Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Blessings for Egypt

The blood-curdling threats and pronouncements of doom spoken by the prophets aren't popular with many in our society. Through men such as Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah, God promises destruction for both His disobedient people and their idolatrous enemies. What makes these pronouncements extraordinary, however, is not only that God's own people are as much in the line of fire as anyone else, but also that the enemy nations will ultimately be blessed and share in Israel's commission to 'bless all the world,' predictions for enemies unparalleled in any other culture. This feature makes it difficult to see the prophets as nationalistic writers of propaganda, and easier to see them as mouthpieces for the true God who, while being serious about eradicating sin, is merciful enough to bless even His own people's enemies - and, hopefully, merciful to bring good out of the situation in Egypt today.

'In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD near its border. 20 It will become a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of oppressors, and He will send them a Saviour and a Champion, and He will deliver them. 21 Thus the LORD will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the LORD and perform it. 22 The LORD will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the LORD, and He will respond to them and will heal them.
 23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.
 24 In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”'
                                                                                           - Isaiah 19:19-25 (ESV)



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