1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Adonai …. |
After over two hundred years in Egypt, the people of Jacob who had come in for refuge from the famine were very influenced by Egyptian ways and culture. Through the plagues, in plain sight of the Egyptians and of Israel God took on each one of the main gods of Egypt to show the world His ultimate superiority. This was a shock to Pharaoh, and a reminder to the people of Israel of the story they had heard about the God of their ancestors.
A parallel lesson unfolds for God’s people in the fifth century B.C.E. Israel had already been invaded by Babylonian Emperor Nebuchadnezzar and the poor that were left in the Land were governed by Gedaliah’s provisional government. A plot from Amon caused Gedalliah to be killed so the people feared Babylon’s reprisals. Against Jeremiah’s strong counsel from God, the people decided to flee to Egypt for refuge. Once there, they sought Pharaoh’s protection and prayed to Egyptian gods. Nebuchadnezzar was now coming after them in Egypt, which he was going to also destroy. In the forty-sixth chapter of the Book of Jeremiah, God shows that through Nebuchadnezzar, His mighty was again going to destroy the Egypt in which His children trusted. He takes aim and mocks the futility of the gods of Egypt who are unable to do stand up and protect. He says, 'Stand ready and be prepared, for the sword shall devour around you.' Why are your mighty ones (Egypt’s idols) face down? They do not stand because the LORD thrust them down. He made many stumble, and they fell, and they said one to another, 'Arise, and let us go back to our own people and to the land of our birth, because of the sword of the oppressor.' Call the name of Pharaoh, king of Egypt (and self-proclaimed god), 'Noisy one (he is noisy but is powerless) who lets the hour go by (he is not there in time of need)' (Jeremiah 46:13-17) .
And what shall we learn from these? It seems that the Father is on a constant crusade against the false gods of this world. No matter what He seems to do to show us His great power, we always seem to fall to the lure of the sensual and indulging gods of this world. As it was then, so it is today.
Today again He is calling us to leave ‘Egypt’ and to never return. He is calling us away from the gods of this world, but how can we enter the ‘Land’ with an unregenerate heart?
At a future time, the mighty El-Shaddai will return. This time He will destroy ‘Babylon’ (Revelation 17-18). He will also show His great power not only to His children but to the whole world. He will expose the vanity of mankind and bring His people from all over the world unto Him. May we be ready at that time. Let us take off from our ears the ear buds that fill us with the sounds of this generation. May we then be able to hear the call. May we then be clean from our idols, a bride without blemish consecrated unto Messiah.
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Rapture, Egypt, plagues, idolatry, disobedience, Jeremiah, Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar,