Wednesday after the Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Ezekiel 39:1-29 (NKJV)
1 “And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal; 2 and I will turn you around and lead you on, bringing you up from the far north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand, and cause the arrows to fall out of your right hand. 4 You shall fall upon the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you to birds of prey of every sort and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5 You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken,” says the Lord GOD. 6 “And I will send fire on Magog and on those who live in security in the coastlands. Then they shall know that I am the LORD. 7 So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Surely it is coming, and it shall be done,” says the Lord GOD. “This is the day of which I have spoken.
9 “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. 10 They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them,” says the Lord GOD.
11 “It will come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel, the valley of those who pass by east of the sea; and it will obstruct travelers, because there they will bury Gog and all his multitude. Therefore they will call it the Valley of Hamon Gog. 12 For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 Indeed all the people of the land will be burying, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified,” says the Lord GOD. 14 “They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. 15 The search party will pass through the land; and when anyone sees a man’s bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog. 16 The name of the city will also be Hamonah. Thus they shall cleanse the land.”‘
17 “And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field:
“Assemble yourselves and come; Gather together from all sides to My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you, a great sacrificial meal on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood.
18 “You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams and lambs, of goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
19 “You shall eat fat till you are full, and drink blood till you are drunk, at My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you.
20 You shall be filled at My table with horses and riders, with mighty men and with all the men of war,” says the Lord GOD.
21 “I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. 22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward. 23 The Gentiles shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they were unfaithful to Me, therefore I hid My face from them. I gave them into the hand of their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. 24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I have dealt with them, and hidden My face from them.”‘
25 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name—26 after they have borne their shame, and all their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, when they dwelt safely in their own land and no one made them afraid. 27 When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, 28 then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer. 29 And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,’ says the Lord GOD.”
Our Lord through the Prophet Ezekiel extends an invitation “to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field” to come and enjoy a “sacrificial meal.” This is reminiscent of our Lord Jesus’ words from the Gospel on Sunday, “For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together” (Matt. 24:28).
Note well that this prophecy of Ezekiel regarding Gog of the land of Magog is a prophecy regarding the punishment of sin and sinners. This punishment of sin and sinners will find its ultimate end in Hell, there all unbelievers will face God’s eternal wrath and destruction. Yet, this punishment of sin and sinners also takes place on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
He took our sin and sacrificed Himself, so that those who believe on Him might be clothed with His righteousness, be forgiven of their sin, and receive eternal life and salvation. Even though He was not a sinner, He took on the sentence and punishment of us sinners, so that we might receive His reward for a perfect life: adoption as firstborn sons of God. He became the “abomination of desolation” for us, by destroying the Temple of His Body.
Now, just as the sacrifices of the priests of the Old Testament became a feast for them, our Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice of His Body and Blood becomes a feast for us in the Lord’s Supper. There we receive the gifts He won for us on the holy cross as He pours His Spirit upon us.
We pray: Almighty God, we beseech Thee, show Thy mercy unto Thy humble servants, that we who put no trust in our own merits may not be dealt with after the severity of Thy judgment, but according to Thy mercy; through Christ, our Lord. Amen.