Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Monday, September 5, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Sep 7, Eze 37-39

Today's readings are Eze 37-39. Tomorrow's are Eze 40-42.

Much has been said and written about Eze 37, the "Dry Bones" chapter. Suffice it to say that God does something amazing. The dry bones are regenerated in the exact opposite manner that they decomposed. Their breath comes at the command of God. The bones, on a basic level, represent the fallen Northern and Southern kingdoms. Having been destroyed and carried away, they will be regathered and restored. On another level, the entire vision is a type of creation as seen in Gen 1 & 2. God brings life out of death, matter out of nothing other than the command of His voice. That Israel will be restored brings hope to the remnant. That the dry bones can live brings hope to us all. All believers were dead and hopeless. Al believers are regenerated by God. 

In its most powerful application, the tale of the dry bone is a picture of salvation by grace. The bones are completely dead and unable to do anything to help themselves. Unless God moves in a totally sovereign way, the bone will remain dead. God not only regenerates them, but He breathes life into them. Once they are reborn, they experience the blessing of God  for having been chosen to receive His glory. It is no coincidence that the following two chapters tell of the judgment on those who oppose God. Those to whom He chooses to give life will live. Those who oppose God shall be judged and condemned.  

Israel and Judah will not only be restored, they will be forgiven and reunited, their fortunes and blessing reinstated. God is making good on His promises, once again.

Still, in Eze 38, we see that the rejuvenated Israel will come under attack. Bible scholars have been unable to agree on the location of Gog. Some believe it is in the area of Russia but that may be a premature perspective that ignores a larger lesson being taught. At some point, all nations will come against God's people. It may not be a matter of who they are or where they come will be all nations. 

From our text, we know this: Magog, Tubal, and Meshech are mentioned in Genesis 10:2 and 1 Chronicles 1:5 as sons of Japheth. In Ezekiel’s day their descendants inhabited what is now eastern Turkey. According to Eze 38:5–6 the allies of Gog included Persia, Cush (modern Ethiopia), Put (modern Libya), Gomer (another son of Japheth whose descendants resided to the far north of Israel), and Beth Togarmah (according to Gen 10:3, Togarmah was a son of Gomer).

When the attack occurs, God's people will prevail. It will take months to bury the bodies of their enemies. The spoils will be a blessing to the saved for years to come.

Clearly, the vision is of the future. A lot of time and effort has been spent trying to define these ancient countries, many of which have already been defined by a careful reading of Scripture. While some parallels to geographic areas can be drawn, it is best to view them as any nation that comes against God's people. The foundational message applies regardless of location or nationality. All those people that are ungodly will be obliterated (Rev 20:8-9). 

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