In the first installment of Egypt’s Exodus I put forth the idea: Chaos— confusion is the new normal. Learn to anticipate so you can adapt. Keep your eyes focused on the reward— Christ’s return and eternal reign. In the second installment I explored the birth pains of civil unrest and ineffective, unrighteous problem solving strategies.
This chaos— confusion I believe is a sign of the birth pains that Jesus said would precede His return. Jesus warns us in Matthew 24 and Mark 13 that devastation will envelope the earth before His return. War, famine, economic upheaval, plagues, natural disasters, and animal attacks will increase in frequency and intensity. Although there will be times of peace— rest, the time between catastrophic events will diminish over time.
Isaiah 19—a messianic chapter of Egypt’s birth pains prior to Christ’s return, outlines both Papa’s judgment and salvation of Egypt. Although a prophecy for the country of Egypt, it has prophetic implications for the entire world.
Today I’ll dissect verses 4-10.
PERSECUTION AND MARTRYDOM
“I will hand Egypt over to a hard, cruel master. A fierce king will rule them,” says the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. (Verse 4)
I believe this fierce king is the antichrist— the antithesis of Christ. Although he won’t conquer and rule all nations, his evil, cruelty and demonic power will permeate all nations.
The beast— the antichrist will shout insults against God, blaspheming His name, cursing His dwelling and those who live in heaven. Also it received permission to declare war against the saints and conquer them. Not a single nation, people, language or ethnicity could escape its dominion. The inhabitants of the earth will worship it— that is, all those whose names have not been recorded before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.
Let the person who is able to hear, listen carefully. If someone is destined for captivity, a captive he will be. If someone is destined to die by the sword, by the sword he will die. The endurance and faithfulness of the saints will be tested here. Revelation 13:6-10
Yes, even Papa’s elect— His disciples will be martyred. The tribulation will be unparalleled— hardships of a magnitude that has not been seen since creation and that will not be seen again. Indeed the Lord God your merciful judge will cut this time of trial short, and this will be done for the benefit of the elect that some might indeed be saved. For no one could survive the depravity for very long. Matthew 24:21-22
The waters of the Nile will fail to rise and flood the fields. The riverbed will be parched and dry. The canals of the Nile will dry up, and the streams of Egypt will stink with rotting reeds and rushes. All the greenery along the riverbank and all the crops along the river will dry up and blow away.
The fishermen will lament for lack of work. Those who cast hooks into the Nile will groan, and those who use nets will lose heart. There will be no flax for the harvesters, no thread for the weavers. They will be in despair, and all the workers will be sick at heart.(Verses 5-10)
Weather related disasters have a ripple effect on all aspects of life. “At least 207 natural disasters were recorded globally in the first six months of 2020 — this is above the 21st century average (2000-2019) of 185 disasters. The number of events exceeded average in all regions except the Americas.
There was an increase of at least 27 per cent in natural disasters recorded during the same time in 2019. Between January and June 2019, at least 163 natural disasters were recorded.” (More than 200 natural disasters across world in 1st half of 2020)
“Environmental pressures continue to negatively impact peace. The IEP’s Ecological Threat Register indicates that 27 per cent of countries will face catastrophic water stress and 22 per cent catastrophic food stress by 2050.
The report also indicates that there were an estimated 2.26 billion people living in areas with high or very high exposure to climate hazards in 2019, with 1.24 billion of these people already living in countries with low levels of peace. By 2050 climate change is expected to create up to 143 million migrants globally, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa (86m), South Asia (40m) and Latin America (17m).” (Global Peace Index: Global Peacefulness Falls With Sustained Rise in Civil Unrest in the Last Decade and Is Set to Worsen as Economic Impact of COVID-19 Takes Hold)
Now I’m sure of this. The sufferings we endure now are not even worth comparing to the glory that is coming and will be revealed in us. For all of creation is waiting, yearning for the time when the children of God will be revealed.
You see, all of creation has collapsed into emptiness, not by its own choosing but by God’s. He placed within it a deep and abiding hope that creation would one day be liberated from its slavery to corruption and experience the glorious freedom of the children of God. For we know that all creation groans in unison with birthing pains up until now.
There is more. It’s not just creation. All of us are groaning together too. Though we have already tasted the first fruits of the Spirit. We are longing for the total redemption of our bodies that comes when our adoption as children of God is complete. For we have been saved in this hope and for this future.
But hope does not involve what we already have or see. For who goes around hoping for what he already has? But if we wait expectantly for things we have never seen, then we hope with true perseverance and eager anticipation. Romans 8:18-25
TO BE CONTINUED…