Gog and his allies will advance on the unsuspecting land (Ezek 38:8-38:9)

“After many days,

You shall be mustered.

In the latter years,

You shall go

Against a land

Restored

From the war.

This is a land

Where people

Were gathered

From many nations

On the mountains

Of Israel.

This land

Had long laid waste.

Its people were

Brought out

From the nations.

They now live securely,

All of them.

You shall advance,

Coming on,

Like a storm.

You shall be

Like a cloud

Covering the land.

It will be you,

With all your troops.

Many people shall be

With you.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, was trying to tell Gog that after many days, he should gather or muster up his troops to prepare for a battle to come years later. They were going to fight against a land that had been restored from a war situation. These people had been gathered from many countries to go to this former wasteland of Israel. Now, however, they were living securely and peacefully. Yet Gog and his troops should advance on them like a storm or a cloud covering the land. Gog should bring all his large army of troops with him.

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The false visions (Ezek 13:5-13:7)

“‘You have not gone up

Into the breaches.

You have not

Repaired a wall

For the house of Israel.

Thus it might stand

In battle

On the day

Of Yahweh.

They have envisioned

Falsehood

With lying divinations.

They say.

‘Says Yahweh,’

When Yahweh

Has not sent them.

Yet they wait

For the fulfillment

Of their word.

Have you not seen

A false vision?

Have you not uttered

A lying divination?

You have said.

‘Says Yahweh,’

Even though,

I did not speak.’”

Once again, Yahweh showed a strong opposition to these false prophets who had not repaired any of the walls for the house of Israel. They had not helped Israel prepare for a battle. These prophets have issued false prophetic “so called” divine words. They claimed that they were speaking oracles in the name of Yahweh, when Yahweh had not sent them. They waited for responses from these false visions. They kept lying by saying that Yahweh said this or that, even though Yahweh had not spoken to them.

The choice (Jer 38:18-38:20)

“‘However,

If you do not surrender

To the officials

Of the king of Babylon,

Then this city

Shall be handed over                                                          

To the Chaldeans.

They shall burn it

With fire.

You yourself

Shall not escape

From their hand.’

King Zedekiah said

To Jeremiah.

‘I am afraid

Of the Judeans

Who have deserted

To the Chaldeans.

I might be handed over

To them.

They would abuse me.’

Jeremiah said.

‘That will not happen.

Just obey

The voice of Yahweh

In what I say to you.

It shall go well

With you.

Your life shall be spared.’”

Jeremiah reminded King Zedekiah that if he did not surrender to the Babylonians, the Chaldeans would capture the city of Jerusalem and burn it. The king would not escape from them either. However, the king was afraid that some of the Judeans had gone over to the Chaldeans. They might want to attack him if he surrendered. Once again, Jeremiah reassured him. He said that Yahweh would not let that happen. Everything would go well with him, if he surrendered. However, if he was captured after a battle, all bets were off.

The indifference of Israel (Jer 8:4 -8:7)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘You shall say to them.

When people fall,

Do they not get up again?

If they go astray,

Do they not turn back?

Why then has this people turned away?

Why are they perpetually backsliding?

They hold fast to deceit.

They have refused to return.

I have given heed.

I have listened.

But they do not speak honestly.

No man repents of wickedness.

Saying.

‘What have I done?’

All of them turn to their own course,

Like a horse

Plunging headlong into battle.

Even the stork in the heavens

Knows its times.

The turtledove

Observes the time of its coming.

The swallow

Observes the time of its coming.

The crane

Observes the time of its coming.

But my people do not know

The ordinance of Yahweh.’”

Yahweh, via Jeremiah, points out the indifference of Israel. Most people when they fall, they get up. If they are lost, they turn back. Why are these Israelites continuing to backslide? Why do they refuse to return? They are deceitful. Yahweh was listening, but they were not speaking honestly. No one was repenting for what they had done. All of them went their own way like a horse plunging headlong into a battle. The various birds, like the stork, the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane, know when to come and go. However, the people of the Lord do not know and are indifferent to his ordinances.

The power of Jeremiah comes from Yahweh (Jer 1:17-1:19)

“‘You!

Gird up your loins!

Stand up!

Tell them everything

That I command you!

Do not break down before them!

Or I will break you before them!

I for my part

Have made you today

A fortified city,

An iron pillar,

A bronze wall,

Against the whole land.

You will be against

The kings of Judah,

Its princes,

Its priests,

The people of the land.        

They will fight against you.

But they shall not prevail against you.

I am with you

To deliver you.’

Says Yahweh.”

Jeremiah will have the power of Yahweh behind him. Yahweh tells Jeremiah that he must get ready for a battle against others by standing up for Yahweh. He was to tell them everything that Yahweh had commanded him to say. He was not to break down or Yahweh would break him. He was going to be as strong as a fortified city, an iron pillar, or a bronze wall. However, Jeremiah was going to go against the whole land, including the kings, princes, priests, and all the people of Judah. They were going to fight against him, but they would not prevail, because Yahweh was with Jeremiah. Yahweh would save and deliver Jeremiah.

Prayer before the battle (Ps 144:1-144:2)

A psalm of David

“Blessed be Yahweh!

My rock!

He trains my hands for war.

He trains my fingers for battle.

My rock!

My fortress!

My stronghold!

My deliverer!

My shield!

I take refuge in him.

He subdues the peoples under me.”

Psalm 144 is a psalm of David as he prepared for a battle in a war. Yahweh was to be blessed because he was the rock of David. He trained his hands and fingers for war and its battles. Yahweh was his fortress, his stronghold, his deliverer, his shield, and his refuge. Yahweh would subdue the various people for David.

Yahweh questions Job about cavalry horses (Job 39:19-39:25)

“Do you give the horse its might?

Do you clothe its neck with strength?

Do you make it leap like the locust?

Its majestic snorting is terrible.

It paws violently.

It exults mightily.

It goes out to meet the weapons.

It laughs at fear.

It is not dismayed.

It does not turn back from the sword.

Upon it rattle the quiver.

Upon it rattle the flashing spear.

Upon it rattle the javelin.

With fierceness and rage it swallows the ground.

It cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.

When the trumpet sounds,

It says.

‘Aha!’

From a distance it smells the battle.

From a distance it hears the thunder of the captains.

From a distance it hears the shouting.”

Yahweh asked Job if he gave strength to the cavalry horses. These horses snort and paw on their way to meet the weapons of war, the quiver, the spear, and the javelin. They love the sound of the trumpets. They smell a battle as they love the shouting. The cavalry horses had a special role. They were part of the ancient industrial military complex, the fighting horses.