BLESSED BE EGYPT
Isaiah 19:23 In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. 24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: 25 Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
“Blessed be Egypt my people,” – strange words to the mind of the serious bible student! For Egypt has always been a picture of the world – not the people of God! They were those who kept the Lord’s people in severe labor and bondage! They were the ones who drowned the male babies of Israel in the Nile! (Ex. 1:22). They were the ones who greatly benefitted from God’s Joseph, whom the Lord sent among them to save their lives from the harsh famine that gripped their entire world! But then there arose a Pharaoh who knew not Joseph! (Ex. 1:8). Nevertheless, there it is in the inspired record! “Blessed be Egypt my people!”
A second reason that these words are so strange is that the intention of God to save Gentiles was a mystery, hidden from the foundation of the world! This was not made known until after the resurrection of our Lord and the sending of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles!
Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:
You remember that even the Apostle Peter, the spokesperson of Pentecost, had a very hard time accepting Gentiles. The Lord had to take him to Prejudice School on the roof top of Simeon the tanner, by letting down a sheet full of clean and unclean animals to him three times! (Acts 10:16). Even after all this, when he got to the first Gentile to whom the gospel was to be preached, he just had to tell Cornelius, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. (Acts 10:28).
Yet another reason for it’s strangeness to our ears is due to our inability to separate God’s dealing with a nation from God’s dealing with the elect of that nation! And Scofield-ism has had a very great influence in this! For the Scofield “Bible” has been the punishment of a strong delusion released upon the religious realm due to a turning from salvation by grace alone, to justification by works! It has also greatly diminished the belief of Christ’s present reign and sovereignty!
For due to his dispensationalism, when we read, And so all Israel shall be saved: (Rom. 11:26), we tend to think this means the entire nation of Israel! But then we read in Rom. 9:6, Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: And also the Apostle Paul (himself an Israelite), states in Romans 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. 4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And then he refers to those who are new creatures in Christ as the Israel of God! (Gal. 6:16.)
If we would carefully read the first ten verses of our Isaiah 19 chapter, we should not think to have our eyes ever fall upon the words, “Egypt my people!” For in those verses we clearly see God’s wrath and destruction falling upon National Egypt! In these verses there is no hope for them given forth!
But then in verses 18 through 22 of our chapter everything changes! Grace appears! Mercy is extended! God-accepted worship occurs! And none can worship the Lord in spirit and in truth except those that the Father seeks! (John 4:23,24). For God only saves sinners! He doesn’t save Jews, as Jews! He saves sinners! God doesn’t save upper middle class, conservatives! He saves sinners! God doesn’t save politically correct Americans! He saves sinners! 1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Would to God that present day conservative religion would vacate the halls of politics and return to the spirit and mind of the church! One tends to hear more of Limbaugh and Obama than of the Lord Jesus Christ among them!
For it is those who are blinded in religious tradition, which causes them not to become realized, confessed sinners, to have no hope of salvation! John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. It is only those who confess, “I was blind,” who can now sing of Amazing Grace, and state, “but now I see!”
Let us now look at verses eighteen through twenty two that shows God’s mercy and salvation towards elect Egyptians.
But first let us recall the new song of the redeemed in Revelation 5:9. Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; The Lamb is to be praised for shedding his blood to redeem souls “out of EVERY people and nation!” His blood was shed not to save all men, without exception; but all kinds of men without distinction!
And let us remember that the Spirit through Peter calls the church, “an holy nation!” The church is God’s nation! 1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Read also Ephesians chapter two to see how the cross tore down all distinctions between nationalities to build for God an holy habitation through the Spirit!
Isaiah 19:18 In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction. Here the Lord instructs that he shall save five out of six cities of Egyptians! Only one out of six cities shall he allow to go into destruction!
Isaiah 19:19 In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD. The rule of evidence that the Lord gave John in Revelation 11:1 of the true church is worship! And this verse informs us that the elect Egyptians shall both have “an altar” – which is Christ (Heb. 13:10), and not the steps that go up to our pulpits! – and “a pillar” of acknowledgement that the Lord is their God! (See Gen. 28:18-22).
Isaiah 19:20 And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. Here these Egyptians are shown to have one source of protection and hope! All their security is to be found in the God-sent Savior and Deliverer! He is their Great Deliverer! Their Savior is the only Savior for all kinds of men! For there is none other name given among men whereby they must be saved! (Acts 4:12).
Isaiah 19:21 And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it.
There will be a mutual acquaintance between the Lord and the Egyptians! And to know God IS salvation! John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Isaiah 19:22 And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them. This verse gives us one of the strongest evidences that these individual elect Egyptians are truly the children of God! For chastisement is exclusively limited to the Lord’s sons! Every son gets it! Not one son is without it! Therefore since these have it, they are most certainly the children of God!
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
We must get back to the spiritual mind-set of Christ! We must strive to removed the image of the beast from us in these dark, apostate days! We must understand that YOU CAN’T LEGISLATE RIGHTEOUSNESS! We must get back to seeking the Lord who alone quickens sinners! Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Listen at the power of the Spirit in regeneration. Zechariah 9:6 And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. 7 And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite. While this Gentile even has the blood of his abominable sacrifice between his teeth, the Lord, by sovereign grace alone changes him into a prince and governor in Judah!
While the heart has demonic satisfaction in the consumption of iniquitous sacrifices, God makes that pass away making all things new by the imputation of the righteousness of God! 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
And Ekron, the city which was the home of Baalzebub (2 Kings 1:3,6), shall be like the Jubusites who first inhabited Jerusalem, but later merged into Israelite society!
In Acts chapter two we read that there were seventeen different nations gathered together in one accord in one place! And if you care to read down the list you will discover in verse ten, that there were “dwellers in Egypt” assembled there by the Holy Spirit to hear the first gospel message! Bro. Gene.
“Elect from every nation,
Yet one o’er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.”
Samuel J. Stone, 1839-1900.