Today: [Ezekiel 32] The Fate of the World System. In chapter 32 of Ezekiel we see the ultimate fate of the world system that exists in opposition to God and the people of God. Ezekiel describes Egypt as a fish pulled from the Nile and left as carrion to the fowls of the air. For us Egypt is a type of the world and read this as the ultimate destruction of the world’s systems and establishment that carries on its agenda all the while shaking its fist in God’s face.
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[Eze 32:1-32 KJV] 1 And it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in the first [day] of the month, [that] the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou art like a young lion of the nations, and thou [art] as a whale in the seas: and thou camest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters with thy feet, and fouledst their rivers. 3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will therefore spread out my net over thee with a company of many people; and they shall bring thee up in my net. 4 Then will I leave thee upon the land, I will cast thee forth upon the open field, and will cause all the fowls of the heaven to remain upon thee, and I will fill the beasts of the whole earth with thee. 5 And I will lay thy flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with thy height. 6 I will also water with thy blood the land wherein thou swimmest, [even] to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of thee. 7 And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. 8 All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD. 9 I will also vex the hearts of many people, when I shall bring thy destruction among the nations, into the countries which thou hast not known. 10 Yea, I will make many people amazed at thee, and their kings shall be horribly afraid for thee, when I shall brandish my sword before them; and they shall tremble at [every] moment, every man for his own life, in the day of thy fall. 11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon thee. 12 By the swords of the mighty will I cause thy multitude to fall, the terrible of the nations, all of them: and they shall spoil the pomp of Egypt, and all the multitude thereof shall be destroyed. 13 I will destroy also all the beasts thereof from beside the great waters; neither shall the foot of man trouble them any more, nor the hoofs of beasts trouble them. 14 Then will I make their waters deep, and cause their rivers to run like oil, saith the Lord GOD. 15 When I shall make the land of Egypt desolate, and the country shall be destitute of that whereof it was full, when I shall smite all them that dwell therein, then shall they know that I [am] the LORD.
There is a total of 7 prophecies against Egypt in Ezekiel and this is number 6, followed by the 7th and final imprecation against the nation by the Nile. The chronological order is problematic in these passages, given that the time they were written and the order in which they are given is somewhat unclear.
In this chapter, the king of Egypt is described as a fish taken in a next and left to the birds and the beasts to devour. The ruin of Egypt is further described along with the great vexation of her peoples because of the downfall of the Pharaoh. The Babylonians are described as the instrument by which God brings Egypt’s destruction and Ezekiel then laments her fall as being that fate which befell other great empires before her.
When verse 7 states that God will make the stars to be darkened in Egypt this is very disconcerting because the religions of ancient Egypt centered on astrological prognostication for their soothsaying and temple rites. We have seen this previously in scripture in different times when Egypt was judged that the judgments specifically focused on belying the falsehoods over her pagan deities and the powerlessness of her gods before the might and sovereignty of Jehovah. Each one of the 10 plagues of Egypt in Moses day defied a specific god in the Egyptian pantheon.
The whole of God’s chastisement of the nation of Egypt is described in verse 10 as God brandishing His sword. What is Egypt and what is the sword that God brandishes? Egypt is a type of the world and the world’s systems in opposition against God. The sword is none other than the world of God as Heb. 4:12 tells us. We are called as believers to wield the sword of the Lord, to allow the word of God to be in our mouth in such a way that the idols and false gods of the world system are exposed and brought to nothing. At times this means that people in the world will accuse us of judging them harshly or being unkind because their sense of self is completely wrapped up in the images of the idol. If someone makes a religion, for instance of their involvement in the motorcycle culture and you touch that – they are going to take that as a personal attack. If someone extends to any world system, celebrity or brand the fidelity that only belongs to God, they are going to accuse you of making an unwarranted personal attach. You must be willing to wield the sword not against the person but against the idol that may coincidentally be enshrined in that person’s heart. Love the person, and slay the idol. This is what it means to wield the sword of the Lord – the word of God.
16 This [is] the lamentation wherewith they shall lament her: the daughters of the nations shall lament her: they shall lament for her, [even] for Egypt, and for all her multitude, saith the Lord GOD. 17 It came to pass also in the twelfth year, in the fifteenth [day] of the month, [that] the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 18 Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, [even] her, and the daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth, with them that go down into the pit. 19 Whom dost thou pass in beauty? go down, and be thou laid with the uncircumcised. 20 They shall fall in the midst of [them that are] slain by the sword: she is delivered to the sword: draw her and all her multitudes. 21 The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword. 22 Asshur [is] there and all her company: his graves [are] about him: all of them slain, fallen by the sword: 23 Whose graves are set in the sides of the pit, and her company is round about her grave: all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which caused terror in the land of the living. 24 There [is] Elam and all her multitude round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether parts of the earth, which caused their terror in the land of the living; yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit. 25 They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her graves [are] round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword: though their terror was caused in the land of the living, yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit: he is put in the midst of [them that be] slain. 26 There [is] Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude: her graves [are] round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword, though they caused their terror in the land of the living. 27 And they shall not lie with the mighty [that are] fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though [they were] the terror of the mighty in the land of the living. 28 Yea, thou shalt be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised, and shalt lie with [them that are] slain with the sword. 29 There [is] Edom, her kings, and all her princes, which with their might are laid by [them that were] slain by the sword: they shall lie with the uncircumcised, and with them that go down to the pit. 30 There [be] the princes of the north, all of them, and all the Zidonians, which are gone down with the slain; with their terror they are ashamed of their might; and they lie uncircumcised with [them that be] slain by the sword, and bear their shame with them that go down to the pit. 31 Pharaoh shall see them, and shall be comforted over all his multitude, [even] Pharaoh and all his army slain by the sword, saith the Lord GOD. 32 For I have caused my terror in the land of the living: and he shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised with [them that are] slain with the sword, [even] Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
Verse 11 also speaks of the sword of the king of Babylon. What is the sword of Babylon? It is revealed in Gen. 6 when the tower of Babylon was being built and God confounded the language of the people so they couldn’t get anything done. When we see confusion of nations and the inability of nations to coexist in harmony – it is because if they did they would build a tower of Babel to defy the heavens themselves. Thus we see Satan warring against Satan as Babel (spirit of confusion) wars against Egypt (spirit of the world). We may not like what we see, but we realize that ultimately God rules over the nations and disposes of them as He wills, and we while the world shakes their fist and curses, we say “blessed be the name of the Lord”. It is the hand of God at work exercising His sovereignty among those nations that marginalized Him and discount Him as unworthy of their praises.
In verse 18 the prophet wails for Egypt because her downfall was unnecessary. You will remember that when Jacob and the patriarchs joined Joseph in Egypt, that the Pharaoh honored them and worshipped their God as the authentic God of the heavens. But Ex. 1:8 declares that a Pharaoh came on the scene that “knew not Joseph” and turned his heart against God and against God’s people. There are times that our national leaders remember the God of their fathers and defer to the mandates of the kingdom and honor the people of God. Then a leader comes along who defies the cross and militates against God’s people. That leader will plunge his nation into chaos, for God will not be mocked. As Psa. 33:12 tells us, “blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” but:
[Psa 9:17 KJV] 17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, [and] all the nations that forget God.
This is true whether it is an Islamic nation on the Arabian Peninsula or a nation in the Western World or the United States itself. The chapter concludes with a description of a graveyard of nations who came before Egypt and fell in great destruction because they defied the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These ghost nations are described as preparing Egypt’s grave as an innkeeper would make a bed to receive a guest and that the only comfort for the king of Pharaoh would be the black comfort in knowing he is not alone in his fate, but takes 1000’s with him to their doom. All of this describes what the New Testament describes as the world, the flesh and the devil and all systems arising from her that conduct themselves in opposition against His kingdom.
There are 5 verses in the New Testament that speak of the believer “overcoming the world”. The term world there is “kosmos” which means “a collection of harmonious systems, gathered together as a whole”. Jesus said the world loves and tolerates its own. We on the other had are to overcome the world (better described for us as “the world system”) at every point it pressures us to capitulate to compromise, lukewarmness and dispensing of our faith and standards of holiness in acquiescence to the status quo.
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