THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Ezekiel: Effective Ministry To The Spiritually Rebellious
Part LIX: God's Judgment On Gog Initiated
A. One of the most intriguing and misunderstood prophecies in Scripture is the invasion of Israel by "Gog."
B. We view Ezekiel 38:1-16, the prophecy of the initiation of God's judgment on "Gog," to determine what nation is involved, when the event will occur and why so, for our insight and edification (as follows):
II. God's Judgment On Gog Initiated, Ezekiel 38:1-16.
A. The Lord commanded Ezekiel to prophesy against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, Ezekiel 38:1-2. We identify these parties as being Russia and her allies (as follows):
1. The Jewish historian Josephus identified Magog as "the land of the Scythians, the region north and northeast of the Black Sea and east of the Aral Sea" that is "now occupied by Russia," and Gog may be the ruler of Magog, so God had Russia in mind here. (Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Ezekiel 38:2)
2. Russia's allies here are Iran ("Persia"), Sudan and northern Ethiopia ("Cush"), Libya ("Put") and Turkey ("Meshech," "Tubal," "Gomer," and "Beth Togarmah"), v. 2, 3, 5, 6; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1300.
3. [The Revelation 20:8 "Gog and Magog" invaders are people worldwide, not just the Ezekiel 38:2 nations, so Revelation 20:8-9 is not the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38. The Revelation 20:8 invaders are called "Gog and Magog" since their purpose is the same as that of the Ezekiel 38 invaders -- satanic moves to destroy the power and subjects of God's theocracy. (J. Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, 1972, p. 550-551)]
B. This invasion has not yet occurred, for Russia and these other nations have never unitedly invaded Israel. Just when the invasion occurs has been extensively debated by Bible teachers, but, due to the following reasons, we believe that Scripture reveals it will occur in the middle of the future seven-year Great Tribulation Period:
1. The invasion occurs when Israel has returned to her own land (Ezek. 38:8), what occurs in the Tribulation.
2. It happens when Israel is at peace (Ez. 38:11), what is not true now (Dan. 9:26b), but Israel will be at peace in the first half of the Tribulation as antichrist makes a 7-year protection treaty with her, Dan. 9:27a.
3. The invasion occurs in the "latter days" of Israel (Ezekiel 38:8) when the nation lives in "unwalled villages" without "bars and gates" (Ezekiel 38:11), what occurs today but did not occur in ancient Israel.
4. Thus, we hold this invasion occurs when Israel is at peace before the antichrist attacks her, and that this invasion comes at the middle of the Great Tribulation Period just before the antichrist breaks his covenant with Israel and tries to destroy her. (Ibid., Pentecost, p. 350-352)
C. The reason for this invasion is God's use of it to judge the invaders in a way that will magnify Himself before the world, a motive that fits God's use of the Great Tribulation Period as seen in Revelation 6:15-17:
1. In Ezekiel 38:4, God claimed He would forcibly cause the invaders to enter Israel, figuratively putting hooks into their jaws and drawing them down into the Holy Land.
2. The motive for the invaders will be to take spoil, lusting after Israel's wealth, Ezekiel 38:11-12.
3. Notably, Russia has been the main exporter of Marxist ideology that holds to the forced redistribution of wealth from the "haves" to the "have nots," so God's judgment will likely focus on evil Marxist ideology!
4. The invaders will be destroyed by God and not men as God Himself will cause a mental derangement of the invaders so that they will slay one another, He will bring disease to kill them and a rainstorm with hail and fire and brimstone to rain down upon them to destroy their coalition, Ezekiel 38:21-22.
D. When the invaders enter Israel, Arabs (Sheba, Dedan) and the merchants of Southern Spain (Tarshish) will object, asking the invaders if they were coming to take spoil, Ezekiel 38:13; Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Ezekiel 38:13.
E. However, God will have worked to lure the invaders into Israel that He might use His destruction of Russia and her allies as a means to sanctify Himself before the nations of the world, Ezekiel 38:16.
Lesson: For their long and many sins, God will cause Russia and her allies to invade Israel in the middle of the Great Tribulation that He might destroy them Himself, punishing sin while sanctifying Himself before the world.
Application: (1) Though it may take a long time, God always metes out justice, so may we rest in His justice and not fret over evil parties. (Psalm 37) (2) Since Russia has been the main exporter of Marxist ideology that so unbiblically sanctions the forcible redistribution of wealth, God's severe punishment of her will occur for her effort to apply that ideology. May we then firmly hold to Scripture in support of private property ownership!