The events we are seeing today parallel what the prophets speak of in the very near future. This is the type of situation that is to develope around the invasion by the King of the North. The scriptures talk of both Egypt's smiting and healing when Christ returns - and their eventual submission to him in the Kingdom Age.
Welcome to the Bible in the News. The Middle East continues to erupt in violence this week as the people of the Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Libya, and Tunisia are calling for the overthrow of their governments. As was considered last week, much of this is rooted in the spirit of the French Revolution as the frog spirits sweep across the Middle East. The final result of this spirit will be the gathering of the nations to Armageddon as we read in Revelation 16:12-14:
And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Egypt Being Given into the Hand of a Cruel Lord
What is of great interest is the parallel of what we see today and what the prophets speak of in the very near future. As mentioned last week, when the great invasion of Israel takes place, Egypt will fall victim to the rapacious appetite of the King of the North. We read in Daniel 11:40–43
And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
Egypt’s invasion is also discussed in Isaiah 19:4
And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts.
In the context of this passage we are told of civil war and unrest in Egypt, very similar to the spirit of what we are seeing today. The context of this invasion is the latter days when the LORD will intervene in the events of the Middle East. It is in the time when he will come with symbolic clouds of heaven, in judgment of the nations. One of the first places he will go is Egypt which will be in the midst of turmoil. We read in Isaiah 19:1:
The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.
In the period leading up to Christ’s intervention we see the Egyptians engaged in civil war (v2-3).
And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
The civil unrest we see today is a glimpse of the situation that will descend upon Egypt in the latter days. It parallels the situation we see in the Olivet prophecy predicting the end of the Jewish age.
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring (symbolic of peoples in turmoil); Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven (the governments) shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:25–28)
What we see today is a similar situation – the Egyptian sea and waves roaring, the powers of heaven or (governments) being shaken in anticipation of Christ’s return when he comes with “power and great glory”.
In the great turmoil that is coming on Egypt they will be “given over into the hand of a cruel lord” (Isaiah 19:4) which will happen during the invasion described in Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 11.
Egypt’s Eventual Conversion
The exciting thing is the end result of all this turmoil and trouble. There is purpose in it – to eventually bring the Egyptians under the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ. Egypt’s oppression under the hand of the “cruel Lord” will bring about a cry unto God – and he will send them a savior. We continue to read in Isaiah 19:18-22:
In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it. And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them.
The mob of Egypt will be brought under the scepter of the Lord Jesus Christ. They will cry unto the LORD and he will deliver them from the oppression of the “cruel Lord”, or the Russian invader. The end result will be their return unto the LORD and his ears being opened to their cries. He will “heal them”.
It will be during the kingdom age that all nations will go up to the temple that will be built in Jerusalem to worship God. We read in Isaiah 2:2–5
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.
Of the many nations that will be rebuked, Egypt will respond favorably. We read in Psalm 68:11 of the great preaching campaign at the commencement of the Kingdom age:
The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.
Psalm 68 is in the same time as Isaiah 19 because we read in verses 33-34 of one who rides in the heavens and whose strength is in the clouds:
To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice. Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.
This “mighty voice” is the voice is of the “mighty angel” who flies in the “midst of heaven” or between the existing system of governments we see today and the coming world government of the “new heavens wherein dwelleth righteousness” described in Second Peter. The words of the cry are recorded in Revelation 14:6-7.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
The response to this great proclamation by Egypt is recorded Psalm 68:29, 31-32.
“Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee…. Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord”
Isaiah records for us the pilgrimage of the Egyptians to Jerusalem in chapter 19:23-25, and how God will consider them “his people”:
In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
So while many people in the world have “hearts failing them for fear of what is coming upon the earth”, we can take comfort in the scripture, and courage in the word of our God – knowing that He “rules in the kingdoms of men” and is bringing about His purpose upon the earth, when His Son will rule in righteousness and all nations will fall down before him.
For the Bible in the News, this has been Jonathan Bowen. Join us next week for another edition.