“And I will set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them, (39:21).
Before we begin today, some thoughts on end times prophecy. It is definitely challenging to consider, but it is clear that the LORD God will fulfill His plan for the nation Israel. Some theologians refer to the Church as the “True or Spiritual Israel,” but one of the first rules of hermeneutics, “the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts,” is to interpret literally, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
There are so many literal promises God made to the nation Israel, to the land and to the people, and ultimately to the exiles; promises made to them that began when God called Abraham to a land He would show him.
Now the Lord said to Abram,
“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
2 And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
3 And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed,” (Genesis 12:1-3).
And God promised the land would belong to Abraham’s descendants forever.
The Lord said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15 for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever, (Genesis 13:14-15).
And when God brought His people out of their bondage in Egypt, He reiterated His promise to give them the land as a possession.
“Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the Lord,” (Exodus 6:7-8).
Because He fulfills every promise, we must believe His promises spoken to Israel. And while the New Testament confirms the promise is received by faith, it does not nullify His promise made to the descendants of Abraham, the father of us all.
For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith…16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, (Romans 4:13, 16).
With His promises to Israel in mind, Ezekiel continues with the Lord’s prophecy against Gog which culminates with His promise of Israel’s restoration as He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations. And His Glory is displayed in both His ruling against His enemies and in His restoration of His people.
And while the natural side of us tends to have a difficult time associating God’s wrath with His Glory, it is nevertheless true. Again I am reminded of how the Lord answered the request of His favored servant, Moses, when he asked God to show him His Glory.
The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “I pray You, show me Your glory!” 19 And He said, “I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion on whom I will show compassion.” (Exodus 33:17-19).
God would show Moses His Glory as He caused all His goodness to pass before him as He proclaimed His Name to His servant.
Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; 7 who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” (Exodus 34:6-7).
God revealed His Glory as He revealed all His goodness: His compassion, grace, patience, lovingkindness, truth, and forgiveness; all His goodness that we so love to claim for ourselves. But He also revealed His Glory in His goodness that will punish the guilty, which ultimately bears out consequences on the whole family and its descendants.
God is not segmented into our clever compartments to fit our own desires. He Is God; and His love and grace are not undone by His wrath and anger, for all that He Is, all His goodness is in perfect keeping with His Glory.
And the day is coming when all will know His goodness, either in His ruling against His enemies or in His restoration of His people; for the day is coming when He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations.
Consider Him Who Will Set His Glory Among the Nations
- He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations as He Performs His Predetermined Purpose .
- “You will fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops and the peoples who are with you; I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field. 5 You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken,” declares the Lord God. 6 “And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the Lord,” (39:4-6).
- He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations as He Forever Puts an End to the profaning of His Holy Name.
- “My holy name I will make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I will not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Behold, it is coming and it shall be done,” declares the Lord God. “That is the day of which I have spoken,” (39:7-8).
- He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations as He Brings His enemies to their Predetermined End.
- “You will be glutted at My table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all the men of war,” declares the Lord God. (39:20).
- He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations as He Confirms His Eternal Covenant with the house of Israel.
- “And the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God from that day onward,” (39:22).
- He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations as He Interprets His Discipline and Judgment on the house of Israel.
- “The nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and all of them fell by the sword. 24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, and I hid My face from them,” (39:23-24).
- He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations as He Grants His Mercy and Restoration on the whole house of Israel.
- “Therefore thus says the Lord God, “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,” (39:25).
- He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations as He Bestows His Forgiveness and Cleansing on His people and their land.
- “They will forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid. (39:26).
- He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations as He Gathers His people to their land, proving His Holiness through them in the sight of all.
- “ When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations,” (39:27).
- He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations as He Demonstrates His Sovereignty in His Regathering of His people to their own land.
- “Then they will know that I am the Lord their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer,” (39:28).
- He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations as He Pours Out His Spirit on the house of Israel.
- “I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,” declares the Lord God, (39:29).
How do we respond to Him Who Will Set His Glory Among the Nations?
The truth is, if we believe He is faithful to keep His promises to His Church, we must also believe He is faithful to keep His promises to Israel. For He must be faithful to all His promises, for that is Who He Is.
And the truth is, we are all in need of the new heart He promises to give, for our hearts are so desperately sick and corrupt.
“The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick;
Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
Every promise, whether to the nation Israel or to New Testament believers, is fulfilled in Jesus Christ and sealed by His Holy Spirit Who is given in our hearts as His pledge of assurance.
For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge, (1 Corinthians 1:20-22).
Today, as we consider our response, let us consider His Glory, both in His ruling against His enemies and in His restoration of His people. The day is surely coming when all will see Him Who Will Set His Glory Among the Nations. But in order to see His Glory Set in His restoration, we need the new heart that God gives through faith in the One Who came to fulfill every promise, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God, (Ezekiel 36:24-27).
and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf…17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come, (2 Corinthians 5:15, 17).
The day is coming when He Will Set His Glory Among the Nations, and He will separate those who will see His Glory in His ruling against His enemies from those who will see His Glory in His restoration of His people
“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,” (Matthew 25:31-31).
Oh, the lengths to which He went in order to rescue, redeem, reconcile and restore His people to holiness before Him.
For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins… 21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach, (Colossians 1:13-14, 22-22).
His Heart is for the nations, proven through the sacrificial death of His Son. Oh, that we would make it our life ambition to walk in His Heart for others, that we would walk in obedience to the mission He gave to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to believe and observe the truth of the gospel. Oh, that He might use us to lead others to Him, that when they stand before Him Who Will Set His Glory Among the Nations through faith in the authority of Jesus Christ, they will be presented as holy, blameless and beyond reproach before Him.
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:18-20).