Welcome back, study friends! We’re on board our sailing vessel, riding the currents of the turbulent waterway of Ezekiel 38-39. On Monday, we identified the players in the coalition, and yesterday we discovered God’s prophetic warning to Gog of Magog. Today, we dip over the side of our boat, into God’s Word to understand the Ezekiel battle details.
Again, my challenge to you is to stop right here and read through the entire chapters of Ezekiel 38-39. This time, I want you to focus on how the prophet Ezekiel describes the actual battle. Here is our map to provide the lay of the land as you read.
Before we get into specifics, what is your general sense of the battle plan? Is there much doubt as to how the battle ends? Hopefully the following passages dispel doubt. As you read them, determine the common thread that ties them all together:
Throughout Israel’s history, God has promised to go to battle on their behalf…and He has not lost one yet! So, with that in mind, take a look at the battle plan Ezekiel describes. According to Ezekiel 38:10-12:
- What will occur in the mind of Gog (verse 10)? Remember, Gog is the chief prince of Magog, the leader of the coalition. Do you see any semblance of that occurring today? If so, what are some examples?
- How will the people of Israel be living (verse 11)? Is that true today? If so, what makes you think so?
- What are the attackers coming for (verse 12)? Is there anything in Israel worth plundering?
- What do you think is significant about Israel being the “center of the world” (verse 12)?
Modern Israel is a vibrant country with a mixture of old ancient cities, such as Jerusalem and Hebron, and new, modernistic ones, such as Tel Aviv and Eilat. Old city walls are often seen, but have become historical monuments rather than impregnable walls keeping enemies at bay. Israel is prosperous and has by far the most robust economy in the Middle East. They are known for technological advances in medicine, agriculture, intelligence and more.
However, not until around 2000 did Israel have any natural resources to speak of. Today, estimates are that Israel has almost 80 trillion cubic feet of gas and 6.6 billion barrels of oil in its seabed. When Ezekiel spoke the prophecy of God over 2,500 years ago, he was more accurate in predicting future events than modern news! Indeed, the attackers are after “spoil and plunder,” and each of them sees dollar signs when they consider the resources Israel now has. Could Israel’s oil and gas be the “hook in the jaw” that draws Gog down from the remote parts of the north to invade Israel? Many believe that could be the case.
We touched on Ezekiel 38:13 a couple days ago, and identified Sheba and Dedan as the Arabian peninsula. The moderate Sunni nations there, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and UAE have either recently signed peace agreements with Israel (Abraham Accords), or are highly cooperative with Israel, sensing Israel to be a better partner economically, socially and militarily than Iran. Thus, they will not enter the fray when the invasion occurs.
Let’s close our time today looking at Ezekiel 38:14-16:
- How will Gog come out of the north? Do nations fight battles on horses any more? If not, how do you picture the enemy advancing?
- Verse 16 describes the advancing army as a “cloud to cover the land.” What does that look like in your imagination?
Certainly, we do not know for certain exactly what that attack will look like. However, using our sanctified imaginations, we might come up with these ideas:
- Horses were the strongest military asset in the ancient world. What might that be today? Can you picture today’s tanks and modern all-terrain military vehicles scooting across the Golan Heights? In 2019, while on the Golan Heights, our tour group visited an IDF outpost on the Lebanese border, where we got up close and personal with an Israeli Merkava tank. That horse will go to battle! Imagine a line of them coming your way!
- What could possibly be as a “cloud to cover the land?” Consider Israel’s missile defense system today. They have a multi-stage set of defense systems called Arrow, David’s Sling and Iron Dome that track and shoot down incoming rockets and missiles, ranging from short-range to very long-range. Those layers create a defensive “dome” over Israel. To penetrate the defensive dome, could it be that tens of thousands of rockets might be fired off toward Israel at the same time to overwhelm the capabilities of Israel’s missile defense system? With that many rockets in the air at once, might it appear to cloud the skies as Ezekiel describes?
Those are only imaginations, and you may have your own! If you were writing the prophecy 2,500 years ago, knowing only what was seen in the ancient world, how would you have described today’s military equipment and capabilities? While we may not see precisely what Ezekiel saw as he recorded this prophecy, we understand there will be a significant battle on the mountains of Israel.
Tomorrow, we will discuss how the Lord rises victorious once again over Israel’s enemies! Meet us right back here tomorrow. Meanwhile, rest in the fact that the Lord rises victorious over your enemies as well. Trust in Him, for He is your Rock, your Salvation and your Shield! See you then!