Day 196: The Answer to Every “Why?”

Ezekiel 38-39; Acts 15:22-41

Key Verses

Ezekiel 39:21-22
“And I will set my glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. The house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, from that day forward.”

Acts 15:39-41
And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

Ezekiel 38-39 contain the prophecies concerning the mysterious “Gog of Magog.” It is tempting to follow an eschatological tangent when reading Ezekiel 38-39. Scholars differ on whether this is a historical figure from the past or one to appear in the future – and some scholars point to Revelation 20 and say this is a description of God’s final defeat of Satan and his armies in the last days.

But here are my thoughts about the mysterious “Gog of Magog.” It’s a mystery. Period. So, instead of chasing that rabbit trail, let’s focus on a phrase that is found 60 times in the book of Ezekiel and 5 times in these two chapters. This phrase answers every “why” question you’ve ever had. I promise!

Why does God curse?
Why does God bless?
Why does God scatter?
Why does God gather?
Why does God bring death?
Why does God bring life?

Why, Why, Why? The answer is found in Ezekiel…

So I will show my greatness […] Then they will know that I am the Lord (Ezekiel 38:23).

I will send fire on Magog […] and they shall know that I am the Lord (Ezekiel 39:6).

the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel (Ezekiel 39:7).

The house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God (Ezekiel 39:22).

Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name. Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God… (Ezekiel 39:25; 28a)

God’s purpose for everything He does – whether in Judgment or Restoration – is that every person and every living creature will know that He. Is. Lord. Period. 

Fast forward to Acts 15… where we find God using an argument between Paul and Barnabas to double the missionary manpower. Now instead of just two men going out to preach the gospel, it’s four. Consequently, more people will know that “He is the Lord!”

And here’s another question… what was Paul’s and Barnabas’ motivation to risk their lives to preach the gospel?? So that all people would know that He is the Lord.

John Piper writes, “God’s aim is to be admired and magnified and honored in all the churches and in all of culture and among all the nations” (©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org).

Shouldn’t this be our aim too??

His Lordship is the foundation for our very existence – the foundation of our lives. This fact should rule every decision, every reaction, every relationship, conversation, thought, and whim. He is the Lord. May our lives reflect this truth so the world will know…He is the Lord! Period.

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