011215 – Ezekiel 38:10-13, Divine Restraint And Protection

Introduction.

The time of the seven year tribulation continues. Gog devises a scheme to attack God’s chosen people, Israel. But, let’s not dismiss all that God will do to protect “the apple of His eye.”

Ezekiel 38:10-13 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

10 ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, 11 and you will say, ‘I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, 12 to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods, who live at thecenter of the world.’ 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish with all its villages will say to you, ‘Have you come to capture spoil? Have you assembled your company to seize plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to capture great spoil?’”

Overview from The MacArthur Study Bible.

These scriptures describe the peace in Israel during the period of the Antichrist’s short-lived treaty with them (Dan 9:27) in the first half of Daniel’s 70th week. References to “unwalled villages” refer to that period of 3 1/2 years when Israel is secure under the protection of the world-ruling “prince that shall come,” called Antichrist (Dan 9:27). After Antichrist turns on Israel, there is an escalation of hostility until the end of the 7 year time when this great force comes to plunder the Promised Land (v 12).

Words and phrases from The Reformation Study Bible.

38:11 quiet people. Compare the strategy. Though Gog plotted against Israel, in reality God was bringing them to their own destruction (vv. 4, 16)
vs 4: “I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen…” vs 16: “… I will bring you against My land”

Words and phrases from The MacArthur Study Bible.

38:12. “to take plunder … booty.” Antichrist takes over the world for his own power and possession. The wealth of his empire is described in Rev 18.

Words and phrases from The Ryrie Study Bible.

38:12. The wealth of Israel is the prize the invaders will seek. “the center of the world.” Lit, the navel of the earth (See Ez 5:5.)
Ez 5:5. “Thus says the Lord God, ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her at the center of the nations, with lands around her.'”
38:13. “Sheba and Dedan.” Arab peoples. “Tarshish.” Located in the South of Spain near Gibraltar. “Villages,” or young lions. Greedy rulers.

Summary from The New American Commentary.

These verses show the plan of the invasion. It will take place according to God’s plan and purpose. According to Rev 20:7-8, Gog was satanically inspired, and hated both God and His people. But, neither mankind’s wickedness, nor the powers of darkness, can thwart God’s purpose. The Sovereignty of God, and His infinite wisdom, enable Him to use even the schemes of the devil and wicked man to achieve His ends. These chapters promise a day when God’s people will no longer need walled villages to be secure. Gog will seek to loot and plunder those who have resettled Israel in the “center of the Land.” But, God will lure Gog to his doom.

A final thought. Don’t mess with the apple of God’s eye.

Zechariah 2:8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.

A quote from Grant Phillips.

Israel is precious to Almighty God, the apple [pupil] of His eye. He is simply saying, “You touch my chosen nation Israel. You poke me in the eye.”

Let us consider some scriptures that speak of the special relationship that exists between God and the Jews.

Genesis 12:1-3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

12 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Deuteronomy 7:6 New King James Version (NKJV)

6 “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.

John 4:22 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.

Let us consider worship, as Jesus described worship.

John 4:24 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Let us now enter a time of worship and praise of our Lord. The first song relates to God and the Jews, specifically. The remaining songs are songs of worship between God and all people who have an intimate relationship with Him. Paul Wilbur leads all of the songs.

Shalom Jerusalem

Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai

Let The Weight Of Your Glory Fall

For Your Name Is Holy

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