I know Mad Max is a couple of years old at this point, but the prophetic word against Gog and Magog in these chapters remind me of a post-apocalyptic world. This group of desert nations joins together to overtake unwalled defenseless villages. But God brings these evil nations together to prove His holiness and to come to the defense of Israel. So, he makes the earth shake and summons a sword. The desolation of evil makes God known.
In Mad Max, the evil class pursues evil and exploitation while the exploited are trying to find freedom. Though there were casualties among the good, the evil are drawn into the wilderness to die in epic battle scenes. God is likewise doing this in the heart of evil nations. A desire lurks within them to exploit and torment God’s people so he lures them out to strike them with fire to make them food for birds and other animals.
It is an eternal characteristic of God that He delights in mercy more than judgment, but in this instance, God is known in His judgment. Much like the end of this age, God will be known for his righteous judgment. Judgment isn’t a popular theological perspective usually, but it is reality, and I would argue it is also good. Judgment is for those that refuse to respond and receive mercy because outside the mercy of God, nothing is left. To reject it is to choose nothingness. And nothingness is basically nonexistence.
Some would argue that non-existence can be equated to eternal torment. It could just be that the dissolving of the soul of mankind just takes a very long time. Perhaps our popular pictures of hell are depicting the process of a soul that was created for eternal pleasure in God, disintegrating into its rebellion as it suffers non-existence.
In chapter 39:9, the cities of Israel burn weapons in fire for 7 years. It will become unnecessary for them to cut down trees in the forest because the weapons will be their fuel for the fire. God takes that which was created to destroy others and burns it up.
When it comes to the individuals that make up Gog and Magog, their bodies are scattered in a valley. A certain group of men in Israel are set apart to travel through the valley to bury bodies to cleanse the land. It’s intriguing to me that chapter 37 is about raising dead bones to life in a valley which is followed by a chapter where another nations bones are buried in a different valley. The first instance is God revealing His glory by resurrecting life in His people. In the second instance God reveals His glory by burying those who reject Him.
As chapter 39 and the main portion of prophecy in Ezekiel nears its end, the message that God desires to be known, understood and loved by any means necessary has been driven home to the nation of Israel and to Ezekiel himself. However, the final 9 chapters, the book of Ezekiel takes an interesting turn. It becomes a map to future glory and the new temple. It becomes a blue print for reconstructing the kingdom.