“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it? 15 You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army. 16 You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. (NIV)
Again, we see that Gog sees the bounty of Israel and Israel’s apparent weakness and comes from the far north with all of her supporting nations to attack and blunder the peaceful children of God. We see again that the passage says that they will come ‘riding on horses’ and not like horses.
“ ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Are you not the one I spoke of in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel? At that time they prophesied for years that I would bring you against them. 18 This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign Lord. 19 In my zeal and fiery wrath I declare that at that time there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 The fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts of the field, every creature that moves along the ground, and all the people on the face of the earth will tremble at my presence. The mountains will be overturned, the cliffs will crumble and every wall will fall to the ground. 21 I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Sovereign Lord. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 I will execute judgment upon him with plague and bloodshed; I will pour down torrents of rain, hailstones and burning sulfur on him and on his troops and on the many nations with him. 23 And so I will show my greatness and my holiness, and I will make myself known in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’ (NIV)
The point of the Gog and Magog story is to show everyone that has eyes that see that following the Lord is the way to go. If any one, or any people, will follow the Lord with their whole heart then God will bless them with peace and prosperity. This is the promise from the beginning. God is in complete control of the world and everything that goes on in it. If pain and suffering are rampant in the land then you can know that that land is not obeying the Lord as they should. If a land is depending upon its military might for safety then military calamity will soon come. God will destroy everything that rises up against the knowledge of God. When you stop and think about it, it is the only way. For God to look the other way it would mean that God has abandoned them. As long as there is pain and suffering in your life, then at least you can know that God is working to bring you around.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV)
Early in my Bible reading career I really thought that the above passage is pretty funny. It still makes me grin. I mean, James was a pretty funny guy to write that. But, as I have grown older I see much more clearly the sober reality of what James is saying. This passage isn’t funny at all, it is totally true and the benefit of spiritual growth cannot be over-stated. I have seen within the Church elements that work real hard on reading the Bible and doing what they think is obedience all so that the blessings of God might come upon them. The point of a relationship with God is not to be blessed with money and health. Money, health and safety only relate to this world. Everything of this world is passing away. Nothing of this world really matters.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (NIV)
If you are reading your Bible for worldly prosperity then your heart is still focused on the world. This world just doesn’t matter. That is why it is impossible to look at a fellow man or woman and make any judgments regarding their relationship with God based on their worldly position. Just look at Job. In today’s thinking we could say that Job lost his sons and his daughters and he lost all of his assets, his Job (work) and also his health had become pitiful. Yikes, he was in a bad way! But, Job maintained his faith in God and because of that God sent to him a wise man to show Job his error. If a person were to measure their relationship with God with material things, then they would assume that Job was destitute, but he was not. Job was always prosperous.
The story of Gog and Magog is about trusting in God and being content with whatever you have. Israel was (then) with God, come good or come bad. They will not go into a panic when they see the armies of Magog coming to plunder them. Come good, or come bad, they will wait on the Lord. When you have that attitude then all is well. If you are plundered then you didn’t need that stuff anyway, and if you are killed then you go to be with the Lord, and if you are delivered, it is to teach someone else about a relationship with God. Life is not about earthly things.
“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name. 26 They will forget their shame and all the unfaithfulness they showed toward me when they lived in safety in their land with no one to make them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the nations and have gathered them from the countries of their enemies, I will show myself holy through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am the Lord their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. 29 I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.” (NIV)