We’ve been examining Ezekiel 38 and 39 over the last few weeks. Chapter 38 focuses on the threat from the Ten Most Wanted (Gog and the nations) who are opposed to God and His people. Chapter 39 concentrates more on the deliverance of God’s people from that threat.
Our God is a God of deliverance. Chapter 39 is but one example of how God provides deliverance. I can surely attest that He delivered me, big time.
Let me give you an example of His deliverance from the New Testament. In Luke’s Gospel, chapter eight we find Mary Magdalene. Before she met Jesus she was a deeply afflicted woman. Mary was a woman who had been demon possessed but was set free from this awful condition by Jesus Christ. In fact, she was not just possessed with one demon—seven had possessed her!
The very moment that Jesus’ compassionate eyes saw the wild-eyed and cringing woman of Magdala, He commanded the tormenting demons to come out of her and stay out of her, and immediately, she was set free. On that day everything about Mary Magdalene changed. She was delivered, healed and returned, clothed and in her right mind to her home and family.
Just as God delivered the Israelites from Gog and the Ten Most Wanted in Ezekiel 39, He delivered Mary. Whatever she might have been like before she met Jesus, what happened to her that day changed everything in her life. Her “death” was turned into life, as we read in Ephesians 2:1, and her darkness was turned into light, as we read about in Ephesians 5:8.
What can we learn from Mary and from Ezekiel 39? Two things for sure:
Scripture shows us what God can do for us. Friends, no one is outside the reach of a loving God. Mark 16:9 says, “He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons.” Of all the disciples and other people who followed Jesus He chose Mary. It shows me that no matter how far we may feel we are away from God, when God gets hold of our heart and our life, we can are close to Him and everything He has for us. He wants to deliver us and He will deliver us.
While the world is certainly crazy, this passage reminds us that in all of our trials, in our sadnesses, and our loss and worry over what’s happening, the Lord Jesus cares about us intimately. He comes to some of you today and He says to you, “Why are you worrying,” because the Lord is risen and you are not without hope. He is alive and your hope can live again. He delivers.
Secondly, Ezekiel and Mary show us what we can do for God. Yes, it’s true as we live in these times and we recognize that God is in charge and fully capable of delivering us, we need to look at what we can do because of Him. The Israelites returned to their land and knew God (Ezekiel 39:22,28). The enemy was defeated. They returned to God. Mary’s life was radically changed and her response was to become a strong voice of testimony to the risen Christ and I’m sure that she gave her testimony of her changed life many times. As a result of God’s deliverance on her life she passionately told others.
We need to do the same. If God has delivered us (and He has) we need to let that story be told and our lives need to reflect it everywhere we go—not just at church, but everywhere from our job to the parking lot of the local grocery store. In these perilous times we need to shout Jesus and deliverance every time we have an opportunity.
What God did for the Israelites and Mary He can do for you. That’s the hope of these passages of Scripture. The fact is He wants to do it for you. If your heart is broken, and you’re losing hope. If you’ve tried everything without success, please look to Jesus. He will save you. He will hear you. He will deliver you.