BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON (5) – God Disciplines but the End-Goal is to Bless

Image source: PastorUnlikely

What does the future hold for Israel? We readily go to the gospel of Matthew and the book of Revelation for answers. However, Ezekiel has answers too. While the message of Ezekiel speaks first to Israel, we saw that the prophet had a message for the world in Ezekiel Chapter 25 to 32; after this, the prophet’s message focused mainly on Israel again from Chapter 33 to the end in Chapter 48. In this section, Chapter 38 and 39, speak of a global army who will make war against Israel.

Ezekiel 38:1-6 (Easy-to-Read Bible) (shortened) says: “The word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Son of man, look toward Gog in the land of Magog… Tell him that this is what the Lord God says: ‘Gog, you are the most important leader of the nations of Meshech and Tubal, but I am against you… I will bring back all the men in your army… All the soldiers will be wearing their uniforms… Soldiers from Persia, Ethiopia, and Put will be with them… There will also be Gomer… and there will be the nation of Togarmah from the far north with all its groups of soldiers…”

In the above passage, Ezekiel saw an army led by a European leader (Gog), with support from Asia (Persia), from Africa (Ethiopia and Put (Ancient Libya)), and other Europeans (Gomer and Togarmah). Ezekiel saw a global coalition of soldiers making war against Israel after their return to the promised land. Ezekiel saw how God will intervene through nature to rescue Israel from extermination.

Ezekiel 38:18-19 (Easy-to-Read Bible) says: ‘The Lord God said, “At that time Gog will come to fight against the land of Israel. I will show my anger. In my anger and strong emotions, I make this promise: I promise that there will be a strong earthquake in the land of Israel.”

Ezekiel Chapter 38 and 39 assures Israel that though they are in captivity, they have a future, they are firmly in God’s plans and no one can exterminate them no matter the size of the enemy army. In Ezekiel Chapter 4 to 22, we see clearly that God is using the captivity to discipline Israel and call them to repent from idolatry. In Ezekiel 33 to 48 we see that will restore Israel and protect them against rulers who are even more powerful than King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.

God disciplines his people but his end-goal is to bless all who worship him; may this truth encourage all of God’s people, Amen!

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