Another prophesy about the Viking-style raiders led by Gog who will attack the restored Israel, after they are finally bought back from the exile in Babylon.
It seems like a story of grace. The Israelites took the promised land initially by a form of God-aided conquest.
Having lost it by faithlessness, it is restored again to them by grace, not by conquest.
A government decree, a change of policy as the Persians replace the Babylonians, returns the land to them. Simple as that.
And then the raiders, the hostile nations, are overcome by confusion. Boom, threat gone.
The picture is of peaceful, unprotected farms being kept safe by god’s hand. The spears, shields and arrows of the raiders become firewood for years after. Their hostility was futile.
Our ability to forget the goodness of God is epic. So of course the grace didn’t stop the Israelites bring faithless again. But Christ came into the restored nation of Israel, as prophesied.
God’s grace really is unfathomable, it’s so deep. I’m ashamed to say, given the job of writing about grace yesterday, preparing some Easter materials, I was lazy and slow, disengaged. I hope I do better today! What a privilege.
God’s love towards Israel, and by extension, god’s demonstrated love for the whole world though that Israelite Jesus, is unstoppable. It persists through endless rejections, trivialities, brutalities, amnesia and blasphemies on our part.
Those who know it have a shameless entitlement to it.
The prodigal knew his father would welcome him, on some level, though perhaps he was surprised when his father ran though the field to embrace him.
Peter, when he saw Jesus after denying him three times, jumped in the water from his fishing boat and ran to shore in wet clothes to the welcome of restored grace he knew he would get from Jesus. He also scored a fish barbeque after a night of futile work.
Behold what manner of love God has for us!