Conquering King

Haftarah Reading: Chol HaMoed Sukkot (Ezekiel 38:1-39:16)
Gospel Reading: Revelation 19:11-21, 20:7-10
Commentary by: Kelsey Bryant

Just when we think there can’t possibly be another, the news announces the latest threat, tragedy, violence, or catastrophe. One more worry piles on top of our already stress-filled lives. It’s so easy to let fear be our default emotion.

But this isn’t what Adonai intended for us. All throughout His Word, we read that we should fear Him alone and face the world with courage because we dwell securely in Him. Yeshua is certainly our Savior who died for us, but He is also our King. Darkness may have appeared to triumph at His crucifixion, but it was only an illusion. Likewise it may appear that all around us today darkness is shrouding the earth, but there is an end to evil. Our King will conquer.

Our Haftarah portion for this week, Ezekiel 38:1-39:16, sounds frightening ­– a powerful enemy, Gog from the land of Magog, is coming to attack Israel in the latter days. Israel is unfortified in the physical sense, but in the spiritual, the realm that ultimately counts, they have the strongest force of all protecting them. In that day the Lord will destroy Gog so thoroughly that He will be sanctified before the eyes of the whole world (Ezekiel 38:16). It will finally be clear to everyone who is the one true God. Traditional Jewish eschatology – and Revelation – says that the Messiah will reign after defeating Gog and Magog.

Revelation 19:11-21 and 20:7-10 also describe intense end-times battles. In the first, Yeshua the Messiah arrives on a white horse to defeat the enemies who war against Him and His people. In the second battle, which 20:7 says takes place after the thousand-year period of the Messianic millennium when Yeshua reigns with His holy ones, the Gog and Magog familiar to us from Ezekiel are mustered to attack by the adversary. Verse 9 (TLV): “And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the kedoshim [holy ones] and the beloved city – but fire fell from heaven and consumed them.” The rest of Revelation describes how Yeshua reigns forever and ever, having crushed enemies, sin, and death.

Given a glimpse of how our mighty King is victorious in such dire straits, when all His and our foes are arrayed against us, how can we fear what happens today?