It was on this day that Ezekiel prophesied of the impending fall of Egypt into the hands of the Babylonians:
In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt. Speak, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Pharaoh king of Egypt, O great monster who lies in the midst of his rivers, who has said, ‘My River is my own; I have made it for myself.’”” (Ezekiel 29:1-3)
Sometimes we forget that Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians not only destroyed Jerusalem and Judea, but also came against all of the surrounding nations. Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful conqueror and overrunning Judea was just one part of the empire-building campaign. God used Nebuchadnezzar to judge Egypt just as surely as He used him to punish Jerusalem and Judea.
This speaks to the fact that the God of Israel is the God of all nations whether those nations recognize it or not. In the beginning the Creator separated the different nations and established their boundaries (Genesis 10). It is He who raises up nations, who brings down kings according to His purpose and will. He deals with these nations as He sees fit, and He does so in order to fulfill His purpose for those particular people. If it was that way in the beginning and throughout history, then in the end, it will be the same. In the end, He has something in particular to say to the nations including Egypt. In Zechariah 14:16-19, He says:
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”
While it’s specifically addressing the Feast of Tabernacles, don’t miss the point: it’s not only Israel who’s going to be worshipping the King at the Feast. All nations are going to be required to come up to worship the King at the Feast of Tabernacles and He specifically mentions Egypt. When all is said and done, all nations will worship Him and those who resist will bear the consequences.
Today, the nations are raging. They’re continually threatening and maneuvering in an effort to isolate and destroy God’s people. On the surface it might seem that they’re doing as they wish but the Creator has not lost control of the situation. Therefore, we should not adopt a hateful, vengeful attitude toward the nations because, apparently, He doesn’t. Though He speaks to them directly and sometimes harshly, He still has compassion for them. Furthermore, He has told us that, through Abraham’s seed (which includes us), all of the nations of the earth will be blessed. Somehow, someway, all this plotting and maneuvering on their part will end up fulfilling His purposes and so it stands to reason then that we must discern His purposes for us in the midst of all of this. Consider what Isaiah wrote:
“For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations. The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, ‘Yet I will gather to him others besides those who are gathered to him.’” (Isaiah 56:7-8)
Scripture tells us that the God of Israel will come and defend His people against those in the nations who are coming against her. But we also need to recognize that many of His people are out there in the nations, and therefore we are to be a blessing to those nations, praying for their salvation and deliverance. So let us strive to be a blessing, today, to those we encounter regardless of who they may be.