The Attack of Gog
The point of this message is that God is against Gog (3) and will bring about his destruction. He will do this by having him attack Israel. This will result in his destruction. God does not say why he is against Gog before he attacks Israel.
But God will make Gog attack Israel. In verse 4, God said he will put hooks in his jaws, turn him around, and bring him out of his own land. This is a picture of leading an animal. It was used to describe how captives were taken into captivity. Ironically, in Ezekiel 19:4, 9, it was used to describe the lion of Judah taking into captivity. Ezekiel 19:4 says “They led him with hooks into the land of Egypt”. Then, it is used to describe the defeat of Egypt itself. Ezekiel 29:4 says, when speaking of Egypt, “I will put hooks in your jaws...”
God will make this attack occur. God is sovereign over men, women and nations. As Nebuchadnezzar said “he does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth”. (Daniel 4:35)There will be a “great host” (4) of warriors with weapons who join with Gog. They are well armed with bucklers, shield, and swords.
Gog will think this is his idea. (10) Verse 10 says “on that day, thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme”. Gog will do this for easy money. In verse 12, Gog thinks he will attack this unguarded people to seize spoil and carry off plunder.
But the thoughts come from God. Can the Lord and a person make plans at the same time? Yes. The two ideas are not contradictory. the Lord may use the evil man’s desires to accomplish the Lord’s goals. For example, the Lord knew Pharaoh would not let Israel leave Egypt just because Moses asked him to. So, the Lord would gain glory for himself showing is power over Pharaoh, the most powerful man on earth. The Lord told Moses “But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh will not let listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.” (Exodus 7:3-5)
You might also note that Gog’s plan is a perversion of God’s ultimate plan. Isaiah 2:2-4 speaks of the nations coming to the mountain of the LORD to be taught God’s ways. In contrast, Gog wants to bring nations to the mountain of the LORD to destroy God’s people.
When will this happen? No specific date is given. Verse 8 says he will attack “in the latter years” (ESV) The NIV says in “future years”. So, it is a time in the future from Ezekiel’s time. The chapters we have been studying speak of the restoration of Israel to the land under a Davidic king and shepherd, when the Holy Spirit has come to them and empowered them to obey God.
Who will Gog attack? He will attack God’s people. God describes them as a people who:
who have been restored from war (8);
who are gathered from many peoples (8);
dwell securely without walls, bars or gates; (11)
were gathered from the nations; (12)
who have acquired livestock and goods; (12) and
who dwell at the center of the earth (12)
These are descriptions of a restored Israel. They are descriptions of people who fulfill God’s promises in chapters that come right before this one. In Ezekiel 34:25, God said he would make a covenant of peace with them so they may dwell securely. In Ezekiel 36:10, God said he would multiply people of Israel, the whole house of Israel.
The people are living in rural villages, not walled fortresses. They have cast themselves on God for security, and they feel secure. This is similar to God’s command to Nebuchadnezzar to attack Kedar and Hazor in Jeremiah 49:31. God said “Rise up, advance against a nation at ease, that dwells securely, declares the Lord”. But God’s plan there was for Nebuchadnezzar, as a king from the north, to destroy Kedar ands Hazor.
In contrast to the peaceful people living in Israel, Gog will come like a storm. He will be like a great cloud covering the land. (9, 16}
Why would the Lord do this? So that the nations may know him when he vindicates his holiness before the nations in the defeat of Gog. (16) This is similar to what the Lord said about Pharaoh of Egypt in the time of Moses. In Exodus 7:3-5, God said “the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD”. In Exodus 14:4, the Lord said “...I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD”. It is also similar to what the Lord said when he brought judgment on Israel in Ezekiel 6: "then they will know that I am the LORD".
The Lord’s goal is to convince the nations of his presence and his person. He desires all to know him and his holiness. So, the Lord is not trying to teach his people anything, he is instead accomplishing his goal of being known all over the earth.