A Voice in the
"Then they shall know that I am the Lord...I, the LORD, have spoken."
"Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD." (Ez 38:23) Ezekiel repeats this phrase approximately 65 times.
Why is it SO IMPORTANT for God to make this point prophetically? Doesn't creation already know that He is the Lord? After all, Romans 1:20 states "Since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse."
The NATIONS of the world are presently rushing headlong towards their destiny with God. Not only have individual people been rebelling against God; at the NATIONAL level, the nations have been in anarchy.
It started in Gen 11 at the Tower (ziggurat) of Babel. "Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." God had decreed that man should fully populate the earth, and man rebelled.
From there it spread. A complete governmental/religious system developed in the Euphrates river valley, that over the millennia has filled the whole earth. In Revelation it is referred to as "Babylon." It is a worldwide rebellion against God.
Last month we saw the seeds of this rebellion, when Lucifer, the "Anointed cherub that covers" said "I will be like the Most High God." He came from a position of total intimacy, trust, safety, communion in God's presence as he covered the Mercy Seat; to a place of pride, rebellion, anarchy... Treason!
In human terms we often experience what Lucifer did to God. If you have been close to someone in ministry, only to have them falsely accuse you before a committee in order to draw attention away from their own sin. If you have been in a marriage relationship built on complete trust, only to have the spouse scheme with a lover and spread lies to garner sympathy. If you have had in-laws feign acceptance of you, only to viciously attack you with subterfuge. A parent, in whom was total trust, proves to be a liar and attacks you for having found them out. These treacheries can spawn distrust of other people.
When we understand that God experienced treachery of the worst kind, we begin to understand the writer of Hebrews, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses...He himself is also beset by weakness...For in that He himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted." (~Heb 4:15,5:2,2:18)
As human beings who have been deeply wronged, it is often tempting to "take matters into our own hands." To get even. To do to them as they have done to us. To "make them pay."
"Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord." (Rom 12:19)
And God WILL REPAY. When He commanded "You shall have no other gods," He also placed a condition by stating "I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me. (~Ex 20:3-5)
When the world developed its system of rebellion against God at Babel, He then took an Individual from out of that system, Abraham, to reveal Himself. "I am the LORD, who brought you out of Ur of the Chal- deans, to give you this land to inherit it." (Gen 15:7)
After a few hundred years, the nation of Israel was established with Moses, the Law, Joshua's conquests. Along with this, God issued the Blessing and Curse. It was quite simple. If Israel obeyed God, followed Him, worshiped only Him; He would bless them with material prosperity, victory over their enemies, and security in their own land. If they rebelled against god; He would give them to their enemies, and would scatter them throughout the ends of the world. (Deut 28)
As we read in the Old Testament, we see how Israel often chose the route of rebellion. And so, God kept His promise, and brought adversity upon them.
In Eastern mentality, military and economic superiority was an indication of blessing from the gods.
When God rained the 10 plagues upon Egypt, He was judging their gods. (Ex 12:12) When Judah was delivered out of the hand of Sennach- erib, at issue was superiority of the gods. (2Kgs 19) Daniel prophesies the "gods" are carried captive.(Dan 11:8)
In our western mentality, we go to war over issues of physical territory, patriotism, physical freedom, economics, oil rights, water passageways, family disputes. In the east, on the other hand, military expansion is synonymous with religious expansion. Thus, when Japan was defeated in WWII, their god was defeated.
This should make it obvious why Armageddon MUST occur in the middle east. Jihad is "holy war." That is what is at stake where Israel and the Arab nations are concerned. The God of Israel, Jehovah, God Most High; vs. Lucifer, the god of Babylon. (Isa 14) Satan, the "god of this world." (Lk4:6, Jn12:31,14:30)
How does God make Himself known? Going back to Ezekiel; 3 of 4 references to "Then they will know that I am the Lord" are in the con- text of judgment. These judgments include Israel as well as the other nations of the world. Because of rebellion, God promises judgment. "'Then they will know that I am the Lord' ...When I bring these judgments upon them."
Israel's judgment has resulted in their being scattered throughout the world. 18 of the references indicate God's mercy in delivering Israel from obscurity, out of the hands of her enemies, out of her idolatry, out of Satan's grasp; bringing her back to her land, and establishing her in blessing and as leader in the worship of God. (Ez 13:21,23,34:30, 36:11, 37:13-14, etc)
When God first established Israel thru the Law, they promised, "We will hear and do it." God desired that they would have a "Heart." (Deut 5:27-29) But He did not give them a "heart" at that time. He revealed Himself with Signs & Wonders (~Deut 29:3-4) The book of Revelation shows how He is going to prove Himself to the world with expeditious judgments.
THEN, He will provide Israel with a "heart." "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after that day, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for they all shall know Me. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more." (Jer 31:33-34)
And I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the LORD, have spoken it and performed it," says the LORD. (Ez 37:14)