The Invasion of Those Who Dwell Secure
Ezekiel 38:1-13
And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,…

The occurrence in this place of this and the following chapters is somewhat perplexing. The events here prophetically described take place after the restoration of the Israelites from their Eastern captivity. Yet they are altogether too stupendous to be applicable to anything which happened in the time or soon after the time of Ezekiel. Thus many interpreters of prophecy refer them to a period still in the future, when a final struggle may take place between the Church of Christ and the powers of this world. The general moral and religious lessons of the passage are, however, independent of any special prophetical interpretation.

I. THE MANIFESTATION OF GOD'S FAVOR DOES NOT INVOLVE PERFECT TRANQUILITY. Israel had been restored from the East to the land of inheritance and promise. The hand of Divine retribution had been removed, and the hidden countenance of God had shone upon his people. But their troubles were not over; their land was not to remain in their undisturbed possession; Jerusalem was not to be the city of peace. This indicates a general principle of the Divine government. The Church of Christ is a ransomed Church, a chosen and beloved possession. But upon earth it is the Church militant; there is a warfare to be waged; this is not our rest. Even in the latest period of this dispensation repose may be disturbed, enemies may arise, a conflict may be passed through. All this would be consistent with the favor and loving-kindness of the God of salvation.

II. SINFUL RAPACITY IS NOT DETERRED BY THE SIGNS OF DIVINE PROTECTION. Not a few of the enemies of Israel had been defeated and put to shame, whilst Israel had been spared, favored, and exalted. He who questioned the power and kindness of Jehovah might well be pointed to the history of the Hebrew people. Yet, as a matter of fact, there were enemies of Israel and of God who, notwithstanding these apparent lessons, renewed their assaults upon the objects of Divine protection. Similarly, the Church of Christ is exposed to assaults open and insidious, physical and moral. The enemies of religion, if they have studied history, must be aware that Christ has built his Church upon a rock, and that the gates of Hades do not prevail against it. Yet they are not found to desist from their endeavors or to abate their hostility. Nor need the people of God expect to be exempt from "rude assaults of raging foes."

III. THE ENEMIES OF GOD'S PEOPLE, CONSCIOUS OF THEIR NUMBER AND THEIR POWER, REGARD THE APPARENTLY DEFENSELESS AS AN EASY PREY. The foe is described in these verses in a manner which depicts his formidable character. Cog and his auxiliaries and allies are represented as preparing for the attack, as mustering to make war upon those who are without the protection of walls, bars, or gates. The unwalled villages seem to invite the marauder, and he counts the cattle and goods, the silver and gold, as already a prey. In like manner, the foes of the Church, confident in their resources, relying upon the force of their arms, encourage one another in their hostile designs against the Church, by observing how defenseless she appears, and how open to the hostile attack and the crafty strategy of her foes. The weapons of her warfare are not carnal, and weapons of any other kind are beyond the comprehension of the foe.

IV. THE AGGRESSOR SHOULD REMEMBER THAT THE LORD OF ALL CAN CHECK AND DEFEAT THE ABLEST AND THE MIGHTIEST. If the Omnipotent do but say, "I am against thee," it matters not how formidable and vast are the hostile resources of the enemy. One word from his lips, one glance from his eye, is enough to put to confusion all the boasted power of the foe.

V. THE DEFENSELESS SHOULD REMEMBER THAT GOD IS ABLE IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES TO DEFEND AND TO DELIVER HIS OWN. The true security of Israel was in God's care; Jehovah was the Shield, the Stronghold of his people, and when they trusted in him they were safe. The Israel of God has a sure defense. "Fear not," says Jehovah; "I am with thee." The protection of the Church is not in the favor of kings or in the arm of the warrior; it is the eternal God who is our Refuge, and underneath us are the everlasting arms. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

WEB: The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,

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