Pharaoh, king of Egypt, considered himself “a lion of the nations.” Instead he was more like “a dragon in the seas,” muddying the water wherever he trampled with his feet. Like the serpent of old who offered Jesus the kingdoms of this earth if the Son of God would only worship him, Pharaoh had fouled the world with his arrogance.
God would soon put an end to Pharaoh’s days under the sun. “I will throw my net over you.” The Lord promised that on the day of Pharaoh’s demise, there would be visible indications in the heavens confirming that it was the Almighty who had brought the tyrant’s reign to an end. As with the plagues upon the nation of Egypt so many centuries earlier, God would “put darkness on your land.”
The events of Pharaoh’s destruction would be a divine message not only for Egyptians but also for many other distant people groups. They would hear the story of the fall of Egypt, and they would “tremble every moment, every one for his own life.” God would “bring to ruin the pride of Egypt.” This account of international history was so important that the Lord said it would be known and even “chanted” by “the daughters of the nations.”
God would send Pharaoh and many Egyptians “down to the pit.” Sheol, the society of the dead, was more than just a physical grave. It was the realm beyond this mortal life where souls from various lands would take notice of the fall of Egypt.
Many who had once been high and lofty now lived in Sheol in their defeated condition. Assyria, Elam, Meshech-Tubal, Edom, and the Sidonians were mentioned by the Lord. These had spread terror during their years in “the land of the living.” Egypt would soon join them below, and bear “shame with those who” were no longer alive.
All these varied ancient people groups were noted as “the uncircumcised.” They did not have the Old Testament mark of covenant relationship with Jehovah on their flesh. The ultimate indication of God’s ownership of His beloved servants would be more than that which was outwardly visible. Jeremiah 9:26 gives the fuller story: “Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert… are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.” Ezekiel 44:7 mentions both the visible and invisible with the words “uncircumcised in heart and flesh.”
We need to be touched by God with an anointing from above. We also must not neglect the outwardly visible New Testament sacrament of water baptism in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Baptism alone as administered by the church is ultimately insufficient to defeat the guilt and shame that comes from giving in to the outrage of ungovernable pride. We need Jesus and the work of the Spirit of God. Only Christ’s humble life and His sacrifice on the cross can taken away our punishment. By the proclamation of His resurrection we have found a safe resting place for our faith in the Lord of Life.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Great King of the Nations, You do not fear powerful men. Though they rail against You and persecute Your children, You can capture them and destroy them in a moment. You have a plan for every tribe on earth and great blessing for Your church. The Lord Jesus Christ is the King and Head of Your people. He is alive forever. When everything seems to be lost, You are still God. You will certainly accomplish all of Your holy will. What will it be like when the Day of Judgment comes? What will happen to those who have spread their terror everywhere? Father, we pray for the salvation of people from every nation. Bring the message of hope to the remotest ends of the earth. The trouble ahead for those who will go down to the pit will be beyond anything that we can imagine. Grant many people ears to hear the truth of Christ.