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Bible Pathways 09/09/2002

September 09

Read Ezekiel 29 -- 32

In Today's Reading:

Egypt's defeat by Babylon foretold; Assyria's fall -- a warning to Egypt; lamentation (great sorrow) over Egypt's fall.

Verses for Today:

Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt. . . . they shall know I am the Lord. . . . they shall be there a base (lowly) kingdom. . . . Neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations (2,9,13-15)

The prophecy concerning Egypt came to Ezekiel about a year after the siege of Jerusalem began. He foretold the end of pharaoh as a ruler and of Egypt as a great nation. Egypt, the land of ancient pride, would no longer be one of the great powers of the world. But it would not become totally desolate, as the island city of Tyre would be, nor would it be completely destroyed like Babylon, but they shall [never again] rule over the nations (Ezekiel 29:15). Egypt has remained a base (weak) nation over the centuries. It stands as a witness to the supreme authority of God over all of His creation.

At the time of the Exodus, the ten plagues forced the Egyptians to acknowledge that their own gods were powerless against the One True God. This should have taught both Egypt and Israel to reject their idols and worship only the God of Creation.

In the twelfth year of the Israelites' exile, Ezekiel again foretold the downfall of Egypt: Thus saith the Lord God; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon [you]. . . . they shall spoil (ruin) the pomp (pride) of Egypt, and all the multitude thereof shall be destroyed. . . . then shall they know that I am the Lord (32:11-12,15). The Word of the Sovereign Ruler of the universe can be totally relied upon. This happened just weeks after the news reached the exiles in Tel-Abib that Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Babylonians. For the faithful few, the news confirmed the absolute accuracy of Ezekiel's prophecy.

Judgment upon Israel, Judah, Tyre, Sidon, Egypt, and other nations would force them to recognize the One Who said: I am the Lord (29:6). This phrase is mentioned 66 times in this book alone, stressing the absolute accuracy and importance of the Word of God.

However, a future time of redemption and restoration was also foretold: In that day I will cause the horn of the House of Israel to bud forth (29:21; Psalms 92:10). The horn is a symbol of power and strength (1 Samuel 2:10). Israel's time of defeat would be followed by one of restoration. As prophesied, the people of God, both Jew and Gentile, have a future destiny of glory with Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah King. Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him. . . . I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:7-8).

Christ Revealed:

Through the prophets by the Word of the Lord (Ezekiel 29:1). God, Who at sundry times . . . spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, Has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, Whom He has appointed Heir of all things (Hebrews 1:1-2).

Word Studies:

29:6 staff of reed = false support; 29:7 be at a stand = gave way under them; 29:18 peeled = rubbed bare; 30:2 Woe worth the day = a day (of terror) is coming; 31:3 a shadowing shroud = forest shade.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. John Linder (GA), Rep. Howard (Buck) McKeon (CA), and Gov. Froilan Tenorio (Northern Mariana Islands) · Pray for one another · Country: Taiwan (22 million) in eastern Asia · Major languages: Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese · Limited religious freedom · 93% Chinese religions; 4% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for more faithful Christian workers (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).

Optional Reading: Revelation 14

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 10:9

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