Tag Archives: Ezekiel 38

September 10, 2017 Bible Study — Gog, The Land of Magog, Meschech, and Tubal

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.

Today, I am reading and commenting on Ezekiel 38-40.

    Chapter 38 was part of the reading I did two days ago (it was supposed to be yesterday). However, I did not write about it because Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of Dry Bones took up my time. So, I am going to include it in today’s blog. The first thing I want to mention is that Ezekiel is prophesying this as something which will happen in the far future. Most of the other prophecies in the Old Testament were perceived by the prophet as being in the near future; happening inside the next hundred years. I am not sure that they were all fulfilled in that time frame, but the prophet who prophesied them expected most of them to be. Another thing I want to mention is the locations to which Ezekiel would have been referring. Meschech and Tubal were in what is now Turkey, while the location of the Land of Magog is less clear. The Land of Magog may also have been in Turkey, although that is less clear.

    If the above understanding of the prophecy is correct, then it has not yet been fulfilled. Now I am going to do something I usually avoid because it tends to lead to bad theology, but I cannot help myself today. Looking at current world politics I could easily see something like what Ezekiel prophesied happening in the near future (there is currently one “glitch” in this which I will point out shortly). If this prophecy were to be fulfilled in my lifetime it would involve Turkey leading an alliance of themselves, Iran (Persia), Libya, and Ethiopia. This alliance might include some of the Muslim majority former Soviet Republics (Gomer and Beth-togarmah might be other parts of what is now Turkey, or they might be areas which are some of the southern former Soviet Republics). The only part of such an alliance which seems improbable in the current political landscape is Ethiopia. One can even see countries of the Arabian peninsula (Sheba and Dedan could easily be the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia) demurring from the alliance and questioning its chances of success. All of that being said, if such an invasion takes place, it will be a total failure.

September 8, 2017 Bible Study — What The Valley Of Dry Bones Teaches Us

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.

Today, I am reading and commenting on Ezekiel 37-38.

    Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones is a powerful message. As I read it I saw two important messages for us. First I want to set the stage. In his vision, Ezekiel is taken to a valley full of human bones which are scattered about. They are not arranged as skeletons and they are completely dried out. There is no flesh left on them at all, not even connective tissue. Then God asks him if these bones can once more become living people. And here is where we learn the first lesson. The obvious answer is “No”. That is even the answer which we would think God was expecting. However, Ezekiel does not give that answer. Instead, he replies that God alone knows the answer to that question. You could view this as avoiding the question, but that is not what Ezekiel was doing here. Ezekiel was open to the possibility of God bringing life to these bones. He recognized that if God wanted to bring these bones back to life He could and would do so. Would we have been open to the possibility of God bringing life to those dry bones? How often do we throw up our hands and walk away from the “dry bones”?

    This brings me to the second message I see in this passage: with God nothing is truly dead if He wants it to live. When God gave Ezekiel the message to preach to the dry bones, he did so. Ezekiel preached God’s message that He was going to bring these bones back to life and the bones from each skeleton came together from where they were scattered throughout the valley, muscle and flesh formed over the bones, and skin formed over the flesh. However, that was not enough. The bodies which had formed at the prophetic words spoken by Ezekiel still did not live. So, God gave him a second message to speak. It was only after the second message that the bodies formed from the dry bones came to life. And this leads to a follow up to the question I asked at the end of the first paragraph; Do we keep on preaching God’s word when the bodies form, but do not come to life? We need to be persistent in preaching God’s life giving message. And just now I saw another related mistake we sometimes make. What if Ezekiel had said, “Well, the bones formed into bodies. They may not be alive, but that’s an improvement. I’ll just leave well enough alone.” It is not enough for people to change away from the worst of their sinful behavior. We need to keep preaching to them until the Holy Spirit breathes Life into them.