Human Malice a Contribution to God's Glory
Ezekiel 38:14-23
Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, Thus said the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwells safely…

God has a variety of methods for dealing with rebellious men. Sometimes he allows them to have their willful way up to the margin of success, when suddenly the tables are turned, and apparent success becomes conspicuous defeat. With vain confidence they press on their daring measures, and are led, as it were, into an ambush and completely destroyed. Thus God dealt with Pharaoh at the Red Sea, and thus he purposes to deal with the unscrupulous monarch of the north. Their disastrous fortunes should leave on air surviving minds the vital lesson that Jehovah is the Supreme King, and that he is worthy of universal homage.

I. WICKED MEN ARE THE DUPES OF SLENDEREST TEMPTATION. This ideal monarch-type of worldly kings-was seduced into battle by the appearance of Israel's conscious security. Here was a nation without an army, without fortresses, without military generals; a nation having no visible means of protection. To evil men this was an irresistible bait. Now men with better dispositions would have argued, "Here is a peaceful nation, bent on the innocent arts of industry, devoid of ambitious aims. They deserve our respect, and (if needful) our protection." But impiety is as injurious to society as it is offensive to God. The slenderest hope of plunder and of territorial aggrandizement incites them to sharpen their weapons for human destruction. To get an empty bubble of fame, or gain rule over a few square miles, ten thousand precious lives will be sacrificed. Worse still, God's favor will be forfeited. In this respect man has sunk to a lower level than the beasts of the forest.

II. SEEMING SUCCESS OFTEN A SNARE TO COMPLETE OVERTHROW. "Thou shalt come up against my people Israel, as a cloud to cover the land." It seemed as if success were certain. What other result was possible? Their multitudinous horde seemed omnipotent by reason of its very numbers. They could compass every town and village so as to prevent a single escape. This over-confidence was weakness; it seemed to underrate the opposing force; it served to relax discipline; it blinded them to the fact that invisible forces might be silently at work against them. Thus it happened to the first Napoleon- His brilliant successes flushed him with vain confidence, led him on to destruction. "Cursed is the man who trusteth in man; ' "He that trusteth his own heart is a fool."

III. HOSTILE INVASION AGAINST ISRAEL IS CLEARLY FORESEEN BY GOD. The knowledge of an enemy's designs and tactics is half-way towards defeating him. Many military commanders succeed by the secrecy of their projects. If one knows where and when the foe will strike, one can be well prepared. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. In this respect, the servants of God enjoy a great advantage. No design nor project of our foes can escape the eye of our God. The first formation of the evil thought is clearly detected by him, and he keeps us well informed of our adversaries' schemes. In the case of Gog, the prophets of Jehovah had repeatedly foretold the formidable invasion; and, although Israel seemed unprepared for the assault, Israel's Defender was well equipped for the occasion. The issue was secured for Israel's glory.

IV. GOD'S ENEMIES ARE OFTEN DEFEATED BY INTERNECINE STRIFE. A confederacy cemented by wickedness is never durable. It will not bear any strain of trial Men who fight for spoil soon discover that their interests and their leaders' interests are distinct and separate things. Sin has no principle of cohesion. In many cases an army has defeated itself by internal discord. Each man's sword has been turned upon his comrade. So God here announces that he will dissolve their base alliance. "Every man's sword shall be against his brother."

V. GOD'S ARMY IS COMPOSED OF UNEXPECTED FORCES. In ancient times God has employed winds, storms, hail, fire, to defeat the enemies of Israel. The sea was God's triumphant army against Pharaoh. He sent the hornet to drive out the Canaanite. Locusts have been once and again employed as his invading regiment. Flakes of snow have done his destructive work. Pestilence has often served as his light brigade. Hailstones have been his irresistible artillery. He has turned back an army by the specter of its own superstitious fears. Fire overthrew the cities of the plain. The eruption of Vesuvius did a deadly work. Every force in nature is a servant of the living God, and in a moment can be made a soldier, armed to the teeth. Men am slowly discovering that God's forces stored in nature are mightier than the brawn of the human arm, and are depending more upon dynamite and gun-cotton than upon human strength and courage. So says God, "I will rain upon him, and upon his bands... an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone."

VI. THE TRIUMPH IS WITH GOD, Mere overthrow of the enemy is not the triumph that satisfies God. His aim is to bring light and conviction to men's minds - to renew and elevate men's best nature. "I will plead against him." By means of this defensive contest God will address himself to the minds and hearts of the people. "I will magnify myself." Impossible! God cannot, magnify himself. He cannot be greater than he is. But he will make his greatness known. By such mighty deeds he will reveal to men his invisible power, his matchless skill, his various excellences, his ineffable goodness. Men shall discover more of his compassion, his patience, his fatherly desire for men's good; and, instead of hating him, they shall admire and honor him. To a large extent men fight against God because they do not know him. They misconceive his government and his dispositions. Real knowledge of God is the road to life and bliss. As the outcome of the final struggle, even the "heathen shall know" and serve the righteous King. "I will sanctify myself." - D.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?

WEB: Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and tell Gog, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In that day when my people Israel dwells securely, shall you not know it?

Spiritual Security
Top of Page
Top of Page