I was going to read out 1 Chronicles this morning, and didn’t get very far.
“The sons of Japheth were Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras” (1 Chronicles 1:5//Genesis 10:2, N.K.J.V.).
Having just finished spending most of the year preaching Genesis 1-12, these names were fresh on my mind. I knew a hung-over Noah had blessed Japheth not only with great numbers, but also a place in the tents of the covenant people of Yahweh (Genesis 9:26,27). But what about the rest of the family of Japheth, the ones who were not brought into the camp of the saints by faith? I know their story.
The peoples who do not enter the camp of the saints by faith will seek to destroy it by force. They will fail.
While reading the Ezekiel chapters again, I noticed a promise of God in the midst of it all. The Lord Yahweh promises to bring the unbelievers against His people (Satan and the nations only think they’re calling the shots) and then explains why He is doing it: “...so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes” (38:16).
The gathering of the nations against the people of Messiah, the Christ, is God’s providential answer to two things: a question and a prayer.
It is the answer to the question of the second song of the Psalter:
“Why do the nations rage,
And the people plot a vain thing?
The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,
‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.’
He Who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The LORD shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
‘Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion’” (Psalm 2:1-6).
They “rage” and “plot” so that they will come to know God (not savingly, but know Him as absolute Sovereign and Judge) and "so that" He will be made holy before them.
This antichrist(ian) gathering is the answer to the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer:
“Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9//Luke 11:2).
The citizens of the camp of the saints have prayed from the very beginning that God’s name be made holy. The answer from heaven to that fundamental and timeless prayer is the gathering of the nations to surround the camp of the saints, seeking their destruction. “...so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes” (38:16). The rallying of the nations against the camp is the granting of the First Petition, and the prayer of the First Petition results in the besieging of the camp.
It is God’s plan for the display of His glorious holiness before all the nations. Do not despair, but praise His holy name!