In Today's Scripture Reading:
Egypt's defeat by Babylon foretold; Assyria's fall as a warning to Egypt; lamentation (great sorrow) over Egypt's fall
About a year after the Babylonians had surrounded Jerusalem in their plan to starve them into submission, Ezekiel foretold the end of Egypt as a great nation. God said to him: Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt. . . . because they have been a staff of reed (worthless support) to the house of Israel. . . . Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste. . . . neither shall it be inhabited forty years (Ezekiel 29:2-11). Although Egypt would no longer be a great power of the world, it would not be utterly destroyed as Babylon would be. Ezekiel foretold: At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians. . . . into the land of their habitation (origin); and 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 (29:13-15). Over the centuries, Egypt has never regained the status of a world empire. It remains a witness to the supreme authority of God.
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 caused Egypt and particularly, Israel, to reject their idols and worship the One True God of creation.
God brought judgment upon Israel, Judah, Tyre, Sidon, Egypt, and other nations to cause them to realize that I am the Lord (29:9). This phrase is mentioned 66 times in this book alone to point out the importance of obeying the Word of God.
A future time of redemption and restoration was also foretold: In that day will I cause the horn (strength) of the house of Israel to bud forth (29:21). The horn is a symbol of power (I Samuel 2:10; Psalm 92:10). As prophesied, the people of God, both Jew and Gentile, have a future destiny of glory with Jesus as their Messiah.
God . . . hath. . . . given Him a Name which is above every name: That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth . . . And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11).
By the Word of the Lord (Ezekiel 29:1). In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1). God . . . hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son (Hebrews 1:1-2).
29:7 loins =b> seat of strength; to be at a stand =b> to shake; 29:18 peeled =b> rubbed bare; 30:2 Woe worth the day =b> Mourn the coming day (of terror); 31:3 a shadowing shroud =b> forest shade.
Pray for Government Officials: Sec. Alphonso Jackson (Dept. of Housing and Urban Development), Rep. John Linder (GA), and Rep. Howard (Buck) McKeon (CA) • Country: Guinea-Bissau (1 million) on the western coast of Africa • Major languages: Portuguese and Criolo • Religious freedom • 51% animist; 42% Muslim; 6% Roman Catholic; .7% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Humbly kneel before the Lord in prayer and worship the Lord (II Chronicles 6:13).
Optional Reading: Revelation 14
Memory Verse for the Week: Hosea 4:6