King Og of the Land of Bashan

One thing that fascinates me about the Word of God is that each time I look at it, I might see something different than before.  Within the historical narrative there are often snapshots of the future.  King of Bashan is no exception.  It’s as if the Lord has woven an intricate tapestry with numerous patterns that may or may not be seen unless we stop to meditate on the Scriptures. 

This week I noticed once again an interesting parallel in Deuteronomy.  This book begins with Moses speaking to the children of Israel in the 40th year of their wanderings.  It’s almost time for Moses to be gathered to his ancestors but he takes the time to remind the people of the past.

He reminded them of how God commanded them to go in and possess the land.  He told them they had multiplied tremendously and had been burdensome and quarrelsome.  This required Moses to set tribal leaders over them who were wise, knowledgeable, and understanding to judge cases that rose between them.

Next, Moses told them they had traveled from Horeb to Kadesh-Barnea, the mountains of the Amorites and had been commanded to take it because the Lord had given it to them.  Instead, they made a terrible error by sending twelve spies who brought back a mixed report.  This led them to lose faith in the Lord and rebel against Him.  They refused to believe that the Lord would fight the giants of the land so they could possess it.  As a result, the adults were not permitted to enter the land and died in the wilderness over a period of 40 years.  Only Joshua and Caleb were given that privilege of entering the Promised Land since they were the only ones who trusted in the Lord.

God’s people were dismayed to hear the judgment of the Lord so some decided to obey His original command but it was too late.  Against the Lord’s warning, some went up to fight the Amorites anyway and lost as the Lord said they would.  From that point on they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years yet they lacked nothing because the Lord provided for their needs.  During that time, they passed by both Mount Seir which belonged to the descendants of Esau and the Wilderness of Moab which belonged to the descendants of Lot.  The Israelites were commanded not to do battle with them because the Lord had not given the Israelites their land.

After 38 years they passed over the Valley of Zered and the Lord commanded them to cross over at Ar which was the boundary of Ammon and not to bother the Ammonites.  Previously, this was the land of the giants.  Since the Lord commanded them to cross the River Arnon and destroy Sihon the Amorite king of Heshbon and take his land, the Israelites contacted Sihon with the pretext that they were only going to pass through his land and buy food and water for their journey.  Sihon refused because God had hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate in order to deliver him into the hands of the Israelites.  This is reminiscent of God hardening Pharaoh’s heart which led to his demise.

The people were told they had to begin to possess Sihon’s land in order to inherit it.  The people obeyed by destroying Sihon, his people, and the cities along the River Arnon.  In addition, they annihilated Og king of Bashan, his people, and cities.  All the livestock and spoil of the cities were taken as booty.

The land that was east of the Jordan River was then divided among the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of the tribe of Manasseh.  After the death of Moses, the people crossed the Jordan to take the Promised Land for the remaining tribes of Israel.

As I reflect on the last days of the Israelites wandering in the wilderness, it is obvious to me that we are nearing the end of the latter days.  Floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, and tornadoes are increasing in frequency.  Wars and rumors of wars are raging throughout the world.  Some nations seem to be seeking a pretext for war.  This is only the beginning of the birth pains.

As the future continues to unfold, we will eventually see a leader arise that will parallel with king Og who was the last of the giants.  The size of his bed indicated his great stature.   It was about 13 ½ feet long and 6 feet wide!  He was obviously head and shoulders above most men.  I suspect this is significant.

As the last shavuah (7 year period) approaches, a man of great stature will arise.  English translations vary but Daniel 7:20 describes the appearance of a little horn that sprang up among the ten horns on the fourth beast.  Daniel said he was greater, stouter, or more imposing than his fellows.  This reference to his size gives us quite a parallel between king Og and the coming Antichrist.

He also compares well with King Saul who stood head and shoulders taller than anyone else in Israel (1 Samuel 10:23).  As we know, the kingdom was taken away from King Saul and given to King David who represents Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords.  Isn’t it interesting that when an evil spirit came over Saul, he threw a spear at David to pin him to the wall but David dodged the spear twice?  Jesus was nailed to a cross, died, and was pierced with a spear to make sure He was dead but He rose from the dead.  In the future, the Antichrist will be controlled by the Dragon (Satan) yet he will be thrown alive into the lake of fire after the battle of Armageddon (Rev. 19:20) whereas King Saul died in battle.

The kingdom of Og was taken away by the Lord and given to the Israelites to possess and inherit.  In the same way, the dominion of the little horn will be taken away and given to the saints of the Most High; it will be an everlasting kingdom and all dominions will obey them (Daniel 7:26-27).

Now that’s not the end of the story.  King Og was destroyed but the Israelites still had to cross the Jordan River and wage war with the other peoples living in the Promised Land under the leadership of the Angel of the Lord in order to take their inheritance.   This process parallels the war of Gog and Magog which will take place when all the nations of the world come against Jerusalem at the end of Christ’s millennial reign.  After that, the Great White throne judgment will take place, what is old will pass away, and the Lord will make all things new.  Just as the people dwelled in peace during Solomon’s reign, the meek will dwell in peace on the new earth and be blessed!

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