Ezekiel 38:17 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Art thou he of whom I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years that I would bring thee against them?
18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.
19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;
20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.
In verse 17 the Lord GOD reminded the invading forces who will be acting under the physical leadership of the Russians, that the Almighty God knew all about this future event. We notice that He did not name those who would be involved in this evil plot. God knows the effects of rejecting Him. Russia has walked in defiance of the true God for a long time. They have persecuted godly people over the years. They have had many opportunities to know the truth, but the nation has rejected the truth. Those who are saved do not take the position of the ungodly. We do not paint all Russians with the same brush. There have been and there still are God-fearing Russians. Even as we witness the current unrest in Russia and the Ukraine, we know there are God-fearing people in that region who are praying for their leaders and others to be saved. That is still God’s will for mankind today.
In verse 18 we see that even though God knows that this rebellious and wicked event will take place, He will be greatly angered by it. He is not forcing this event to take place, but He knows all things and He knows that Gog will be leading this attack against His chosen people, the nation of Israel. This cannot go on without a righteous response from the Lord GOD. God has every right to be jealous and to be angry because He has given all people opportunity to repent toward Him and to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation. We can see from our own country how past generations knew more about the true God than this present generation does. Over time, people have rejected the truth that they heard and they have become more pagan. We see as well that there is far more false teaching in churches and on the internet, than there is truth. People love the false teaching and they flock to it. We see the increase of ungodly activities in our time. This is a direct result of the rejection of the true God. Those who reject God eventually turn to violence against those who know the Lord.
In verse 19 God describes His response to this evil plot. As we have noticed before, Israel is not currently a nation that fears the true God. They are a nation in defiance of the true God. God has punished them much over the past several thousand years. They will suffer greatly at the hands of the anti-christ as well. However, God does not expect people to take joy in attacking His people. God has used different nations in the past to punish Israel. Those who have thought this was due to their greatness and have taken pleasure in plundering the land and taking Jews captive and murdering others, have suffered the consequences of their arrogance.
No one touches the apple of God’s eye without His permission. This is also a comfort for born again Christians. The New Testament churches are not a replacement for Israel. Born again Christians in this age can be either Jews or Gentiles. Born again Christians will face persecution at the hands of wicked people. That has been true in the past and it is certainly true today. Those who take pleasure in persecuting God’s people need to be reminded of the fact that they will answer before the righteous God. They will have no defence against Him and they will face His fury.
In verse 20 we see the severity of the shaking by the Lord GOD in the last days. All of God’s creation will shake at God’s presence. All will realize that they have been confronted by the true God and He is not someone to scoff at. Even though this invading army will be acting in defiance of the true God, they will be stopped in their tracks. They may be the most well trained army in the world, but God will stop them in their evil plot. God does not need an army to protect His people. God is an army.
Keep in mind that God refers to Himself here as the Lord GOD. The word translated as “Lord” refers to “the sovereign controller” of the world. That is Who the true God is. The word translated as “GOD” refers to Jehovah God — “the self-existent and eternal God”. There has never been a time when God was not. There will never be a time when there is no true God. God is more powerful and wiser by Himself than all of Creation.
Back in the 1960’s the hippies declared that God is dead. That was the mantra of that evil movement. That was the message the Beatles and other groups wanted to drum into the minds and hearts of the youth. They succeeded in doing that for many. However, men like John Lennon are dead and they know God is not dead. They know He is alive and they are under His wrath for all eternity.
The armies that dare to come against Israel in the last days, during a time when Israel will have foolishly relaxed their guard under the deceptive rule of the anti-christ, will face the fury of the true God. They will not fare well in that encounter. It will be a disaster.
God will demonstrate His authority and His power in verse 20 as He takes His place in defence of His people, the nation of Israel. He has blessed Israel with the ability to make defensive weapons to give some protection at this time. However at that time, God will defend Israel all by Himself. The armies that seek to come against her will realize that they picked the wrong fight. They will have nowhere to run and hide. It will be too late for them. They made their choice, but it will certainly not end as they had planned.
The same is true today for those who walk in defiance of the true God. It will not end well for them. God watches over His own. We have already mentioned that true Christians will face persecution. Some will die due to the persecution. However, saved people go to heaven. They may face violence on this earth, but they go to heaven and they rest. The ungodly may enact violence here on this earth, but they go to a Christ-less eternity. That is not a wise choice. It is not a good end.
As God challenged the nation of Israel in Deuteronomy 30:19, “choose life”.