Tag: Egypt in Israel’s history
Scripture reading for August 26th: Ezekiel 29-32
Ezekiel’s next assignment was to speak a prophetic word and lament over Egypt and Pharaoh. Egypt was a powerful country that for years had influence on Israel. God used them earlier to preserve His people during a time of famine. He sent Joseph there to help Egypt to manage resources and save lives. God then brought His people out of Egypt after their appointed time there. He judged the nation for their idolatry, but Egypt continued to hold attraction for God’s people. Some of the idolatry had come with them out of Egypt and their hearts often turned toward Egypt.
“You have been a staff of reed for the house of Israel. When they grasped you with their hands, you splintered and you tore open their shoulders; when they leaned on you, you broke and their backs were wrenched.” (Ezekiel 29:6-7) God was not pleased that His people would turn to Egypt instead of Him. Egypt is a picture of the flesh and humanistic power of man without God. When God’s people depend on Egypt, nothing good ever comes of it.
God was going to again judge Egypt and warned them with Ezekiel’s prophetic word and lament. They claimed ownership of the Nile and were filled with pride in their power and influence. God was going to bring them down to ruin and allow their cities to lie in ruins for forty years. He would then bring the Egyptians back and allow them to have the land of their ancestry back. They would be a humbled people and lowly kingdom from then on. (Ezekiel 29:12-16) God was removing Egypt as a source of confidence for the Israelites and the judgment would be a reminder of the sin of trusting in Egypt for help.
Another interesting reason for the fall of Egypt was the payment of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon for doing God’s will! God used Nebuchadnezzar to punish Tyre and Egypt. When he went against Tyre, he did not get much spoil and it took resources. However, the riches of Egypt were given to him by God as payment for his services! (Ezekiel 29:17-20) God is truly sovereign and does what He will with nations and wealth. What an interesting passage that gives us insight into God’s ways in using even heathen nations for His purposes! Remember He judged Babylon too, for their own sins!