Thursday, November 15, 2012

Daily Bible Reading: Ezekiel 38 and Revelation 7

Ezekiel 38 – The footnote introducing this chapter says that this is the earliest apocalyptic, eschatological, vision in scripture. Other examples are Isaiah 24-27, Daniel 7-12, Zechariah 9-14. This type of literature bloomed in the 2nd c. BC (Book of Enoch, etc.). The countries of Meshech and Tubal were on the Black Sea; Magog is not known. Gog is a “type” of victorious barbarian who will inflict the final ordeals on Israel.
In an unspecified future time, Gog will assault Israel after they have been returned for a long while. He will come “like a cloud” and many nations shall come with him. Unaware of being an instrument of Yahweh’s, Gog will work out a wicked plan and march against the peaceful nation Israel will be to plunder them. Jerusalem was thought to be at the center of the world – its navel.
Ezekiel is told to prophesy to Gog and say he will be used to “display my holiness to them [Israel]” (38:16). When Gog invades, God’s anger will come and he will bring a fearful quaking of the land. Mountains will fall, cliffs crumble. Men will turn their swords on each other and he will punish them with all kinds of disasters. All of this is designed to display His greatness and make the nations acknowledge Him.

Revelation 7 – Four angels are at the four corners of the earth holding the winds back, ready to devastate the earth. Another angel in the east where the sun rises carries God’s seal and tells them to hold off until the saved can be marked with God’s seal - 144,000 of them.

The “saved” will be of every land and nation. They have been “through the great persecution” (Nero’s) and their robes have been washed white “in the blood of the Lamb” (7:14).

“They will never hunger or thirst again; neither the sun nor scorching wind will ever plague them, because the Lamb who is on the throne will be their shepherd and will lead them to springs of living water; and God will wipe away all tears from their eyes” (7:16-17) Quote echoes Hosea 2 and Isaiah 11.

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