We’re headed back to Isaiah today for another intriguing prophecy…this one regarding Egypt. Throughout modern history, Egypt has been in the news. Chaos in Egypt recently gave way to “democratic” elections, then a military coup. Though our media described the chaos as a “revolution,” the jury is still out on whether reformers are at work, or if the radicals are controlling things from behind the scenes. Today’s world is a confusing one, as it is difficult to tell the “good guys” from the “bad guys.”
So it is with Egypt. As you know, Egypt is often referenced throughout Biblical history. Abraham journeyed there, as did his sons, Isaac and Jacob. Joseph was later sold into slavery in Egypt. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, and ultimately, Jesus’ family fled there in order to preserve His life after birth.
In Scripture, Egypt often symbolizes worldly ways and sin. Is it any wonder that they have been stealthily adversarial toward Israel throughout history? Though there is currently a peace treaty in effect between Israel and Egypt, it might be a stretch to consider them permanently good neighbors. The treaty is often on shaky ground. However, the Egyptians are currently making headway in busting up some terrorist cells, and are making attempts to squash the smuggling of arms to Hamas through tunnels into the Gaza Strip. Nevertheless, when push comes to shove, Egypt most often sides with other Islamic nations.
So, according to Scripture, what does Egypt’s future hold? You might be surprised! Though not mentioned in the Ezekiel 38 prophecy, Isaiah 19 clearly speaks of Egypt’s future. Find that passage and put a marker there.
Throughout history, there have been attacks against Israel, often in efforts to prevent Jesus’ first coming, and more recently to impede His second coming. Egypt has often played a significant role, and will do so in the future.
Before we get to our primary text in Isaiah 19, let’s glean some foundational information from Deuteronomy 28 where God is laying out the blessings of obedience and the consequences of disobedience to the Israelites.
A quick scan of verses 1-14 reveals God’s promise of blessing to Israel. According to verse 1, what must Israel do in order to inherit the blessings? What are some of those blessings? The tone changes in verses 15-67 when God begins pronouncing curses. What would cause curses upon the Israelites? How might they be cursed?
These curses were the stated consequences of disobedience and rejection of Jesus as Messiah and, unfortunately, many of the curses, including the one spoken in verse 68, were fulfilled. What is the curse indicated in verse 68?
Interestingly, God has used Egypt throughout history to bring about correction to His chosen people. History tells us that, those Jews whom the Romans did not slaughter were sent back to Egypt in slave ships where they offered themselves as slaves. Because there were no buyers, many were forced to work in the mines where they labored day and night without rest until they fell dead. All a part of the curse of forsaking the Messiah.
Now, go back to your bookmarked passage in Isaiah 19. God has definitely laid out a plan for Egypt. Most of the Isaiah 19 prophecy (verses 1-15) is already fulfilled, but the final 10 verses are a dramatic report of Egypt’s future and God’s amazing grace! At least five times in our passage, God says, “In that day…” What is significant about that statement?
As we’ve discussed in our study, “in that day” refers to end times. Verses 16-17 indicate that “in that day,” Israel will strike terror in the hearts and minds of Egyptians. Why? Some say because Egypt will stray off to become naively allied with Rosh, the leader of the northern coalition prophesied in Ezekiel 38! (Not so sure about that, but time will tell!)
But regardless, what strange thing happens in verses 18-20?
Indeed that passage indicates that Egypt will swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts and will believe in the God of Israel! In addition, an altar to the Lord will be built in the midst of Egypt and worship will take place. The fact it is near the border could even indicate the possibility that the altar could be near the place Moses crossed the Red Sea! We’re not told that for sure, but it is an interesting thought, isn’t it!
An oppressor will occupy Egypt and cause Egyptians to cry out to the Lord and He will send them a Savior and a Champion to deliver them!
Is that amazing or what!
But, the Lord is not done yet! According to verses 21-22, what will the Lord will do, and what is Egypt’s response? Indeed, God will graciously make Himself known to Egypt and they will worship with sacrifice and offering! He will strike them with healing!
Now, finish strong, my fellow sojourners! Read verses 23-25. Israel will not only become an ally, but will bless them! Furthermore, a highway will connect Egypt and Assyria (modern-day Iraq/perhaps portions of Iran). God will bless Egypt, Assyria and Israel!
Does this prophecy surprise you? If so, why? Does this teaching challenge your views in any way? If so, how?
Dear friends, God’s grace is unfathomable. Throughout Scripture, Egypt represents worldliness and sin. Furthermore, we know very well that leadership in these parts of the Middle East currently desire to wipe Israel, God’s chosen people, off the face of the map! Yet, God extends His grace and forgiveness to “the worst of the worst!” If God can forgive the sins of Egypt, He can certainly forgive us of ours.
Perhaps you are in need of this kind of forgiveness in your life. Friend, there is nothing so bad that God will not forgive. You simply must receive the same mercy and grace He extends to these evil nations. If you are seeking the saving grace of God, go to How to Know God; or contact a Christian friend or Calvary Community Church and let them help you take the next step to a new life.
There is nothing you have done that is not forgivable, and there is nothing more important than your eternal salvation and security.