Today we completed a sequence of chapters in Ezekiel (34-39) about the great final rebirth of Israel with their return to their land “in the latter years” (38:8). Chapter 38 describes a massive attack from the north on regathered Israel led by a man called “Gog”. God said, “In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes”. It will be greater than when God’s holiness was vindicated by delivering Israel from Egypt under Moses. “With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgement with him (Gog) and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him, torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulphur” (verse 22).
Today’s chapter (39) describes the seven month’s work to cleanse the land after this destruction (verse 14). God declares that as a result of this cataclysmic event “all the nations shall see my judgement that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. The house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward” (verses 21,22).
God further says He will “have mercy on the whole house of Israel and I will be jealous for my holy name” (verse 25). This reminds us of chapter 36, “Thus says the Lord GOD, It is not for your sake I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which has been profaned among the nations” (36:22). In this context, God’s name covers His reputation, but today, so many deny God even exists!
The world is full of scoffers, but they will be silenced! As Jeremiah says, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, Behold disaster is going forth from nation to nation, and a great tempest is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth! And those pierced (slain) by the LORD shall extend from one end of the earth to the other” (25:32,33). Finally, note the words of Jesus in John 5, that unless you “have his word abiding in you” (verse 38) you will not have eternal life. May we diligently read his word so that his word lives in us.
On two occasions Israel has been exiled and returned to the land. So far Ezekiel 39:25-29 have seen complete fulfillment. Does this mean that Israel may have to be exiled once more?