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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

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This chapter could be called the end of Gog and Magog or the destruction of the forces of evil. The massive army that came against Israel is destroyed by God’s action.  In an earlier time, enemies came from the North—Assyria and Babylon—and were allowed to conquer Israel because of her sin. In Gog and Magog an even greater enemy comes from the north.  God Himself is asked to save Israel.  Ezekiel goes out of his way to show the strength of the enemy forces. When they are overcome, in an even greater way the superior nature of God’s army is demonstrated. Gog’s captured weapons provide two years of firewood for God’s people. There are so many dead corpses of the enemy soldiers that it takes seven months to bury them.

The final result of all this comes back again to Ezekiel’s theme—Israel will understand that God sent them into captivity and will now bring them back and protect them. Then the nations will know that the Lord is God (verse 20).  Not only will this take place, but God’s spirit will be poured out on Israel (verse 29).

There is no enemy so big, no evil so large that God can’t handle it. If like Israel, you are in captivity, even because of your sin, God is big enough and gracious enough to save you and you will know that He is God.

The completeness of the judgment and destruction by God on Gog is shown by the reversal of the regular sacrificial procedure. Usually people sacrifice animals.  In verses 17 to 20 birds and animals eat the flesh of slain horses and soldiers as a sacrificial meal. This is a gruesome picture but a clear teaching that God can completely overcome even mighty armies and princes of this world. They’ve tried to shame and overcome others, but they’ve been overcome and their shame is now made manifest.

Jon Dybdahl
Walla Walla University
United States