Today’s read in Ezekiel takes us “back to the future.” In chapter 37, God gives Ezekiel a vision of dry bones coming to life again as a picture of when He will raise up the people of Israel from their graves and bring them back to the land of Israel. Two sticks of wood bound together signify the divided kingdom will be united again, and God promises that King David will again rule over them. From other prophetic scriptures, we anticipate this to be fulfilled during the 1000-year-reign following the Great Tribulation.
The events in chapter 38 will precede this restoration. God’s word comes to Ezekiel describing a time when the nations of Gog and Magog and Persia will attack Israel and God Himself will fight for them. We know these nations as Russia and Iran, and I believe this is the same battle described in Revelation, the Battle of Armageddon – the battle to end all battles. John’s description in Revelation contains many of the same details given to us by Ezekiel. It’s an interesting comparison and if you follow any prophecy teachers or blogs and watch the news, you know that these prophecies are unfolding right in front of us.
We don’t know God’s exact timeline. We have limited knowledge, and while God has given us many details, we all view prophetic scriptures with the lens of our traditions, assumptions and preconceived ideas. I believe God wants us to study prophecy just as much as any other scripture (why else would He include it?), not to get caught up in setting dates or building bunkers and withdrawing from the world, but so that we stay excited about His soon return, with a passion to tell others about Him before those world-ending events unfold. It also increases our faith as we see the visions and words He gave His prophets being fulfilled. He is faithful to keep His word.
Our world began with a master plan. God created with intentionality. He knew the beginning and the ending before He ever opened His mouth and said, “Let there be light.” Why would we doubt that He could orchestrate the end of the story, leaving us clues to enjoy discovering the mystery of His plans? Only it’s not just a game, it’s reality. There will be an end to this age. Jesus is coming back to claim His bride and there will be a new heaven and a new earth for all those who have believed to enjoy for eternity. How great is our God, that He designs the universe and holds time in His hand, and yet is so personally involved in the world He created that the smallest sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His knowledge. God Himself feeds the birds of the air, and as Jesus told us in Matthew 6:26, “are you not worth much more than they?”