Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Ezekiel, and more specifically, is found in the first twenty-four verses of the thirty-ninth chapter. If you want to truly understand what is written in the thirty-ninth chapter of the book of Ezekiel, it is necessary that you turn and direct your attention to verses eighteen through twenty-three of the previous chapter. It is in these verses where you will find the Lord’s response to the invasion of Gog of the land of Magog, along with the horde and forces he brought with him. “It will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God, that my fury will mount up in my anger. In my zeal and in blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at my presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground. I will call for a sword against him on all my mountains, declares the Lord God. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone. I will magnify myself, sanctify myself, and make myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:18-23). It is very important that we understand what is written in this particular passage of Scripture, for although Gog of the land of Magog, along with all his horde and forces will invade the land of Israel to capture spoil and seize plunder, it would be the Lord God Himself who would rise up and engage this tremendous horde. If you read the final verses of the thirty-eighth chapter, you will clearly see that it will not be the nation of Israel that will engage in conflict and warfare with Gog of the land of Magog, nor with the hordes and forces that accompany him on the mountains of Israel. In that day—when Gog and all his hordes and forces enter into and invade the land of Israel—it would be the Lord Himself whom Gog will find himself fighting against, and it will be the Lord Himself who will rise up in defense of both the land and the people of Israel.
If you read the final prophetic words of the prophet Israel in the thirty-eighth chapter, you will find that the Lord will fight against Gog and his horde in a supernatural manner. The Lord Himself would cause a great earthquake to strike in the land of Israel—an earthquake that would cause everything on the face of the earth to tremble and shake at His presence. The Lord would call for a sword against Gog on all His holy mountains in the land of Israel, and the Lord will cause every man’s sword to be against his brother. Moreover, the Lord will—with pestilence and with blood—enter into judgment with Gog, and will rain down on him and on his troops and on the many peoples who are with him a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone. Please don’t miss the words of the Lord, for there is absolutely no indication that the nation and people of Israel will have to do anything to defend themselves against the invasion of the hordes and forces of God in that day. If there is one thing I am absolutely certain about, it’s that in that day, there will be many in the state of Israel who will grumble, complain, murmur, and even grow fearful and anxious as they face the threat and invasion of Gog and his hordes, his forces and his troops. I would dare say that the response many in Israel will face on that day will be much like the children of Israel had after they had come out of the land of Egypt, only to find themselves trapped in the wilderness between the Red Sea and the horses and chariots of Pharaoh. TRAPPED IN THE WILDERNESS BETWEEN IMPOSSIBILITY AND THE ADVERSARY. There were the children of Israel encamped before the Red Sea as they saw Pharaoh and his horses and chariots quickly approaching them in order to overtake them in the wilderness. “When Pharaoh drew near, the people of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them, and they feared greatly. And the people of Israel cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14:10-12). When the children of Israel lifted their eyes and saw Pharaoh and his horses and chariots drawing near to them, they were seized with panic, fear, dread, doubt, anxiety and worry. I am convinced that in that day when Gog of the land of Magog and all his hordes, forces and troops approach, and even enter into and invade the land of Israel, there will be a great panic, fear and dread and even terror that will seize the hearts of those in Israel. In that day, men’s hearts will fail them for fear because of the tremendous force of the adversary and enemy that threatens to overtake them. Much like the children of Israel who were trapped in the wilderness between impossibility and the adversary, so the nation and state of Israel will find themselves in a place where they feel trapped in the inheritance between impossibility and the adversary. TRAPPED IN THE INHERITANCE BETWEEN IMPOSSIBILITY AND THE ADVERSARY. It’s interesting to note that when the came out of the land of Egypt, the children of Israel found themselves trapped in the wilderness between impossibility (the Red Sea) and the adversary (Pharaoh and his horses and chariots). When the children of Israel are dwelling securely within their own land, they will again find themselves trapped—except this time, they will find themselves trapped in the midst of their inheritance between impossibility (the Mediterranean Sea) and the adversary (Gog and his hordes, troops and forces).
When Moses heard the words of the children of Israel there in the wilderness, he responded full of faith and confidence in the strength and power of the Lord. “And Moses said to the people, Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:13-14). If you continue reading the account of the children of Israel there in the midst of the wilderness with the Red Sea before them, and Pharaoh and his horses and chariots behind them to overtake them, the Lord speaks very clearly to Moses concerning the direction of the children of Israel. “The Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen” (Exodus 14:15-18). It was Moses Himself who declared that the children of Israel needed not fear the Egyptians who sought to overtake them there in the wilderness, for the Lord Himself was going to fight for them. The children of Israel had already seen the Lord devastate the land of Egypt through a series of supernatural plagues—including the final and most devastating plague, which was the death of the firstborn—and now they were going to see the Lord fight for them against the Egyptians. THE LORD WHO FIGHTS FOR YOU AGAINST YOUR ENEMIES AND ADVERSARIES. Moses declared to the children of Israel that the Lord would fight for them, and would show them his salvation—a salvation that would manifest itself in the reality that the enemy that was before them that day would never be seen again. WHEN THE SALVATION OF THE LORD IS SHOWN THROUGH THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR ENEMIES, FOES AND ADVERSARIES. What we must recognize concerning this particular event in the history of the children of Israel, is that it did not come with fear seizing their hearts, and their crying out in unbelief, doubt and anxiety. Oh, I am convinced that there will be a great panic that will seize the hearts of many within the nation of Israel on that day when Gog of the land of Magog comes against them with his vast horde, troops and forces. It’s worth noting, however, that on that day, it would be the Lord Himself who would fight for the people of Israel. I wouldn’t be surprised if in that day the prophetic word to the people of Israel wouldn’t be the same which Moses spoke to their ancestors there in the wilderness between the sea and the adversary—STAND STILL AND SEE THE SALVATION OF THE LORD!
If you read the Old Testament—particularly the history of the children of Israel—you will find that there were numerous examples of how the Lord Himself fought for the children of Israel. Oh, there were many times when the Lord would require the children of Israel to engage the enemy in conflict and battle themselves, but there were other times when the Lord Himself would fight for them. Even the very first battle they faced when crossing the Jordan River into the land of Canaan would be fought by the Lord, as it was the Lord who caused the walls of Jericho to collapse and crash to the ground. What’s more, is that you will find in the same Old Testament book that describes this event the account of how the Lord caused the sun to stand still in order that Joshua and the children of Israel might completely defeat the enemy that was before them. Oh, there were times when the Lord would fight for the children of Israel, as in the days of Gideon when he caused them to turn against themselves because of the sound Gideon and his army produced from the mountains. I am reminded of the days of Elisha, when the northern kingdom of Israel faced a tremendous threat from the enemy, and how the enemy and adversary seemed too great and too powerful for them. Elisha prayed that the eyes of his servant might be opened and that he would see that more were they that were for the children of Israel than were against them. Immediately the eyes of his servant were opened, and he saw horses and chariots lining the mountains of Israel. Even during the days of Hezekiah, the angel of the Lord Himself slaughtered one-hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrians in a single night. These passages and many more reveal the tremendous power of the Lord, and His absolute willingness to fight for His people. Oh, I can’t help but be reminded of the words of David in the eighteenth chapter of the book of the Psalms. “In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears. Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him. He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under His feet. He rode on a cherub and flew; He came swiftly on the wings of the wind. He made darkness His covering, His canopy around Him, thick clouds dark with water. Out of the brightness before Him hailstones and coals of fire broke through His clouds. The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered His voice, hailstones and coals of fire. And He sent out His arrows and scattered them; He flashed forth lightnings and routed them. Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O Lord, at the breath of your nostrils. He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted in me” (Psalm 18:6-18).
THE CLEANSING AFTER THE SLAUGHTER! THE CLEANSING AFTER THE VICTORY! THE CLEANSING AFTER THE TRIUMPH! THE CLEANSING AFTER THE DESTRUCTION! The more I read the thirty-ninth chapter of the prophetic book of Ezekiel, the more I am struck by the reality that nowhere in these twenty-four verses do we read of the children of Israel engaging Gog of the land of Magog, or his hordes, troops and forces. It was the Lord Himself who would fight for the nation and state of Israel, and the children of Israel needed only to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. There is, however, a role which the people of Israel played in the day of Gog’s demise and destruction, and the slaughter of his hordes and troops. “Then those who inhabit the cities of Israel will go out and make fires with the weapons and burn them, both shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears, and for seven years they will make fires of them. They will not take wood from the field or gather firewood from the forests, for they will make fires with the weapons; and they will take the spoil of those who despoiled them and seize the plunder of those who plundered them, declares the Lord. On that day I will give Gog a burial ground there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea, and it will block off those who would pass by. So they will bury Gog there with all his horde, and they will call it the valley of Hamon-gog. For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them in order to cleanse the land. Even all the people of the land will bury them; and it will be to their renown on the day that I glory myself, declares the Lord God. They will set apart men who will constantly pass through the land, burying those who were passing through, even those left on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. As those who pass through the land pass through and anyone sees a man’s bone, then he will set up a marker by it until the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog. And even the name of the city will be Hamonah. So they will cleanse the land” (Ezekiel 39:9-16). The words recorded in this passage are absolutely incredible—especially when you read that “those who inhabit the cities of Israel will go out and make fires with the weapons and burn them.” WHEN THE PEOPLE OF GOD MAKE FIRES WITH THE WEAPONS OF THE ENEMY! WHEN THE PEOPLE OF GOD MAKE FIRES WITH THE WEAPONS OF THE ADVERSARY! MAKING FIRES WITH THE WEAPONS WHICH THE ENEMY USED TO COME AGAINST YOU. Oh, the prophet Isaiah declares that no weapon formed against you shall prosper, and the apostle Paul writes that through the shield of faith, we can extinguish all the fiery darts of the enemy, but what an absolutely incredible thought it is to read of the people of God making fires with the weapons of the enemy. IN other words, not only did the weapons of the enemy and adversary not prevail against us, but we also made fires with them, and completely burned them. Oh, what weapons has the enemy come against you with, and what weapons has the enemy launched against you—weapons which you will pick up after the enemy has been routed and defeated, and will burn and consume with fire. What a powerful place it is when you can take those weapons which the enemy has raised against you, and actually burn and consume them with fire. Through the prophet Ezekiel, the Lord declares that in that day when He devastates Gog of the land of Magog and all his hordes and troops, those who inhabit the cities of Israel will actually go out and make fires with the weapons and burn them. How absolutely incredible it is that the prophet didn’t just see swords or shields being burned in the fire, but he saw every type of weapon which the adversary brought against the people of Israel being burned with fire. Oh that the Spirit of the Lord would cause us to not only go out and seize the weapons which the enemy came against us with, but that we would take those enemies—each and every one of them—and burn them with fire.
There is within this particular passage another powerful reality which we must consider, which is the reality of the people of Israel going out and cleansing the land from the slaughter. The cleansing that came after the spoiling of the adversary and enemy would begin with the burning of the weapons which the enemy used to come against the Lord’s people. This cleansing will continue with the people of Israel going out to bury the bodies of Gog and all his hordes and troops. Not only would the people of Israel make fires with the weapons of the adversary, but they would also bury the bodies of the adversary in order that the land might be cleansed. Now, I realize this might seem like a tedious job, and perhaps even one that is somewhat disturbing and gross—especially when you consider that the children of Israel were going out throughout the land in order that they might bury the bodies of those that had been slain. How powerful it is that in the thirty-seventh chapter we find the bodies of those who had been slain being raised up and brought to life by the breath of the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord, and in this chapter we find the bodies of the slain being buried in the land of Israel. BURNING THE WEAPONS OF YOUR ADVERSARY! BURYING THE CORPSES OF YOUR ENEMY! Consider what it must have been like to handle the dead bodies and corpses of those enemies and adversaries who came against you in order to capture spoil and seize plunder. Consider how for seventh months the house of Israel will be burying the bodies of their enemies and adversaries, in order to cleanse the land. What’s more, is that there were actually those who would be set apart in order that they might constantly pass through the land, burying those who were passing through, even those who were left on the surface of the ground. SET APART TO BURY THE CORPSES OF THE ENEMY! SET APART TO BURY THE CORPSES OF THE ADVERSARY! While it might seem like a disgusting and gross job to bury corpses and dead bodies all day for seven months, it is actually a powerful testimony of the great victory, the great salvation, and the great deliverance the Lord wrought for His people. Tell me—if the enemy and adversary came against you with his hordes and troops, and the Lord slaughtered them before you, wouldn’t you be willing to bury the corpses of your enemies? In the Old Testament book of Joshua, Joshua and others put their feet on the necks of thirty-one kings—a sign of triumph, victory and overcoming the enemy. In this chapter within the book of Ezekiel, we find the people of Israel burying the corpses and dead bodies of their enemies whom the Lord Himself had slaughtered. Oh, what began with burning and making fires with the weapons which the enemy used to come against you, would actually continue into burying the corpses of the adversary that were strewn throughout and across the land. Oh, it may seem like a tedious and disgusting job, but wouldn’t you volunteer to bury the corpses of your enemy and adversary knowing they will never again come against you? IN the Old Testament book of Exodus, it was the Lord who buried the enemies of His people Israel with the waters of the Red Sea, but in the book of Ezekiel, and in that day, it would be the people of God themselves who would bury their enemy. Oh, in the thirty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel we find the house of Israel being scattered across the valley floor as nothing more than a very many dry bones, yet bones which came to life and were then raised up to be an exceedingly great army after the prophetic word meets the breath and power of God. In this chapter we find another valley being mentioned, yet this was a valley that was used to bury the corpses and dead bodies of the adversary and enemy. WHERE IS YOUR VALLEY WHICH YOU WILL USE TO BURY THE CORPSES OF YOUR ENEMY! APPOINTING A VALLEY IN YOUR LIFE TO BURY THE CORPSES OF YOUR ADVERSARY! Oh that the Spirit of the Lord would appoint a valley in each of our lives where we can not only burn the weapons of the enemy, but bury the corpses and dead bodies of the enemy. Hallelujah for the powerful victory, salvation and triumph of our God.
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