Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Ezekiel 29: The Broken Reed

After excoriating Ammon, Moab, Edom, Philistia, Tyre and Sidon, it is Egypt's turn to come under the withering glare of the prophet.
Chapter 29 contains Ezekiel's rebuke to Pharaoh and the warning that Babylon's forces are coming against his and will prevail.  Then the prophet criticizes Egypt for its betrayal of Judah: "Then all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the Lord because you were a staff of reed to the house of Israel; when they grasped you with the hand, you broke, and tore all their shoulders; and when they leaned on you, you broke, and made all their legs unsteady" (vs. 6 and 7).

The problem was that Judah had been relying on Egypt for protection from Nebuchadnezzar's armies.  In their hour of need, the Jews turned to the Egyptians rather than God - and Egypt abandoned them.

Astute readers of the Bible will remember that Egypt has been called a broken reed before.  In Isaiah 36:6 (and also II Kings 18:21), we read, "See, you are relying on Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him."  These words were spoken by the Rabshekah of Assyria.  Even then, Judah's backup plan had been to rely on Egypt for deliverance.  But Egypt never truly came through for Judah; it was always God who truly had their back.

Don't let anyone else serve as a "broken reed" to you.  Put your full reliance and trust in the Lord.  He is mighty to save, strong to deliver!

No comments:

Post a Comment