Friday, March 18, 2011

Comfort only from God - Ezekiel 29, Jeremiah 42

Ezekiel 29
A Prophecy Against Egypt
Judgment on Pharaoh
1 In the tenth year, in the tenth month on the twelfth day, the word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt and prophesy against him and against all Egypt. 3 Speak to him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says:

“‘I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt,
you great monster lying among your streams.
You say, “The Nile belongs to me;
I made it for myself.”
4 But I will put hooks in your jaws
and make the fish of your streams stick to your scales.
I will pull you out from among your streams,
with all the fish sticking to your scales.
5 I will leave you in the desert,
you and all the fish of your streams.
You will fall on the open field
and not be gathered or picked up.
I will give you as food
to the beasts of the earth and the birds of the sky.

6 Then all who live in Egypt will know that I am the LORD.

“‘You have been a staff of reed for the people of Israel. 7 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.[a]

8 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will bring a sword against you and kill both man and beast. 9 Egypt will become a desolate wasteland. Then they will know that I am the LORD.

“‘Because you said, “The Nile is mine; I made it,” 10 therefore I am against you and against your streams, and I will make the land of Egypt a ruin and a desolate waste from Migdol to Aswan, as far as the border of Cush.[b] 11 The foot of neither man nor beast will pass through it; no one will live there for forty years. 12 I will make the land of Egypt desolate among devastated lands, and her cities will lie desolate forty years among ruined cities. And I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries.

13 “‘Yet this is what the Sovereign LORD says: At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the nations where they were scattered. 14 I will bring them back from captivity and return them to Upper Egypt, the land of their ancestry. There they will be a lowly kingdom. 15 It will be the lowliest of kingdoms and will never again exalt itself above the other nations. I will make it so weak that it will never again rule over the nations. 16 Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign LORD.’”
A year before this prophecy, Ezekiel prophecied that somem calamity would befall Egypt; however, there were Jews who were setteling there and making it their home.  In Jeremiah 42 we see him say that if you live in Egypt you befall the same calamity that comes upon them.

What is the spiritual lesson we can learn here?  That if we love the world and keep it as a source of comfort, we will end up suffering the same fate as the things in it.  We rot, we get destroyed, we die early.  If you do turn from it, it will remind you of what NOT to go back too. 

So you will no longer be able to gain comfort from anywhere else, but the only Sovereign Lord in these coming days.  Imagine that, you not being able to be happy unless you have the Lord dwelling within you.

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