Saturday, March 25, 2006
|I received this comment yesterday, and I thought it would be good to throw it out for others to share their ideas.
Thank you for the comment. I was wondering since one of your interests is Biblical Studies, how exactly do you approach Biblical Prophecy? What I am trying to ask is, how can I read Ezekiel 38 and 39 and then conclude that Gog refers to so-and-so nation? I do realize that all prophetic studies ought not to be done in a definitive manner, but with complete Biblical analysis. For a student of the Bible, myself, what do you suggest I’d do to understand Biblical prophecy?
There are two kinds of prophecy in the Bible, those which have been fulfilled (such as the birth of Jesus) and those which still remain to be fulfilled.
I have learned that God loves surprises. He will tell us what He is going to do, but not necessarily the exact timing of when or exactly how he is going to do something. A lot of the end time prophecies belong in that category. Matthew 24 and 25 tell us to be ready, that we will not know the day or the hour, but will see the signs of the times.
Regarding Ezekiel 38, there are a few things that seem to make sense in terms of who, but much of interpreting Bible prophecy is speculation. It is a case of when it happens AND IT WILL HAPPEN we will look back and say, Oh, now I see. Remember when Jesus rode into Jerusalem he disappointed many of the leaders looking for the Messiah because he came on a donkey, not a white horse as a victorious warrior. What they did not realize from the scriptures is that there were to be two comings of Christ, one as a suffering servant, and in the future we will see the victorious warrior.
When people tell you that they know exactly what will happen, it may not be totally accurate, but one thing we can take to the bank is that GOD WILL DO WHAT HE HAS PROMISED TO DO.
That said, here are a few ideas about the places mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 38
Gog means ruler or leader if you look up the meaning in Hebrew.
Magog could possibly be Russia. Rosh is a root from the word Russia. Meshech is an ancient name for Moscow (so it is possible that Magog could be Russia). Tubal is possibily Tubosk Russia where PetroChemicals are manufactured.
Some of the cities mentioned in these passages are the same as existing cities.
I have not done an in-depth study of Ezekiel, although I suppose Kay Arthur has some studies available. I like how she teaches for she encourages her students (through books and leaders) to compare the Word with the Word. For when we start putting our ideas and our beliefs into the picture, we tend to muddy the waters.
I may choose over the summer to look at Ezekiel (although I am torn between Daniel and Ezekiel) but right now the people I am studying with have chosen to do the book of Ruth, so you will be hearing much about kinsmen redeemers after I finish sharing some of what I have learned in Revelation.
I will continue to research this, and hope that some who might have already studied these prophecies could share what they know. I do know that they do correspond with Revelation in some areas, and a careful reading of Ezekiel and Daniel do shed light on the events in Revelation.
I think God is at times obscure in his timing because he wants us not to to be complacent. My kids often wait until the last minute to complete their homework assignments, even though I warn them that at one time or another they may be surprised when they discover that they should have gotten around to doing it earlier to save some serious problems. I think God knows that that is our tendency, so he wants us to be alert. Many of Jesus’ parables talk about being ready, being prepared. God wants us ready, prepared, and doing what He knows is best for us to do.
Does this help?