Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel+38-39&version=NIV
Good Heavens!!! I’d say that was a heavy read today. WHAT is going on here??? First let me say the book of Ezekiel is considered a book of Eschatology which is the study of what is believed to be the final events in the history of the world….the ultimate destiny of humanity commonly referred to as the end of the world. Eschatology comes from two Greek words –Eschatos meaning “last” and ology meaning “the study of”.
Things eschatology deals with are the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Second Coming, and the Millennium. A study if eschatology will eliminate fears of the end times because we grow in our understanding of the following:
OUR GOD IS SOVEREIGN AND HE KEEPS HIS PROMISES
HE HAS A PLAN AND OUR SALVATION IS A HUGE PART OF HIS PLAN.
ALL WILL UNFOLD IN HIS PERFECT TIMING….GOD’S PERFECT TIMING.
So as we read Ezekiel and other books dealing with eschatology — read them in the LIGHT of these three things…even if you aren’t sure of every detail the readings go into..REMEMBER the above three things so you will be filled with peace and not fear…peace in the encouragement for all in Christ.
A great scripture to focus with all reading dealing with the end times is from the NT and comes from Titus 2:13 — “We wait for the blessed HOPE — the glorious appearing of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Today’s reading is ALL PROPHECY!! This prophecy HAS NOT YET BEEN FULFILLED. However….just for “fun” after read these two chapters turn on the news….doesn’t matter what channel….CNN, FOX, etc…and listen to the nations that are being discussed….Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, etc. Also look at the map below in reference to where places of “action” today. HOLY MOLY!!!
Gog and Magog…..well..Gina…there are NO places with these names today and you are correct..but hang in there with me just a few more minutes. The bottom line is this is about NATIONS coming together against an Israel with no walls. These chapters written 2600 years ago give us one of the most important and dramatic prophecies in all Ezekiel, it is called the Prophecy against Gog and Magog. It is a prophecy about the invasion of Israel in the last days. An invasion led by Russia and Iran. According to scholars, it will happen shortly after Israel will sign a “peace treaty” with leaders in Europe. The “peace treaty” will be fake, especially from Europe, who will join forces with Iran to destroy Israel. Is this happening? I don’t know, BUT what I do know is the leader of Israel went to Russia two years for a “meeting” and no one knows why or what happened. ALSO LOOK at who Russia’s allies are today!!! Each day I listen to our news I am captivated by all that has and is happening around the world and all the countries who hate Israel.
My mentor last year identified the nations in this reading and the nations TODAY and oh what clarity it brought!! I hope this is as eye opening for you as it was for me.
First there is Gog. Gog is not a nation, but a term for a ruler. It means “ruler” or “man on top”.
Next we have Magog which today is made up of parts of the former Soviet Union (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Afghanistan.)
Now we have Rosh: (this term is used 600 times in the Old Testament) referring to people North of the Black Sea, which we call RUSSIA. When the Soviet Union collapsed this made Bible Scholars scratch their head since this Prophecy lay out there so boldly. But as we have witnessed in the past 20 years, Russia has been reassembling itself and this time will be an extremely strong and hostile power in the world (as we are also getting peaks of in the news today!!)
Meshech and Tubal are usually named together in the Bible. We just read they traded with Tyre (modern Lebanon) so Meshech and Tubal are parts of present day Turkey.
The next name mentioned in Ezekiel is Persia; which since 1935 we have called it IRAN!!! It’s official name today is “The Islamic Republic of Iran” with a population of 74 Million people. Ayatollah Khomeini was crowned the leader for revitalizing the Islamic nation for many years. The leader now is a very familiar face (but just a figurehead for their politics)…. can you say Mahmoud Ahmadinejad??? AMAZING eh???
In October 2005 Ahmadinejad said to a group called The World without Zionism “As the imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map…ANYbody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire if the Islamic nation’s fury.” (The United States is a friend of Israel….so keep your eyes wide open as things occur!!)
The next name in this read is Cush. Cush is Ethiopia. The first time we read about some of these nations was Genesis 10 (SERIOUSLY!!) We call this nation today Sudan. I know you know the name but not sure of who they are. They are the nation that supported Iraq in the Gulf War AND harbored Osama bin Laden.
Then we have Put. Today …. this is Libya. Since 1969 Libya is under the dictatorship of Gaddafi. Libya is an Islamic nation with great hatred for Israel AND has an alliance with….that’s right, you guessed it RUSSIA!
Gomer. Gomer is possibly modern day Germany/Turkey. They have an allegiance to Russia and if you watch the nightly news you will hear them say they have a strong military presence in Northern Iraq.
This list is not complete since Ezekiel says “many others”. On the flip side we read of nations that are NOT to be involved against Israel and that is “Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish and the young lions. Scholars believe Sheba and Dedan to be modern-day Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, and the Gulf Countries of Kuwait and the United Arab of Emirates. The “young lions” are believed to be Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the African colonies, and the United States.
Does this not make you go OH MY!!!
Sharing HIS love,
Life certainly has a way of happening doesn’t it??? My most sincere apologies to each of you reading. We have had medical issues in my family, the death of a dear friend, and a family member has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
I pray that my delays do not deter you from growing close to HIM and allowing HIM to continue the work HE has begun in you as you read and grow each day. I am hanging to HIM for all HIS promises of love, grace, comfort, gentleness, and so much more.
I also pray I am back writing on the blog again by Monday October 28. I covet your prayers for God’s healing, continued grace, and never ending comfort in the midst of all things.
Today I leave you with 2 Corinthians 12:9
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Sharing HIS love,
Click here for today’s reading http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2035-37&version=NIV
CHAPTER 35 — We are reading a Prophecy about Edom. Do you remember where they came from? Abraham and Sarah had Isaac. Isaac and Rebekah had twin sons — Esau and Jacob. Technically Esau was the oldest and should have received the double blessing from his father, however, Rebekah encouraged Jacob to dress up like Esau, trick his aging father, and receive the double blessing….and he did. When Esau discovered what had happened he threatened to kill Jacob/Israel and this family tension continued throughout all the ages. If you remember when Moses was leading the people to the promised land? The Israelites asked if they could pass through the land of Edom and they were told NO!! Plus anytime Edom had the opportunity to fight with, steal from, get back at Israel….they did. The final blow in the eyes of God was when the Edomites REJOICED when Judah fell. In several commentaries I have read they say that King Herod of Idumea in the NT was an Edomite!! AND that the Edomites basically disappeared after that. So, King Herod was the last recorded Edomite in history!! And since that time they as a tribe have been lost historically. Other commentaries indicate that the remaining Edomites simply became part of the modern day Arabians. I find it most interesting that Herod, a descendant of Esau was the ONE who tried to kill the baby Jesus of the line of Judah…descendant of Jacob/Israel …but FAILED!! Isn’t it incredible how reading the OT brings such depth to the NT????
At any rate, Mount Seir belonged to the Edomites and they were very proud of it. The Edomites also built an impregnable city….Petra…the city was all built into the rocks of the mountain and was their capital. NO person or peoples could attack them. However, that did not apply to God!!! Today, the area has become very desolate. People who have traveled the area say if you go down to the area of Petra now you’ll find it’s just an extremely desolate area, pretty much uninhabited. Ummmmmm……prophecy fulfilled!!
CHAPTER 36 — In chapter 6 of Ezekiel we read where Ezekiel was told by God to prophesy about the destruction of Judah. Today in this chapter Ezekiel is prophesying about the same area being rebuilt. Unfortunately most of the people living in Babylon at this time would not witness the rebuilding, but IT WOULD HAPPEN IN GOD’S TIMING!! God promises to rebuild Israel in this chapter and if you know people today who have been to Israel then you hear stories of how beautiful and lush the land is, how families are growing, and some prospering. Unfortunately we also know there is war all around them but within the city people can see more prophecies fulfilled. God also reminded the people WHY they were in Babylon…worshiping false gods, worshiping idols, following the advice of false prophets, etc. God’s people were supposed to be HIS Ambassadors!! They were supposed to be shining examples so others could see HIS character through them….but their lives invited others to curse God rather than point to HIS greatness and love and peace….!! And then we read again of all HE is going to do. In verse 22 God’s plan is so obviously stated. All He is doing is for what is to come. This is ALL being done to pave the way for the Messiah to come, since the people will not listen to God, He will restore us by bringing Jesus and giving us a new heart, and a Spirit (vs 27). In verses 22-32 God tells them HE is not doing all of this because of them (us), but because of WHO HE IS. NOTHING WE could ever do could ever SAVE US……it is ONLY because of what HE has done that we can be SAVED. We can be holy because HE is holy, without HIM……we are NOTHING.
Now look at verse 37 … God PROMISES Israel will be restored, they will grow and prosper. Do you see the MODERN DAY PROPHECY in all this?? Israel is Being restored. THINK about the fact that Israel became a nation again in 1948!! THAT was PROPHECY fulfilled…and it is STILL unfolding!!
CHAPTER 37 — The Valley of the Dry Bones!!! This is talking about the “dead in spirit” of the people in the Babylonian captivity, as well as current events of the restoration of Israel as we speak. CAN YOU IMAGINE the LOOK on Ezekiel’s face when the dry bones suddenly had tendons, muscles, skin, bones, faces, and the BREATH of LIFE???? If God created ALL of Adam from a lump of clay..you bet he could put life into dry bones!! AND…isn’t that what happens when we become born again today with Jesus in us?? Before Jesus in our life, we were Spiritually dead…..NO different than those bones Ezekiel was speaking to!! OUR God is a BIG God … HE can do things that we can NOT even imagine. And our BIG GOD WANTS to do BIG things in our lives so we can be used by HIM.
Ezekiel is very unique in that this book has THREE lines of prophecy!! There is Prophecy for Israel, for the Messiah, and for the Tribulation!! This is the ONLY prophecy in history that a generation could read about and see happen in life. Do you realize God chose you and me to be born at a time when you and I could open the prophecy, read it, and SEE it happen.
I know I mentioned Israel becoming a nation again in 1948….but here is more detail. In verse 15…. the 2 sticks in this Scripture represent Judah and Israel. THEN HE makes them one nation coming from the scattered nations (after the dispersion). I realize this may be confusing because this is being prophesied at the time when ONLY 2 of the 3 sieges on Jerusalem had taken place. Jerusalem was not yet totally destroyed and Ezekiel is prophesying about Israel and Judah becoming ONE UNITED nation again!! This prophecy hung out there for over 2000 years, never fulfilled. AND guess what, it was fulfilled, LONG after Ezekiel!! On May 14, 1948 Jews became an independent state after the Arab Israeli war, known as the War of Independence. Does that make sense? Since the Babylonian exile, the nations were dispersed all over, and this prophecy did not came true until 1948. Before this date scholars could say with confidence that the end of days were not here because this prophecy hung out there. BUT NOW…. when you hear people say: We are in the end times, Jesus is coming, the last days, the brink of tribulation….WE ARE! And if you don’t think so…start paying attention to the times, the news, the speed that things are happening!
God’s promise to restore Israel is nothing but love. PURE, AGAPE, LOVE. One of the comments in my LIfe Application Bible states: “No matter how impure your life is right now, God offers you a fresh start. You can have your sins washed away, receive a new heart for God, and have His Spirit within you — if you accept God’s promise. WHY try to patch up your old life when you can have a new one.” AMEN and AMEN.
WHAT IF WE ARE THE GENERATION THAT WITNESSES THE MESSIAH’S 2ND COMING????? Are you ready?
Sharing HIS love,