Let’s turn in our Bibles to Ezekiel chapter twenty nine.
Before we get into this study this evening, just a brief word concerning the events of this past week in the body of Jesus Christ. I’d like to say when one member suffers, they all suffer. We are suffering with David Hocking. We love him as a dear brother in Christ. We admire him as an instrument that has been used of God in a very wonderful and powerful way. I consider him a very dear, and close friend. I’ve been in personal contact with him this week, and I’m praying for him. I will rejoice to see him in the pulpit ministering God’s truth, and God’s word.
The Bible tells us, “If a brother be overtaken, if a brother be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such a one, in the spirit of meekness, considering yourselves, lest you also be tempted”. Truly restoration is the scriptural pattern. We should seek to pray for him. He is a broken man, who has been devastated by what has happened, and I believe that his ministry will be more powerful and committed than ever, as the result of these hardships that he’s gone through.
It is not mine to judge the actions of the board of the church. All I can say is if I should ever be guilty of such things, I would trust that my board would act in a different way. But my heart breaks. Do hold him up in prayer. He is a dear brother in Jesus Christ. Who knows what the future has? But I know that he is too good a man, too dedicated a servant of the Lord to be put on a shelf. I pray to see him returning quickly to that call of God, and that ministry of the teaching of the word of God, of which he is so good.
Now in Ezekiel chapter twenty nine, he dates this prophecy…
In the tenth year, of the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying (29:1),
This would be the tenth year of the reign of Zedekiah the king, and the tenth month. This would be the month of January. This is the time when in Israel the siege of Jerusalem had begun by Nebuchadnezzar. At this point, they were still hoping for help from the Pharaoh of Egypt. They were still looking to him to come with his army, and deliver them from the hands of the Babylonian king.
So it’s interesting that here is Ezekiel some four hundred and fifty miles away from the scene of Jerusalem, and yet he is like a reporter, reporting things that are taking place down in that area, though he was months away from hearing about those things. Communication was by word of mouth, and by posts, you know, or messengers who would come. But it was always a month or so later that they would hear about these things. But here was Ezekiel in Babylon, circling dates on the calendar, said, “This is the day that the siege began!” “Well how could he know that?”
So he declares that it was God’s word that came to him, that God was speaking to him. The fact that, as you put the scenes together, there was no way that he could know that these things were going on, on those particular days, and at those particular dates, unless it was God speaking to him. Then of course, over and over we find repeated that God is declaring, “so that they will know that I am the Lord”. The prophesies that were given of future events, when they then did happen, it was proof that it was God speaking. “They will know that I am the Lord, who spoke through the prophet.”
In a couple of chapters he, he speaks about that the time would come when they would know that a prophet had been in their midst. They didn’t pay that much attention to Ezekiel, except, “Oh he has a nice voice, and he says interesting things and all”, but the time would come that they would know that a prophet had been in their midst.
So here is Jerusalem expecting deliverance from Egypt, trusting in deliverance from Egypt. It was on the promise of help from Egypt that they were embolden to rebel against Babylon.
So son of man, set your face against the Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all of Egypt: Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God (29:2-3);
You can’t get away from it, the Bible over, and over affirms that it is the word of God, “this is what God has said, this is what God is declaring”.
Now that claim that the Bible makes of inspiration by God, “All scripture is given”, or, “is inspired by God and is profitable for rebuke and reproof”. That statement can be easily proved, or disproved. All you have to do is find a mistake, and it proves it’s not of God. All you have to do is find a prediction that didn’t come to pass, and you’ve got proof that it wasn’t from God. There have been men who have sought to disprove the Bible. They’ve worked hard at it! They have analyzed, scrutinized, studied it carefully to try to find some flaw, some proof that it wasn’t God speaking. But they haven’t been able to come up with any solid evidence. They’ve come up with theories and ideas, but no evidence. “Thus saith the Lord God”…
Behold, I’m against you Pharaoh king of Egypt, and the great dragon [Or crocodile, the Hebrew word allows the translation crocodile.] that lieth in the midst of his rivers, [Of course the Nile river did have these large crocodiles.] which hath said, [The Pharaoh which said,] My river is my own, I have made it for myself (29:3).
The kings in the ancient times often laid claim to deity. The Roman emperors, the name “Augustus, of the gods”, and the Roman empire where they forced people to say that, “Caesar is Lord”, and thus that claim. The Pharaoh is now saying, “You know the river is mine I made it for myself!” Claiming unusual powers. But God said…
I will put hooks in your jaws (29:4),
They used to catch the crocodiles by baiting large hooks with pigs, and they would throw them in the Nile. They used them to catch crocodiles. But landing them was quite an experience. It wasn’t an easy thing! Killing the crocodile was extremely difficult. So, “Even as you throw a hook and throw a pig into the Nile to catch your crocodiles, I’m gonna put hooks in your jaws”.
and I will cause the fish of your rivers to stick unto your scales, [As they would pull the crocodile out, of course there would be fish stuck to the scales of the crocodile, so, “I will let the fish stick to your scales”.] and I will bring you up out of the midst of your rivers, and all of the fish of your rivers shall stick unto your scales. And I will leave you thrown into the wilderness, you and all of the fish of your rivers: you shall fall upon the open fields; you shall not be brought together, nor gathered: for I have given you for meat to the beasts of the field and the fowls of heaven (29:4-5).
So the prophecy that the Egyptians are going to be defeated, going to be cast out into the fields, their bodies, their carcases. They will become food for the vultures and coyotes and other beasts of the field. “For when they took hold of you by”, let’s see, verse six…
And all of the inhabitants of Egypt shall know (29:6)
They’ll realize that when this judgment comes, that they are dealing with God. God’s judgment often times are God’s instrument to awaken people to the reality of God. When a judgment falls, you will know! A lot of times people challenge God, they challenge the existence of God. They go on just blaspheming God until real problems come, and then they want to call upon God. It’s interesting how many times even so called atheists make reference to God.
Now this judgment is going to come upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt…
because [verse six] they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel (29:6).
Or a broken staff The reeds that grew in the Nile river, looked sturdy. They looked like they would make a great crutch, or a great cane, a walking staff. Because people for the most part, walked wherever they went in those days, most everyone had a walking stick, or a walking staff. It was to help sustain you over rough terrain, an aid in hiking. A reed looked like it would make a great staff, but the problem with the reed is that it is so weak, if you put any weight upon it, it’ll just snap, it’ll break, and that was the case with Egypt. Jerusalem was trusting in the help of Egypt. They were trusting in the Pharaoh to come, and the Pharaoh did not save them. It turned out that as they came, he was defeated by the Babylonians, and thus he was a broken staff to Judah.
And when they took hold of you by your hand, you did break, and your tore their shoulder (29:7):
Thinking now of a crutch made of a reed, and you go to put your weight on it, and the thing, the crutch breaks and the reeds pierce your shoulder. They leaned on you, but you, you just fractured, and they were hurt. “You”…
when they leaned upon you, you broke, and you made all their loins to be at a stand (29:7).
So, “You failed in the time of real need to be of help unto them”. One thing the Bible does teach us is that we are to be considerate, and to be willing to help those who are in need. There are people who need support, they need encouragement. They’re going through difficult times.
No matter who you are, there come those times in life when you just need someone that you can pour out your heart to, that you can just dump on. Someone who won’t you know just castigate you, or you know, even try to tell you what you should’ve done. But someone who’ll just listen and sympathize. Someone who will listen with understanding, and with compassion, who will comfort, and we need that! A lot of times we go to lean on someone in those hours, and we find that they are not responsive. They turn on us, they, they say, “Well why did you do that you nut! Didn’t you realize…”, I don’t need that! I know I’m a nut for doing it! I know I was stupid, but I just need someone to say, “Oh, I’ll pray for you”.
They were leaning upon Egypt, they needed their help desperately. Egypt failed in that hour of crisis. So the word of the Lord, “Because of that, therefore, because you failed”.
Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will bring a sword upon you, and I will cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it (29:8-9).
So the indictment that God had basically, against Egypt, the Pharaoh, was his bragging, his pride. And, the fact that he failed to help the people of God, when they were in distress.
Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against your rivers, I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even to the border of Ethiopia (29:10).
Now the word “tower” in Hebrew is, “migdal”, and there was an Egyptian city named Migdol that was at the delta of the Nile river. It was one of the most northern cities of Egypt. The city of Syene was actually on the border of Ethiopia. You look at your maps, Bible maps, you find Syene was there at the border of Ethiopia. So it probably should be read, and this would be translated rather than, “tower of Syene”, which should read, “from Migdol to Syene even to the border of Ethiopia”. Speaking of the desolation of the whole land from the north to the south.
Now in speaking of the land of Israel, quite often they used the term, “from Dan to Beersheba”, whereas Dan was the most northern most major city in Israel, Beersheba was the major southern most city, you encompass the whole land. So this, “from Migdol to Syene”, was the same idea, the encompassing of the whole land, north to south. The whole land is going to be affected, and it will be desolate for a forty year period.
No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited for forty years (29:11).
Forty years interestingly enough, and you that are sort of fans of Chuck Missler, know that he is always finding these little interesting things with numerology. How that you know, so many times and the number of times is significant. Fascinating to get those little tidbits of information. It is true that numbers are symbolic in the scripture. The number forty scripturally is the number of judgment. How many days did it rain? Forty days, forty nights. It is in the scripture a number of judgment. How many years were the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness? Forty years.
So when you get the term “forty years”, you are dealing with God’s judgment. God’s judgment is going to be upon Egypt, and for forty years, the land is to be brought into a desolate state. Many of the Egyptians will be taken by the Babylonians as slaves, and they’re, they’re going to experience forty years of desolation, a number of judgment.
I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, her cities are among the cities that are laid waste they shall be desolate for forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them through the countries. [Which happened of course, when Nebuchadnezzar conquered the Pharaoh, and they took the captives, made slaves of them, and sold them throughout the nations.] Yet, thus saith the Lord God; At the end of the forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people where they have been scattered. And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, [Or bring them again from the captivity] and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom (29:12-14).
Egypt will never attain to, or achieve the greatness and the power that it had in the ancient world. It will be now one of the baser nations. It will never rise to world dominance, or world power.
It shall no more be the confidence of the house of Israel, [Israel will no longer rely upon Egypt for help, they’ll not look to Egypt for help, “they shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel”,] which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I am the Lord God (29:16).
Israel will put their confidence now in the Lord, not their confidence in Egypt. So Israel is to be better off as the result of it. “It’s better to put your trust in God than your confidence in man.” Keep your eyes on the Lord, man will always fail you. The Lord will never fail you! Let the Lord be your crutch, He’ll never fail, He’ll never break. You start leaning upon men, and you’ll find that man is a broken crutch.
And it came to pass (29:17)
Now you see, that’s, that’s the end of that particular prophecy, this next portion, interestingly enough, takes place some seventeen years later. So you’ve got a gap between verse sixteen and seventeen, of seventeen years. One difficulty that people have in reading the Bible and understanding the Bible is that, when we read a book of history, we usually, history is written in a chronological order, one event after another. You take the events of sixteen hundred, and then into seventeen hundred, and in eighteen hundred, and you follow a, a chronological order. But with the Bible, it, it is a collection really of the prophesies and so here they inserted this particular prophecy, though it came seventeen years later, they insert it here, right in this little area between what we have listed as chapters twenty nine and thirty. Here, the, a gap of time.
So by now, by now, seventeen years later, the prophesies against Tyrus have been fulfilled, that we had back a few chapters. Nebuchadnezzar has conquered Tyrus. Then he has gone down and completed the destruction of Egypt, the prophesies of the destruction of Egypt are now being fulfilled. It’s become desolate. So, “It came to pass”…
in the twenty seventh year, the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled: yet they had no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against them (29:17-18):
Now God had spoken by the other prophets, declaring that Nebuchadnezzar was His servant, and that he was doing the will of God. That God was using him as an instrument for God’s judgment against Israel, an instrument of God’s judgment against Tyrus, and here he is to be an instrument of God’s judgment against Egypt.
But in serving the Lord, as God’s instrument for judgment, he had served for thirteen years, in taking the city of Tyrus. During which time, the army grew older, the men became bald. Carrying these huge stones to make the mounds against the city, their shoulders were peeled, or bruised, or carrying the large stones.
After thirteen years of labor, as we mentioned in the prophecy that dealt with the destruction, chapter twenty six, what had happened is that the people of Tyre, during the time of the siege, gradually moved the city of Tyre to this island a half mile off shore. They moved all of the wealth and the riches out to the island. So that by the time Nebuchadnezzar conquered the city of Tyrus, there on the main land, the riches, the wealth was all gone. He got nothing for it. He came in and it was a very empty victory. Because usually, as you took a city, there were the spoils of war. You go in and rip off all the gold, and silver, and you know, you just take people’s possessions and everything else. That’s the, that’s the bounty for, for the war. But when he took Tyre, there was no bounty. They had transferred all of the wealth out of the city to this island city off shore. So thirteen years he had served the Lord in bringing the destruction against Tyre that had been prophesied. But he got no wages for it. So the Lord declares…
Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon; and he will take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and they shall be the wages for his army. [“So to give him the, you know, back wages that I owe him for taking Tyre, he’ll have the spoil of Egypt.”] I have given him the land of Egypt for his labour wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord God. In that day will I cause the horn (29:19-21)
“And, and so, they, they labored for me, they were doing my purposes, and my will.” Now this was a problem. When we get to the book of Habakkuk, we’ll find that this was a real problem for the prophet of God. He was in Judah, he had insight into the government, into the corruption, into the behind the scenes working of the leadership, and things were so totally corrupt, so evil, that he finally said, “Oh Lord please don’t let me see or know anything else! I can’t take it! All of this evil corruption that’s going on among these leaders, and God you’re not doing a thing about it! I would rather not even know. I can’t stand it, it’s too frustrating to know these things, and see you just sort of passively sitting by, not stopping it, not doing anything about it. So Lord, please don’t let me know anything else. I can’t take it.”
The Lord answered him, and said, “I am working a work, and if I told you what I was doing, your ears would tingle.” The Lord told him that He was going to bring the Babylonian army against Judah, and going, they were going to destroy Judah. He said, “Wait a minute Lord! How can you do that? Now we’re bad, yes I admit that! But they’re worse than we are! Why would you use a nation that is really more evil, more corrupt than we are to punish us?” It was a problem to the prophet that God would use Babylon as His instrument of judgment.
We don’t understand God’s ways. We don’t understand why God allows instruments of judgment that He sometimes uses. But yet, God is declaring that He was doing God’s work of judgment against these nations, and God was going to give him the wages for it.
Now the last verse again turns to the hope of the future of God’s people. You know throughout the Old Testament, as they are looking at the failure of the nation to be what God would have it to be, the failure of the people. As they painted those dark pictures of God’s judgment that was to come upon them, because of their sin, and their failures. Of the captivity, and of the things that were going to happen to them, always, always the story never ended in the darkness, but the Lord always came out to the light on the other side.
Many times we go through dark, and desperate experiences in life. We go through deep valleys. We go through floods that seemingly are overwhelming us. We think we’re going to drown in the midst of all of the chaos that’s going on around us. But it’s good to know that the end of the story for the child of God is, “And they lived happily ever after”. There’s always light at the end for the child of God. For the people of God there’s always that hope for the future. God never leaves it in the darkness of despair, but always points to the ultimate hope, and the ultimate victory of the kingdom of God.
So in that day [God’s future day.] I will cause the horn [And the horn is a symbol of power, “I will cause the horn, or the power”,] of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give you the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the Lord (29:21).
When God again restores the power unto His people.
Chapter thirty, the judgment against Egypt is continued.
The word of the Lord [And interestingly here, there is no date given for this particular prophecy, “The word of the Lord”] came again unto me, saying, [When, we’re not sure.] Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Howl ye, Woe worth the day! [They’re to howl about the woe of this day.] For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy [Or a dark] day, and it shall be the time of the heathen (30:1-3).
Now the “day of the Lord”, in scripture is often reference to the day of God’s judgment. The day in which God is going to judge. So the day of God’s judgment is coming upon Egypt. It’s called the day of the Lord, the day of God’s recompense. God said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord”. The Bible speaks much about the future judgment of this earth, of this world in which we live. That future judgment is called, “the day of the Lord”, and we read, “Woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, by reason of the judgments that are yet to come”. Here, God is declaring that, “they should declare the woe unto the day”, because the day of the Lord’s judgment is coming.
The sword shall come upon Egypt, great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down. [The great kingdom of Egypt is to be brought down.] Ethiopia, and Libya, Lydia, and all of the mingled people, and Chub, [Or, “Cub”, and we don’t know who or where they are, that’s the name that sort of defies the scholars.] and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword. [So not only is the destruction coming upon Egypt, but the surrounding nations of Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, and Chub.] And they shall be desolate, [Well, and verse six.] And thus saith the Lord; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; [Those that are in league with them.] and the pride of her power shall come down: from the Migdol [again] unto Syene they shall fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord God. [From the north to the south, it’s to be taken.] They shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted. [They will be counted as nations that have been made desolate.] And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all of her helpers shall be destroyed. [All of those who have joined in alliance with them.] And in that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid, and great pain shall come upon them, as in the day of Egypt: for, lo, it cometh. For thus saith the Lord God; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon. He and his people with him, the awesome of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with their slain (30:4-11).
God is going to use Nebuchadnezzar. Egypt is to be judged, is to be made a second rate power, people are to be taken captive. For forty years the land is to be desolate.
I will dry up the rivers, I will sell the land into the hand of the wicked: I will make the land a waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of the strangers: for I the Lord have spoken it. Thus saith the Lord God; [Again affirming over and over, this is God’s word, God has spoken it, “Thus saith the Lord God”,] I will also destroy the idols, I will cause their images to cease out of Noph; and there shall be no more prince in the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear into the land of Egypt. And I will [take Pathros, I will] make Pathros desolate, and I will set fire in Zoan, and execute judgments in No. And I will pour my fury upon Sin, the strength of Egypt; and I will cut off the multitude of No. [So these major cities of Egypt are to be destroyed, most of them around the delta area of the Nile river.] I will set a fire in Egypt: Sin shall have great pain, No shall be torn asunder, and Noph shall be in distresses daily. The young men of Aven and Pibeseth shall fall by the sword: and these cities shall go into captivity. At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of the Egyptians: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her darkness, and her daughters shall go into captivity. [Be sold as slaves.] And thus will I execute the judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I am the Lord (30:12-19).
Now this is destined, it’s predestined by God as a judgment against Egypt. Now with this judgment pending on Egypt, God knowing that the judgment is going to be coming upon Egypt, what is happening in Judah, is that after Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Jerusalem, and destroyed it completely, the remnant of the people that were left set up sort of a government again in the area of Jerusalem. They, they were trying to put things together. The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, had set a, another ruler over the land, but he was assassinated. They were fearful then that when Nebuchadnezzar heard that they had assassinated his assigned leader, that he would come back once more, and they would all be destroyed.
So they came to Jeremiah the prophet, and they said, “Inquire of the Lord for us and, and find out what we should do, you know we’re desperate! Whatever the Lord tells you, we will obey it. But give us the word of God, we need the help and the direction of God now. We’ll do whatever God tells us to do!” So Jeremiah prayed and the Lord spoke to Jeremiah, and told him to advise them, to just remain there, not to go to Egypt, but to remain there, and to just send letters to Nebuchadnezzar of the fact that they would just serve him, and they would not rebel. That the men who were guilty for the assassination of the leader were taken care of, and that they would submit unto Nebuchadnezzar. The men said to him, “The Lord didn’t tell you that!” And, and they said, “We don’t believe that, that’s what God said!” So they gathered the people together and they moved them down to Egypt. Jeremiah said, “The very place where you go to Tehaphnehes for, you know for escaping, refuge, in that very city, Nebuchadnezzar will set up his throne”. He warned them.
Now you see, God knew, God knows in advance what’s going to happen, and so God advises them. God will advise you, and does advise us. “His word is a lamp unto our feet, a light unto our path.” God knows what the future holds! God was trying to help them and to spare them from the tragedy that would befall them, because God knew that Egypt was also going to fall! Egypt was to be conquered by Nebuchadnezzar. God knew that. So God was trying to spare the men of Judah. “You can save yourselves just staying here. If you’d listen to God, you could be spared! If you don’t listen to God, you’re gonna be destroyed.” That’s sort of perennial through the centuries.
It’s true today. If you listen to God, your life can be spared. If you don’t listen to God you’re gonna be destroyed. How important it is to listen to God! They didn’t. They went to Egypt, and the interesting thing, in recent archeological diggings there at Tehaphnehes, they found actually these, these stones that were a part of the throne that Nebuchadnezzar had established there. God’s word came to pass. They’re fleeing to Egypt was a dreadful mistake, and God would’ve spared them that tragedy had they only listened to God.
God would spare us many tragedies, if we would only listen to the word of God! The heartache, the pain, the hurt, the misery, that we experience in life, comes mainly because we didn’t listen to God. We decided to do our own thing. We decided to follow our own flesh, our own fleshly desires. We did not heed the word of God, and the result is pain, suffering, sorrow, woe, misery.
I often get so upset with myself for not listening when God warns me about something. I try to be polite, and I say, “Well thank you Lord, I appreciate that. But I really don’t have any problem in that area, but it’s nice to know that you’re thinking about me, and I appreciate that”. Yet, those are the areas where I get tripped up, and I experience pain, suffering, and misery.
A classic example, I shared it before. Just not too long ago, I was removing a tree in my back yard with my little chain saw. As I was, I had felled the tree, and I was cutting the stump into manageable pieces. As I got out to the branches, cutting the branches, so I could put them in the garbage can, the branches were getting so small that they were bouncing, as I’d come down with the chainsaw, they’d just bounce. It wouldn’t cut them.
So I grabbed hold of the branch with my left hand, to steady it, so I could come down with the chainsaw. There was a definite, “That’s dangerous. You shouldn’t do that!”, pass through my mind. Ha, ha! I said, “Thank you I’ll be very careful. Appreciate the warning, but I’ll be careful.” So I came down, holding it, came down, and it bounced even in my hand. As it bounced, the chainsaw bounced right over, and took, I’ve got a neat little scar here, just the width of the chainsaw blade. Went right down to the bone, and blood started spurting out. I looked at that thing, and I said, “You stupid idiot!” “When are you gonna learn to listen?”
I wonder how many lessons does it take for a thick head like mine to get the message, to learn to listen when God speaks! God always warns us when there is pain, suffering, misery, heartache, that can result from our activities. If we will obey Him, and listen, we can avoid ourselves a lot of misery.
I think of the words of that song, “What a friend we have in Jesus!” That one stanza that says, “Oh what needless pain we bear! All because we do not carry every thing to God in prayer.” I think of, “Oh what needless pain we bear! Because we don’t listen when God is warning!” It’s just history, repeating itself.
So this next, beginning with verse twenty, is a prophecy that came to him a year after the prophecy in chapter twenty nine. Remember it came in the tenth year, the tenth month, the twelfth day of the month? Alright.
Now in the eleventh year, the first month, so it actually came just three months after the prophecy of chapter twenty nine. The Pharaoh has conquered now Jerusalem, 586. So…
It came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, the seventh day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt (30:20-21);
Now here’s what happened, actually, as he was in siege against Jerusalem, the Pharaoh did bring his army up to help Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar took the Babylonian army, and they left the siege of Jerusalem to go out and face the Egyptian army that was sent up by the Pharaoh. As they stopped the siege, and went to fight the Egyptians, the people in Jerusalem were all rejoicing. They said, “Oh we’ve, we’ve been delivered! Good thing we didn’t listen to Jeremiah! Good thing we didn’t pay attention to what he was saying the Lord was telling us. Because you know, now surely as he faces against the Egyptian army, he’s gonna be defeated.” It’s all, you know, great rejoicing. Even though the prophet of God had told them that it wasn’t gonna work.
So this is a prophecy that God gave to Ezekiel, because the people, news came back to Babylon, saying, “Oh the siege has stopped. They’re finally messing with the Egyptians. Now Babylon will be destroyed, and we’ll go home!” The prophets were saying, “No Egypt is going to be defeated.” He did defeat the Egyptian army, and came back then and finished the siege of Jerusalem, and destroyed Jerusalem later on in the same year.
So, “In the first month, the seventh day of the month”, 586, “the word of the Lord came to me and said, Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt”…
and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, [They’ll not put it in a cast to be healed.] or to put a roller [This roller is a reference to the cast, they used to, what we do today with broken bones and so forth, they’d cast it, so, “they would not put it in a roller”,] to bind it, [To hold it to where you can’t move it.] to make it strong and to hold the sword. [So that it can hold the sword.] Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against Pharaoh the king of Egypt, I will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken; and I will cause the sword to fall out of his hands. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, I will disperse them through the countries. And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh’s harms, and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly [or mortally] wounded man. But I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it out upon the land of Egypt. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, I will disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the Lord (30:21-26).
All of these things in order that people might come to realize that He is the Lord! The judgments of God are to cause people to realize that they have been sinning against God. He is the Lord, He is to be obeyed. You are to yield to Him. “And they will know that I am the Lord.”
So, Pharaoh is to be defeated, the power to be broken, his arms to be broken, a symbol of, of his defense would be taken away. He’ll not be able to hold the sword against Babylon, and they will be destroyed, and dispersed, and they will realize that it is God’s judgment that has come upon them. So prophesies against Egypt.
Father we thank You again for the fact that You have spoken. That You do speak, and that You seek to guide us Lord with Your wisdom, and with Your counsel. Oh Lord give us ears to hear what the Spirit would say to the church! May we be sensitive to the voice of God! Above all, may we be obedient! Lord guide us according to Your will, in Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7327