How To Live In A Threatening World
Ezek. 38:14-23, 39:27-29 July 24, 2005

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    Our world is full of threatening experiences. How does God want us to live during these times? I think He wants us to learn: 1) Threats may be real; 2) Biblical theology is helpful; 3) Thinking like Him is beneficial; 4) Learning He has a target, or goal, in this situation.

1.    How To Live In A Threatening World: Recognize . .
        Threats Are Real. 38:14-16 a

    A.    Real as Revealed through the . . Prophet of God. 38: 14-16 a
        14 "Therefore prophesy, son of man, and say to Gog: This is what the Lord God says: On that day when My people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know [this] 15 and come from your place in the remotest parts of the north--you and many peoples with you, who are all riding horses--a mighty horde, a huge army?

    B.    Real as Revealed through the . . Permission of God. 38: 14-16 a
        16 You will advance against My people Israel like a cloud covering the
land." in the last days, Gog,

    Sometimes we perceive threats that prove to be false. In the text God reveals the reality of threats and sends His prophet to warn the people about them. God permits these threats as He controls the end result, and desires to accomplish His purposes through them. Are you right now facing some threats? Has God permitted them?

2.    How To Live In A Threatening World: Recognize . .
        Theology Is Helpful. 38:16 b

    A.    Threats May Occur To . . Emphasize Theological Knowledge.38:16 a
        " It will happen that I will bring you against My land so that the nations may know Me, ..."

    B.    Threats May Occur To . . Expose Theological Knowledge. 38:16 a
        ". . . when I show Myself holy through you in their sight."

        What you believe about God may very well strengthen you in a threatening time. In one situation I felt as though I was misled. In a prayer I told God if I had known these problems existed I would not have made the decisions I did. God seemed to ask me if I had asked Him about the situation, and I said "yes." He then seemed to say did I know about these threats that are now clear to you, and again I said "yes." Then He seemed to ask if I thought He knew about it, and if so could I learn through this threatening time? I once again answered, "Yes!"

3.    How To Live In A Threatening World: Recognize the . .
        Thoughts of God.

    A.    Think Thoughts of the . . Anger of the Lord. 38:17-19
        "This is what the Lord God says: Are you the one I spoke about in former times through My servants, the prophets of Israel, who for years prophesied in those times that I would bring you against them? 18 Now on that day, the day when Gog comes against the land of Israel" -- [this is] the declaration of the Lord God--"My wrath will flare up. 19 I swear in My zeal and fiery rage: On that day there will be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.

    B.    Think Thoughts of the . . Armament of God. 38:20-22
        20 The fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the animals of the field, every creature that crawls on the ground, and every human being on the face of the earth will tremble before Me. The mountains will be thrown down, the cliffs will collapse, and every wall will fall to the ground. 21 I will call for a sword against him on all My mountains"--the declaration of the Lord God --"and every man's sword will be against his brother. 22 I will execute judgement on him with plague and bloodshed. I will pour out torrential rain, hailstones, fire, and brimstone on him, as well as his troops and the many peoples who are with him.

    C.    Think Thoughts of the . . Administration of God. 38:23
        23 I will display My greatness and holiness, and will reveal Myself in the sight of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

        God's wrath (anger) will come but we can understand much of His reasoning. How can we think the thoughts of God when His Word tells us "My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts?" (Isaiah 55:9 HCSB). My answer is; because the New Testament shares, "Let this mind (attitude) be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus": (Phil. 2:5 KJV). We are also told; "we have the mind of Christ." (1 Cor. 2:16 HCSB). Therefore we who are Christians have the advantage of having the ability to think godly thoughts because the Holy Spirit is resident in our life. This becomes increasingly true, as He is not only resident, but also President. All the armaments in the world cannot withstand His control of the elements such as earthquakes etc. So we need to focus on God's control, and not the wrath, which may be displayed.

4.    How To Live In A Threatening World: Recognize the . .
        Target of God. 38:27-29

    A.    Think the about the Target of the . . Regathering of God. 38:27-28
        27 When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the countries of their enemies, I will demonstrate My holiness through them in the sight of many nations. 28 They will know that I am the Lord their God when I regather them to their own land after having exiled them among the nations. I will leave none of them behind.

    B.    Think the about the Target of the . . Revelation of God. 38:27-28
        29 I will no longer hide My face from them, for I will pour out My Spirit on the house of Israel." [This is] the declaration of the Lord God.

        When threatening situations arise what is the goal or target of God? The text tells us God used this time to regather His people. That is sad but so true. We tend to stray, and God initiates the regathering process. In addition; His word tells us He declares truth about Himself causing us to receive a further revelation of His character, and this helps us to know How to Live in A Threatening World. Amen? Amen!