Monday, June 6, 2016

nothing but a bunch of has-beens

(by Pastor Joe)
The Word for today: Ezekiel 29 & 30
mark this: Ezekiel 29:15 --
It shall be the most lowly of the kingdoms, and never again exalt itself above the nations. And I will make them so small that they will never again rule over the nations.
Egypt, in the Bible, is the equivalent of the Detroit Lions.
What do I mean?
Well, Detroit had a great start. They are one of the earliest teams in the NFL, with legendary players and a rich history that included 4 championships.
But in the past 52 seasons, they have made the playoffs 9 lousy times, winning only one playoff game. They are one of four teams that has yet to make it to the Superbowl (and the other three are expansion teams that came into the league in 1995 or later). In the past 52 years, they have the worst winning percentage of any team that's been in the league. More recently, they have lost 37 of their last 40 games, including the pitiful 2008 season when they won a grand total of zero games.
But they are still in the NFL.
Egypt, as seen in today's passage and verified in history, has many eerie similarities.
It too was an ancient culture with a rich history. For thousands of years, it was a dominant world power. They ruled the Nile and, because of that, the surrounding areas. That's no small potatoes. To put it this way, Egypt was a key player longer than Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome combined.
That is what makes the prophecy in 29:15 more striking. Ezekiel proclaims a bold prediction that no one of that time would believe. Egypt would remain a nation, but never again would it be any kind of a real power. It's kind of like a person from Tibet predicting that China would no longer be a world power -- presumptuous at best, if not utterly ridiculous.
But what of the prediction?
Suffice to say that Egypt has gone the way of the Detroit Lions. Instead of being the top dog, they, for the last 2500+ years since Ezekiel's time, have become a nation near the bottom of the standings. They have been subjugated by famous historical figures (i.e. Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, Augustus Caesar, Napoleon) and the not so famous. They, since the time of that prophecy, have been ruled by the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Muslim Arabs, the Ottomans, the French and the British. They are still a nation with a ton of history, but they have yet to "rule over" any nation. Don't count on it happening anytime soon.
In fact I see the Lions winning the Superbowl as far more likely.
What does this mean to us?
Well to start, it means that God's word is never void. Already in Ezekiel, we have seen radical prophecy against three superpowers (Babylon, Tyre & Egypt). In history, we have seen radical fulfillment of those predictions (see the blogs from yesterday and from May 5). And while we might not be able to always fully understand 100% of God's Word and promises, we can be 100% sure that "it is impossible for God to lie" (1) and "Scripture cannot be broken" (2).
Remember, the promises that God makes and keeps apply to both nations and individuals. God's Word is not only reliable for this life, it's the only thing 100% air-tight.
So the next time you see anything related to the Detroit Lions, remember Egypt, and more importantly, the God behind the Word.
(1) Hebrews 6:18 (2) John 10:35

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