Cover to Cover
1 Peter 4
Peter continues to expound on Christ’s suffering, relating our experience to His. This suffering, though difficult, can also be beneficial. If we allow it, we can use it to put our unsaved soul and body underneath the rule of our saved spirit. One could say, put our flesh (unregenerate parts) to death (an end). Instead of life being about me and my comfort and desires, my life is about Jesus and a holy way of living.
With every death to self, God brings a resurrection and causes us to experience His glory. When we read about the early apostles and the miracles they experienced, we also know those men went through much discomfort, persecutions, beatings, imprisonment, and even martyrdom. They allowed the Holy Spirit to work out a self-centered, self-ambitious, self-exalting nature. They didn’t live for themselves. They lived a crucified life. They picked up their cross every day to follow Christ. Do we want to see miracles? We have to pay the price and die to self. Maybe we aren’t facing the same kinds of persecution as the early apostles, but we do face rejections, betrayals, abandonments. We face the judgments that come from a world that doesn’t understand us and the condemnation of pious, legalistic believers. Some turn down lucrative business opportunities to answer the call on their life for ministry. Some leave their families and homes to serve in a foreign place. When we learn the joy of living a life dependent on God, there is also a joy of seeing lives changed, marriages transformed, healings and miracles, deliverances from bondages, and supernatural blessings. The most rewarding glory for those who have died to their flesh is going to be the day when we stand before the Lord and know we obeyed Him in response to His love for us. No one is perfect, but we can approach Him in humility and surrender.
Let’s live in the glory of God!
Chapters 38-39 are prophecies about Gog of the land Magog. Gog is a prince, and Magog is a land. Gog and Magog are also mentioned in Revelation 20:7-10 in a battle that happens after the Millennium. Gog is representative of all rulers and people that get together to come against Israel. Ezekiel was prophesying this message at a time when he was describing people groups that were on the fringe of the known world – to the north, east, and south. In Revelation, these groups are nations from the four corners of the earth, a phrase that covers everywhere.
There are two distinct prophecies within these two chapters, separated at Ezekiel 39:1 where there is a distinct new beginning of another message. Chapter 38 is about a battle before the millennium. Chapter 39 is about a battle after the millennium.
Chapter 38, verses 18-23 describe the earthquake that occurs during the Day of the Lord. This prophecy of war is about the nations that rally to come against Israel at the end of the Great Tribulation.
Chapter 39 is about a battle that takes place at the end or after the millennium. The weapons described in verse 9 describe a weapon that makes its own fire. Verse 9 mentions a seven-year conflict. God has the same purpose: “THEN THEY SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD (verse 28).”