In my last post, I skirted past Ezekiel 39:18-20. I did that because they were more of a repetition of verse 17, and they were almost word for word what Revelation 19 conveys when it says that Jesus comes as the Warrior King (Messiah,) that Israel has longed for. The Messiah calls out, come to the feast, speaking to the meat-eating birds and beasts that they should gorge themselves on the flesh of kings, mighty men, and all others who chose to fight with God.
In this post, we will continue with Ezekiel 39:21.
Ezekiel 39:21 NASB “And I will set My glory among the nations, and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them.
And I will set My glory among the nations
Set is the Hebrew word nâthan and means to give, used with great latitude of application (put, make, etc.): – add, apply, appoint, ascribe, assign, avenge, be ([healed]), bestow, bring (forth, hither), cast, cause, charge, come, commit.
So when I associate appropriate word choices with the context certain words stand out; such as: apply, ascribe, bestow, cast, and, cause. Why would these words be important? Because the nations, in general, have not honored God’s glory, recognized it, or cared that it even existed. Sadly, Israel similarly treated the Father.
And I will set My glory among the nations
Glory, in this case, is the Hebrew word kabod and means abundance, honor, glory. Other words available to us are riches and splendor.
While I honestly cannot exclude God from setting his riches among the nations, but they why would He do that? Fortunes have not turned anyone to Christ. Jesus said to the disciples; it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom. The disciples were stunned by this statement and asked why. To this Jesus replied, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter. While Jesus statement opens the door to chance, it is obvious to see that riches are little more than a hindrance.
Now, to set one’s honor, God’s honor, among the nations would be to show them who He is – His nature and character. One aspect of His nature is that He does not lie.
And I will set My glory among the nations;
The phrase, among the nations, is only one Hebrew word gôy and means a foreign nation; hence a Gentile. To the Jews it meant heathens. Now, if God did set his honor and splendor among the nations, what might be the result? Having seen what God can, and does do, many will turn their hearts toward Him. We have evidence for this, and we find it in Revelation 7:9.
“a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;”
Note where they are from – every nation, tribe, people, and tongues. Apparently, God’s plan worked.
“and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them.”
Again, the emphasis is on the nations, as they see God’s judgment, which He has laid on them. Who then, is them? It seems like a legitimate question, seeing as Gog, is the one having fire reigned down upon them. Ah, but if you were paying attention as we worked our way through chapter 38 and now 39, then you would have realized that Israel takes a tremendous and deadly beating in all this, especially if this fire is nuclear.
Another question we should be prompted to ask is, why is Israel being judged so harshly? This type of question is precisely one of the reasons that I want to teach Bible study. The direct and implied answer, found throughout the Bible, tells us that Israel rejected God. That is the short answer, but it will suffice for the moment.
Ezekiel 39:22 NASB “And the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God from that day onward.
So, not only do the nations learn that Jehovah is God, but Israel seems to acquire the full understanding that Jesus is the Lord God. Ask yourself a question, why does it take such extremes to get out attention?
Prompted by horrific events, we have been driven to ask some hard questions. Well, here comes the answers.
Ezekiel 39:23-24 NASB “The nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and all of them fell by the sword. 24) “According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, and I hid My face from them.”‘”
The nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because:
They acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them
What then happened to them as God hid His face?
To put it bluntly, this attack, led by Gog, will cause many in Israel to die. This statement will cause some grief, because the readers, like Israel, think they are safe and protected. In a previous post on Ezekiel 38, I mentioned Dr. David Reagan who said this battle with Gog could not happen anytime soon because Israel is anything but safe. Maybe, the safety is all in their heads.
I gave them into the hand of their adversaries.”
Psalm 83 speaks of ten nations gathered against Israel. Ezekiel 39:6 tells us that God will send fire against those living securely in the coastlands. You should be asking, which coastal nations is He talking about? Since we know that Libya and Ethiopia are two of them, what might be the common factor here? Islam. If Islam is the commonality then what other Mediterranean coastal nations could be affected? Spain, Algiers, Somalia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, France, Italy, and Greece. Are there others? How far do you wish to speculate? Most of these are committed Islamic nations, while others are being taken over. I suppose the point here is, that in many cases these nations are allied with Gog and his armies, in their fight against God.
All of them fell by the sword.
Apparently, not all fell by the sword, but many certainly did.
According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them.
Ezekiel 39:24 is where we find this, but look at the same verse from another translation.
“Yes, I treated them as their uncleanness and crimes deserved; and I hid my face from them.” CJB
While the majority use the word uncleanness, the International Standard version conveys that, It was because of their defilement. I believe I can understand the depth of this perversion as I read through the Old Testament, but what do I know of the Modern day Israel? Very little. As far as perversion goes, Israel has their gay rights parades, just as America, or most any other nation. While that could be the problem, God always seemed to be focused on Israel’s idolatry, and, in a sense, adultery – the pursuit of other lovers.
Consider that Balaam (the prophet for hire,) told Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab that he could take Israel down by introducing women from the nations, as they would bring in their gods and Israel would fall prey. Well, they did.
I hid My face from them.
Hid is the Hebrew word sâthar meaning to hide (by covering), literally or figuratively: – be absent, keep close, conceal, hide (self).
Attempt to explain to me how the God that has engraved our faces on the palms of His hands can hide his face from His people? The answer lies in scripture itself.
Deuteronomy 31:16-18 NASB 16) The LORD said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17) “Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will come upon them; so that they will say in that day, ‘Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?’ 18) “But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods.
They had not been out of Egypt for very long when they pressured Aaron to make the idol Molech. Pressure may be too intense a word considering that Aaron may have actively gone along with the idea.
How do I know it was the idol Molech? In Acts 7 Stephen is brought before
the Jewish council; his life is on the line. With his life in jeopardy, what does Stephen say to these learned men? He gives them a history lesson, which none of them disputed. In that lesson, Stephen brings out something that seems to be avoided in our Bible reading.
Acts 7:43 CJB No, you carried the tent of Molekh and the star of your god Reifan, the idols you made so that you could worship them. Therefore, I will send you into exile beyond Bavel’ (Babylon.)
Do your homework and find out how people worshiped before Molekh; it will disgust you.
As for my own life, I spent a good deal of time running from God. Religion teaches that it is your sin that keeps God from you. However, I can tell you, that no matter how dark it got, I always knew God was right there. I, on the other hand, was too embarrassed by my actions to think he would speak or listen to me.
Why would He have been any different with Israel? All they had to do was turn to Him with their whole heart, just as we should.