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The subject is continued through part of this Chapter, which formed the subject of the former. Towards the close there are sweet and gracious promises made to God's Israel.
The more I read these scriptures, concerning the Lord's judgment upon his enemies, and his peculiar mercy shown to Israel, the more I feel my mind led to pass over the mere letter of the history, to attend to the spiritual sense, which all along appears to me to be intended from it. The Lord hath one and the same design in all his dispensations, namely, to glorify Christ. In the accomplishment of this purpose, every order, and every dispensation shall be directed, and all shall minister. So that Gog and Magog shall go so far and no farther, than as their services shall help to bring forward the Lord's gracious designs to his people. Israel shall know this; the heathen shall know it; and God will thereby make manifest his holy name, as a God in covenant for the sure redemption of the Church.
Here are prophecies of a very solemn nature, intimating great destruction, and a multitude of graves for the slain to lie down in. Jesus speaks of the last day dispensation, which is to usher in his peaceable kingdom, as being remarkable for such events. Reader! here again, as before, I presume not to speak of the time when these things shall be. But I would ask, if the present day is not in this sense, a day of rebuke and blasphemy? Oh! what multitudes of the slain have we heard of, though through mercy, not yet seen in our land!
What is particularly meant by this sacrifice, and the feast that is promised to be made for the fowl and the beast, is not so very clear as to speak with any certainty! But by comparing scripture with scripture, perhaps a light is thrown on the subject. See therefore Revelation 19:17 , etc. Doubtless it hath reference to the last day's dispensation! But the conclusion which God the Holy Ghost makes of the subject is most plain, and most blessed. The Lord will bring again the captivity of his people. The heathen shall see it, and be astonished. The people of God shall know it, and be blessed. God's covenant relations to them shall be made known, and his Church shall rejoice in them together. So that whatever obscurity attends the apprehension of the precise time and place of fulfilling these prophecies, in the result and termination of them there is no mistake or wrong conclusion whatever. Jesus will be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe; while the enemies of our God, and of his Christ, shall be confounded, and put to silence forever. So that we may, in the faith and expectation of these great events cry out, in the language of the Prophet, Sing, O ye heavens, for the Lord hath done it; shout ye lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein, for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel. Isaiah 44:23 .
How truly great, and how truly solemn at the same time is this scripture. Is it not like the pillar of cloud in the camp of Israel; which, while giving light and joy to the people of God, became darkness and terror to the Egyptians. Lord Jesus, I beseech thee give thy people grace in beholding the ruin of the foe, in the midst of their own safety to learn where to ascribe the glory, and thankfully to recognize the gracious hand that maketh all the difference! If, Lord, thou sendest a fire on the Magogs of the present hour, oh! how justly mightest thou destroy all the adversaries of rebellious sinners. And if Israel of old was sent into captivity for their iniquity; who is there, Lord, of thine, that in themselves can venture to suppose that they are better than they, when Jehovah hath included all under sin? Precious Lord Jesus! do thou bring again, as thou hast promised, the captivity of Jacob, and bind up the wounds of thine Israel. Do, Lord, as thou hast said. Cause them to dwell safely in their own land, and let none make them afraid. Be thou sanctified in them, O Lord, and be thou their sanctification also, from thy Holy Spirit dwelling in them, that all the earth may know that thou art a faithful Covenant-God in Christ, and that for his sake thou never wilt hide thy face from them anymore, when thou hast turned back their Captivity before their eyes!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Ezekiel 39". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany