Do you know someone like this, or are you a person like this? He is the person everyone turns to in times of trouble. He can always provide what it is someone needs, be it a job, protection, or anything. He is there offering his services and never lets people see the invisible strings attached. But they are there and accepting his seemingly generous offers lift the person up out of trouble and into servitude and subjugation. He lords his goodness, never forgets a debt and always overlooks the good done for him. He is a bully. The help he offers never really pans out like he promised.
That was who Egypt was. Especially to smaller, weaker nations in need. Israel had turned to Egypt many times and Egypt had helped, then turned on Israel making her slaves. Egypt offered help and would then go back on that offer like Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown then pulling it away when he tried to kick it.
Chapter 29 verses 6-7 describe it like this,
“Then all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the Lord.
“Because you have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel, 7 when they grasped you with the hand, you broke and tore all their shoulders; and when they leaned on you, you broke and made all their loins to shake.”
Egypt was prideful over its wealth, strength, and even its geography and beauty. The Pharaohs considered themselves gods. They worshipped idols. But the Lord was going to send Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Egypt, kill Pharaoh, and scatter the population. Chapter 30 verses 10-13 read,
“Thus says the Lord God:
“I will put an end to the wealth of Egypt,
by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
11 He and his people with him, the most ruthless of nations,
shall be brought in to destroy the land,
and they shall draw their swords against Egypt
and fill the land with the slain.
12 And I will dry up the Nile
and will sell the land into the hand of evildoers;
I will bring desolation upon the land and everything in it,
by the hand of foreigners;
I am the Lord; I have spoken.
13 “Thus says the Lord God:
“I will destroy the idols
and put an end to the images in Memphis;
there shall no longer be a prince from the land of Egypt;
so I will put fear in the land of Egypt.”
That is exactly what happened. After Tyre agreed to Babylonian rule to end a thirteen year siege, Nebuchadnezzar set his sights on Egypt. He killed Pharaoh, and in their attempts to fight back the Egyptians ended up scattered among many nations for forty years. After that Egypt was never as great as it had once been. Chapter 30 verses 25-26 read,
“I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh shall fall. Then they shall know that I am the Lord, when I put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he stretches it out against the land of Egypt. 26 And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
Pharaoh thought he was above reproach, too strong to be conquered, too rich to lose his position, too great to suffer at anyone else’s hands. His pride was so immense he believed the fallacy that he was a god. But God said, ‘Hey, remember Assyria? They were once a great nation. No other nation was as mighty, beautiful, or rich. No other nation was a perfectly positioned. Even the lush beauty in Eden couldn’t compare to Assyria. I made it. And because Assyria forgot who made them I let them be destroyed. Now they are nothing. I will not let them rise again. And I will not let any nation think they are as great as I am.” (Chapter 31).
Pharaoh was that full of himself. His pride made him believe that he was a god and that Egypt was Nirvana. But the One Holy God said when other nations considered Egypt and especially Pharaoh they would cringe. Chapter 32 verses 9-12 read,
“I will trouble the hearts of many peoples, when I bring your destruction among the nations, into the countries that you have not known. 10 I will make many peoples appalled at you, and the hair of their kings shall bristle with horror because of you, when I brandish my sword before them. They shall tremble every moment, every one for his own life, on the day of your downfall.
11 “For thus says the Lord God: The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon you. 12 I will cause your multitude to fall by the swords of mighty ones, all of them most ruthless of nations.
“They shall bring to ruin the pride of Egypt,
and all its multitude shall perish.”
Egypt joined Assyria, Elam, Meshech-Tubal, Edom, and the Sidonians in falling from pride to conquered humiliation and nothingness. Chapter 32 verses 31-32 read,
“When Pharaoh sees them, he will be comforted for all his multitude, Pharaoh and all his army, slain by the sword, declares the Lord God. 32 For I spread terror in the land of the living; and he shall be laid to rest among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword, Pharaoh and all his multitude, declares the Lord God.”
Pride is a dangerous trait. It sneaks in and takes hold. It leads us to forget who made us who we are and take credit for it ourselves. Our talent comes from God. Although we must practice and develop it, the ability is from God. Our beauty and health is from God. We must choose wisely to maintain our health, God gave it to us. Our wealth is from the Lord. We must make the right decisions and manage it properly, it all comes from God.
Do not let pride overtake you. Pride can swell the ego to the point that one thinks other people need him instead of God. It can make him try and do the Lord’s job. It is he who will provide to the weak and needy. But unlike the Lord whose provision is never-ending because His supply is infinite, his help comes at a cost. He gives without grace and when he receives there is no reciprocation.
There are many who fell far because pride had lifted them so high. Do not be among them comforted by the great numbers who mistook themselves for gods, who forgot the Author and Giver. Remember where your help comes from. Lead people to Jesus not to you.