Ezekiel 29-32
(Cattle Will Not Be Coming Home)
September 3rd

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

I will destroy also all the beasts thereof from beside the great waters; neither shall the foot of man trouble them any more, nor the hoofs of beasts trouble them.

- Ezekiel 32:13 (KJV)

Summary of Chapters

These four chapters conclude the section of prophecies against other nations. Today's chapters focus on Egypt and its leader, the Pharaoh. In chapter 29, the LORD rebukes the Pharaoh for claiming that he made the Nile River and depicts Egypt as a fish that will be pulled out of the water, along with all the other little fishes that have depended on it. All of them will be left to die on dry land.

The LORD compares Egypt to a weak and splintery reed that could not bear the weight of the needs of its former ally, Israel (including Judah). The LORD plans to send a sword of judgment to scatter the Egyptian people among the nations. After 40 years he will allow them to return, but Egypt will never again recapture its former glory.

Chapter 30 is titled a lament for Egypt. The LORD names all of the allies of this nation that will fall down with her. He also identifies the king of Babylon as the instrument of justice. The LORD describes the devastation that will occur in each of the major cities, such as Memphis, Heliopolis, and Bubastis.

In chapter 31, the LORD draws a parallel between Egypt and Assyria, which was also once a mighty nation. Assyria towered higher than other nations, like a mighty cedar in a forest. Living things gathered in and around it. Nothing was comparable. But it was proud and arrogant, so the LORD allowed it to be chopped down by a ruthless enemy (Babylon). Never again would the LORD allow another nation ď Ďto tower proudly on high, lifting their tops above the thick foliageí (Eze 31:14 - NIV).Ē

The LORD addressed Egypt and the Pharaoh, which also towered high above other nations, and warned that it too will fall.

Chapter 32 is a final lament, this time directed at the Pharaoh. He notes that the Pharaoh is like a lion, ruling over the jungle, but he will soon become food for the other beasts. All his minions, cattle, and anything else of value will be stripped away. Egypt will join the other nations in the grave.

Reflection and Application

Mistake #1 on the part of this Pharaoh was to take credit for something that God did. Perhaps he didnít think anyone would challenge him on the claim that he had created the mighty Nile, as recorded in chapter 29, verse 3. Itís preposterous isnít it? Now, letís do a self-audit: What have we taken credit for lately, and who really deserves the credit?

The verse, ďThen they will know that I am LORD,Ē appears repeatedly in these prophecies and in other parts of Ezekiel. Itís like a refrain to a song, reminding the audience that the purpose of these disasters is not to make people suffer, but to teach the world who is in charge.

When these nations had a little bit of success they started to think that they were absolute rulers over their part of the world and could do as they please. God allowed this for some time, but not forever. Can God still do that today? Could God take down any nation or leader on earth? Could he use one nation as an instrument against the other? Could he use a flood or natural disaster to cleanse a population?

If we believe it happened in Ezekielís day, then we must believe it can happen in our era. God is no less powerful today than in those times. The inventions of modern technology are but a gadfly to him. Notice how hurricanes and earthquakes can destroy in minutes what took humans decades to build. Has he intervened in this way recently? Some people claim that some of the events of this century were the work of God to punish us for our sins, but itís not so clear that itís true. Whether that is true or not we ought to recognize that God has ultimate power and then use our own powers and abilities with humility and justice for all.

When we think of the power of one individual leader we can see a multitude of examples of where arrogant leaders were brought to an end. Some led democratic nations and were pushed out by the political process. Others were dictators and were driven out by their own people or by intervening armies. Some dictators continue to rule and oppress their people, but their time is limited, even if it seems endless by human terms, and they will pay a price one day.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

Related Questions

  1. What is the most impressive thing you ever created?
  2. What type of intervention do you believe that God has had, if any, in recent natural disasters or political and military battles?
  3. What intervention would you like to see from God today?

Recommended Prayer
Father in heaven, we know that you are LORD. Help us to give you proper credit and use our powers and abilities wisely

Suggested Prayer Concerns
Cattle farmers

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow's reading: Ezekiel 33-34 (The Watchman)

Comments and Questions
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