28th December 2008, mgh
This Article: (6 Pages)
3) Nations and Judgment
Throughout history nations have risen and fallen and many have been subject to God's punishment and judgment. These nations include Egypt, Babylon, Tyre, Moab, Amon and Idumea.
Egypt Judged until today
The prophets make mention of Egypt on a number of occasions. The most well known event was when the Israelites escaped out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses.
For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. (Exodus 12:12)
A later prophecy in Ezekiel states that Egypt would always remain a base nation. The early glory and greatness of Egypt would be replaced by Egypt's subjection to other nations as history has shown. From the time of the Greek and Roman Empires to the French and British dominance of the twentieth century, it can be affirmed that Egypt has been a base nation and has not ruled over other nations.
And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, 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. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations (Ezekiel 29: 12-15)
Ezekiel again describes the fate of Egypt and its desolation. The power and pride of Egypt would be broken.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Howl ye, Woe is the day! For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the nations. And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and 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.
Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword. Thus saith the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord GOD. And 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. And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed. (Ezekiel 30: 2-8)
The Nations destroyed by God
Some ancient nations, that today most people remain in ignorance of, were condemned by God to judgment and desolation. Their sins included idolatry and their agression against ancient Israel. Amon, Moab and Idumea are specifically named in the following quotations.
For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. For the LORD hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea....And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness. For it is the day of the LORD'S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.(Isaiah 34:5-8)
Behold, therefore I will deliver you to the men of the east for a possession, and they shall set their palaces in thee, and make their dwellings in thee: they shall eat thy fruit, and they shall drink thy milk. And I will make Rabbah a stable for camels, and the Ammonites a couchingplace for flocks: and ye shall know that I amthe LORD.
For thus says the Lord GOD; Because thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel; Behold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shall know that I am the LORD. ...
And I will execute judgments upon Moab; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because that Edom hath dealt against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and hath greatly offended, and revenged himself upon them; Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also stretch out mine hand upon Edom, and will cut off man and beast from it; and I will make it desolate from Teman; and they of Dedan shall fall by the sword. (Ezekiel 25: 4-7, 11-13)
The maritime power of Tyre was destroyed. Its great wealth had resulted in its powerful position as a trading nation and God brought judgment on Tyre for its pride and its belief in its greatness and invincibility. The destruction of Tyre occurred in two stages through the invasion of Babylonian and later Greek armies.
Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God: Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from you: With your wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures: By your great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God;
Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness. They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shall die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas. Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee. Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.(Ezekiel 28: 2-10)
Babylon, once believed by the doubters to be a mythical city found only in the Bible, was discovered by archaeologists in the twentieth century. This once great and powerful city had been immersed in idolatry. It had oppressed and spoiled other nations and in turn was spoiled. The nation was judged by God and the once great city was destroyed.
Thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hinders...Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirs up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Yet thou shall be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? ... For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts. The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: (Isaiah 14: 4-17. 22-24)
The prophet Jeremiah also writes of God's judgment that would come on Babylon.
Wherefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will do judgment upon her graven images: and through all her land the wounded shall groan. Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength,
yetfrom me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the LORD. A sound of a cry cometh from Babylon, and great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans: Because the LORD hath spoiled Babylon, and destroyed out of her the great voice; when her waves do roar like great waters, a noise of their voice is uttered: Because the spoiler is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, every one of their bows is broken: for the LORD God of recompences shall surely requite. And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty men: and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.
The "perpetual sleep" is eternal death
Thus says the LORD of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire (Jeremiah 51: 52-58)