God gives Jeremiah a prophecy concerning Egypt’s future. He will judge them as truly as He judged Israel and Judah. And He will use the same ‘tools’ too.
We have seen bits and pieces of Egypt’s future in other prophecies shared by Jeremiah. This future won’t be like the time of Israel’s exodus. It will be a judgment on their gods and their kings; Pharaoh. It is for their own sins that this judgment comes. For God is God of the WHOLE earth, not just Israel and has a right to judge His creation.
The remnant of Judah that ran to Egypt are going to be punished for their disobedience too. God has already said that only a few of them would survive. We see in our reading that their God has NOT completely abandoned them. Their offspring will return to their home; in due time.
How many more of them would have survived if they had listened to the Lord and remained in their land? There is no way of knowing because this is not what happened. And, “if only” only goes so far.
Egypt and Israel were enemies for a long time. They became allies at one point for protection against “the north.” But Egypt was defeated and Judah ‘changed sides’ when Egypt was defeated. Egypt did NOT stand up again for Judah when they were attacked from the north. Egypt was probably busy licking its wounds and HOPING Nebuchadnezzar wouldn’t notice them again.
He would and he did. We don’t see the actual battles that resulted in Egypt’s defeat but we do see how complete it is to be. Memphis, her capitol city will suffer the same fate as Jerusalem. It “shall become a waste, a ruin, without inhabitant” (verse 19b). They WILL be taken captive. God even said for them to “prepare yourselves baggage for exile” (verse 19a).
Who is God bringing that can overpower Egypt with her natural defenses like thick forests surrounding her? The same one He used when conquering Judah; Nebuchadnezzar. They will be as numerous as the locusts and as impossible to drive back. Egypt’s forests will be cut down in the path of an advancing army.
But, just like Israel and Judah, Egypt’s captivity and subjugation will not last forever! God promises even her a “remnant” will return to the place they once held. Their home. I wonder how changed the returnees will be. Will they bring any gods back with them? Will they return to the gods they left behind? They won’t be able to save them from conquest. Will they be looking for new ones, or will they turn to THE Real God?
One verse in our reading stuck out to me. It is actually one line in that verse. Verse 25 speaks of the fact that God will be the one bringing punishment down on the people, her gods and her kings, AND “upon Pharaoh and those who trust in him” (verse 25b). Those of Judah who ran to Egypt, re CERTAINLY mentioned here as ones who trusted in Egypt. They will be going down right beside her. Egypt was NOT a safe choice! “If only…..”
Father God, I PRAY I don’t have any ‘Israel’ sized decisions in my near future. I’m pretty sure there will be SOME for me in the future. I PRAY for Your hand to steer me around or through them with love and care.