from the
beginning, so that however dark and enigmatical their predictions might be when
taken separately, when viewed in connection, they were recognized as forming parts
of A HARMONIOUS WHOLE!
“Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world” – Acts 15:18
(Vs. 18-19 are not, as Hitzig, Kliefoth, and others explain, on the ground of the perfect,
“I have spoken” (ver. 19), which, however, is rather a prophetical present — a free
recapitulation of the earlier predictions, but a direct announcement through Ezekiel that
when Gog should arrive upon the scene Jehovah should take the field against
him, so that he should have to
fight against Jehovah rather than against
(in fact Zechariah 14:3 depicts God as going forth to battle as He did in the days of
old - miracles today being sneered at by the secular world – not only in this chapter
but sixty-two times in Ezekiel God, Himself, says “and they shall know that I am
the Lord” (see Ezekiel – Study of God’s Use of the Word Know referred to above) –
7:15 says that
God will work like He did when
remember the Ten Plagues, the drying up of the
arkdiscovery.com - read
about the children of
The expression, my fury shall come up in my face; or, my wrath ascends in
my nose, has parallels in ch.24:8; Psalm 18:9; and Deuteronomy 32:22, and describes
the vehement breathing (inhalation and exhalation) of an angry man through his nose.
The fire of Jehovah’s wrath (ch.21:31; 36:5) would make itself known in that day by
a great shaking in the land of Israel, which can hardly, as Kliefoth surmises, refer to
the final judgment, or, as Keil thinks, to the trembling of the whole earth, with all the
creatures, before the Lord, who comes to judgment, as in Joel 4:16 and Zechariah
14:4-5, since the locality in which this convulsion of nature is to happen is expressly
defined as “the
Smend, as a figurative description of the terrible overthrow which Jehovah should
inflict upon Gog, and which should produce within the heathen mind a feeling of
consternation, as if the whole fabric of the globe were falling into ruin. Grounding
upon what occurred at Sinai (Exodus 19:16-18), Hebrew writers generally depicted
special interpositions of Jehovah as being witnessed to and accompanied by awe-
inspiring natural convulsions (Psalm 18:7, 15; 46:2, 3; 55:2; Isaiah 13:9-13;
24:19-22; Jeremiah 4:23-26; Nahum 1:5; Zechariah 14:4); and in the same manner
does Ezekiel delineate Jehovah’s intervention in behalf of
as so alarming that all living creatures, irrational as well as rational — fishes of the sea,
fowls of the heaven, beasts of the field, creeping things that creep upon the earth
(or, ground — adamah), and men upon the face of the earth; or, ground (Genesis
1:26; 7:21-23) — should shake at its accompanying manifestations, and that even
the mightiest objects in nature, such as the mountains, steep places, or, “reek-clefts”,
such elevations as can only be ascended by means of steps as by a ladder
(Song of Solomon 2:14), and walls (Jeremiah 15:20), including natural ramparts
as well as humanly constructed erections, should be overthrown (ver. 20).
much larger version of the demise of
CY – 2014)
21 “And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith
the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.” Every man’s
sword shall be against his brother – in Zechariah 14:13 it is called “a great tumult
( a panic or confusion) from the Lord shall be among them”. The consternation
produced by JEHOVAH’S INTERPOSITION should be such that the ranks of
Gog should fall into utter confusion, and his warriors exterminate each other, as
did the Midianites in the days of Gideon (Judges 7:22), and the Moabites, Ammonites,
22 “And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I
will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people
that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire,
and brimstone. 23 Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be
known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am
the LORD.” “Pestilence and blood (ch. 5:17; 14:19; 28:23)…..an overflowing rain
and great hailstones” — literally, stones of ice (ch.13:11,13) — “fire, and brimstone,”
or, pitch (Genesis 19:24). The imagery here brought together was probably borrowed
from the accounts given in the Pentateuch of the destruction of
(Genesis 19:24), of the plagues in
the Canaanites (Joshua 10:11). (Apparently a modern example of what God did in
the Old Days happening in Contemporary Time - CY - 2009) The result of the
whole would be to impress the minds of “many nations” with the conviction that
HE IS GOD ALONE!
Again, I recommend arkdiscovery.com and check out what it has to say about
God Sanctifying Himself (v. 23)
Himself? Man is sanctified when he is set apart for God; and this
sanctification is needed in the case of man because he has been alienated
from God and devoted to the world. Further, in the case of man,
sanctification involves purification, and perhaps the first thought that
occurs to us when the word is mentioned is that sin is to be purged out of
the heart, and holiness infused by the influence of the Holy Spirit. But now
all these notions are inapplicable to God. He is the Lord, not the servant,
and He is not, therefore, to be thought of as set apart for any purpose. He
never failed in His position, and He does not need the recovery and
rededication which we understand by sanctification. Lastly, He never sinned,
and therefore He requires no purification. What, then, is meant by God
sanctifying Himself? The idea seems to be partly interpreted by the earlier
phrase, “Thus will I magnify myself.” God has not been rightly appreciated
by men. His supreme majesty and His ineffable holiness have been slighted.
The awful separateness of character which distinguishes between God and
man has not been enough regarded. Thus, though God Himself has
remained unchanged as He is unchangeable, His Name has been profaned.
When the Name of God is rescued and restored to its true place of honor,
God is said to be sanctified.
God, how is it brought about? We are here told that GOD ACCOMPLISHES
IT HIMSELF! He is the great Sanctifier. He sanctifies His people by
His Spirit. He says, “Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself.”
Ø This is done by revelation. God manifests Himself. His Name was
dishonored while His greatness was hidden. HE UNVEILS HIS
GLORY and then men are amazed to read HIS GREAT NAME!
Thus it is rescued from degradation.
Ø This is done in judgments. God comes down among defiant men and
scatters His foes. The heathen once regarded Him as on a level with their
own gods. (“These things thou hast done, and I kept silence; thou
thoughtest I was altogether such a one as thyself: but I will reprove
thee, and set them in order before thine eyes” Psalm 50:21). But now
His supremacy and therefore His separateness ARE SEEN!
Thus God is known among the nations and sanctified among men.
Ø This is done in spiritual experience. The sanctification by judgments is
an external process. It may arouse wonder and even create conviction, but
it does not stimulate the veneration which includes love and true worship.
But when God manifests Himself to His people as He does not unto the
world, His holiness and His goodness are brought home to them with a
Ø This is done in the sanctification of God’s people. They are called upon
to sanctify the Lord God in their hearts (I Peter 3:15). When the heart
is consecrated to God, God’s holiness is confessed as it never was before.
To be devoted to God is the way to recognize GOD’S SUPREME GLORY!
While God can and does magnify Himself, it is our privilege and duty to magnify Him also!
Ø It is the one right thing for us to do. The Great One should be exalted;
the Holy One should be honored, because He is great and holy, especially
because His greatness is the greatness of goodness as well as of power, and
because His holiness is crowned with patience and mercy.
Ø To revere God and magnify Him in our heart is the one way to our own
moral and spiritual elevation, to nobility of character, to excellency of life.
Ø It is distinctly the way to promote the happiness and well-being of the
Ø In our spirit; by cherishing in our hearts the reverence that is “due to
His Name” (Psalm 29:2); i.e. due to Himself for all that He is and has
done for us.
Ø In our life. (See Philippians 1:20.) By bringing all our actions into
harmony with the known will of God; by living in such a way that we show
ourselves to be loyal subjects of Jesus Christ, consulting His mind and
obedient to His Word in everything; by making it clear that we are willing
to put forth any effort or submit to any sacrifice in order that Christ may be
great in the esteem and in the affections of men; thus we “magnify and
Ø By our speech. We need not always be introducing the distinctive
language of religion into our conversation; yet we may take opportunity in
the home, as well as at the desk or in the pulpit, to commend Jesus Christ
to the hearts of young and old, as that Divine Savior in whom to trust, as
that Divine Lord in whose service they will find freedom, rest,
and ETERNAL LIFE!
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