Divine Control
Ezekiel 38:4
And I will turn you back, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth, and all your army, horses and horsemen…

The picture of Israel's foes is indeed one fitted to strike dismay into any heart depending upon human aid, defense, or deliverance. Gog and his armies, the hostile nations in league with him, are described with all the pomp and circumstance of war. Yet, when Jehovah declares, "I will turn thee about, and will put hooks into thy jaws," this declaration outweighs all the professions, all the threats, all the designs of the enemy. We are reminded - and the whole Church in every age needs, in time of danger especially, to learn the lesson - that above all the plans and purposes of men there reigns Divine control.

I. IT IS LITTLE EXPECTED. When plans are laid, and evil designs matured, nothing is further from the mind of the enemies of God's people than the unquestionable fact that the Lord of all is supreme. Some poor, faint human opposition may be anticipated; but it is not expected that a superior Power should intervene.

II. IT IS HAUGHTILY SPURNED. Shall hooks be put into the jaws of the dragon? Shall the wild horse of the desert be bridled? Shall the lion of the jungle be tamed? The very thought is repudiated and resented. The mighty of the earth are not wont to brook restraint or interference. Those who plan the ruin of the cause of God, of the religion of Christ, of the Church on earth and all its agencies - whether they so plan in the name of atheism and secularism, or in the name of worldly policy - spurn and contemn the restraint of Heaven. They see no power which they need to fear, and in their view it is superstition to fear the unseen.

III. IT IS VARIOUSLY EXERCISED. Sometimes God controls the foe by natural causes and instrumentalities. The destroying angel comes down upon the camp and smites the host; pestilence decimates the bands of the enemy; an earthquake opens the prison-doors; the storm scatters the invader's fleet. Sometimes God controls the foe by human agency. One enemy of God makes war upon another, and cripples the forces which were on the point of being employed against the Lord's people. Or a great deliverer is raised up, whose valor and heroism crush the enemy, and set the threatened free from fear and danger. In any case God is never at a loss for means by which he may bring his counsels to pass.

IV. IT IS ALWAYS EFFECTUAL. The control of God may be defied by God's enemies, and it may be ignored or distrusted by his friends. But it exists, and it is superior to all earthly powers and machinations. Revelation is full of instances of this control as manifested in the history of Israel and in the history of the infant Church of Christ. And the annals of Christianity, through long centuries, contain abundant confirmation of the great and blessed truth - " the Lord reigneth."

V. IT SHALL BE FINALLY ACKNOWLEDGED. Here and now men may withhold the confession. But sooner or later it shall be publicly admitted that all powers are subject to the King of kings. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:

WEB: and I will turn you around, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth, with all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords;

The Supreme Contest
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