February 11th 2011 will do down in history as the day that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down. This event will begin a new era in the Middle East. Although the public protests that caused Mubarak to resign seemed relatively peaceful, the future of Egypt and the Middle East will not be peaceful and calm. Egypt’s immediate future will bring God’s judgment upon the nation, but God’s ultimate plan for Egypt will bring God’s blessings and prosperity on the land.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has finally stepped down; more than two weeks after the protests that began January 25th 2011 and which launched a flood of unrest and public protests to remove the president from power.
From the beginning, the revolution in Egypt was propelled by the use of social media and recent events in Tunisia. It at least partly began on Facebook with the creation of Facebook groups that gained hundreds of thousands of members and promoted the early protests in Cairo.
Subsequently, the government blocked Face book and Twitter and eventually shut down Internet access completely. And with the outside world following the unfolding revolution online, political leaders and others, including Twitter, spoke out against the violence and freedom of expression issues at risk. But even a government shut down couldn't keep the news from flowing. Twitter and Face book users found ways to work around the blackout. Though, eventually access was completely restored in Egypt.
History Unfolds In Egypt
The events in Egypt served as a flash point for journalists on the ground, too. For perhaps one of the first times in history, history itself has been recorded instantaneously, as reporters took to Twitter to share 140 updates and personal stories from the protests. The messages provided a stark reality to readers in the outside world, especially as the protests turned violent and police turned on journalists -- the very people many of us outside the country were following.
But Al Jazeera had its "CNN Moment," and although it couldn't reach viewers in the U.S. by cable television, it found a way to viewers -- on YouTube. The network live streamed Mubarak's public address But Al Jazeera's comprehensive coverage put it on the radar for U.S. and world viewers and it created a campaign to bring its English-language network into the picture.
Images of the turmoil spread around the world via Flicker and YouTube. Al Jazeera made its images and its word reached an even broader audience around the world. Without a doubt, social media, mobile devices and the web have brought the stories from Egypt closer to home. And conversely, the events in Egypt have shown the strength of these tools for both organizing and informing people. The Egyptian people and reporters alike found ways to share their messages even when the government tried to stop them. Using proxy sites, third parties and other tools they were able to continue sharing news with those of us on the outside. And at the same time, the rest of the world found ways to use tech to disseminate information.
The Prophecy of Isaiah 19
Isaiah 19:1 The burden (Massa, Heavy declaration) against Egypt. Behold, the LORD rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt; the idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, and the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst. NKJV
The bible has much to say about Egypt. In fact Egypt is mentioned more than seven hundred and forty times in scripture which gives us some indication of the important role that Egypt has played in the history of the people of Israel and will play in the near future and the prophetic future as God’s plans and purposes unfold.
The major prophecy that tells about the destiny and future of Egypt is found in Isaiah chapter 19. “This message came to me (that is Isaiah) concerning Egypt. Look the Lord is advancing against Egypt, riding on a swift cloud. The idols of Egypt tremble and the hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear.”
The opening sentence of this chapter which says “this message came concerning Egypt,” uses the word “massa” which is the Hebrew word for “heavy.” It means “this heavy message” came to Isaiah concerning Egypt. It is the very same word that occurs in Zechariah chapter 12:1 where the scripture in that sentence says the “massa” or the “heavy message of the Lord” concerning Israel’s future.
I wonder if the use of this particular word links those two passages together? I wonder if it brings them into time sequel so that they are both relating to something that takes place in the same period of time?
The first verse says that the LORD (and LORD is in capital letters) which signifies “Jehovah” – (Jehovah Sabaoth is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies) is advancing against Egypt. It quaintly says “riding on a swift cloud.”
I wonder if that could be an intimation of supersonic aircraft flying over Egypt to bomb vital places within the nation. Or perhaps even missiles launched from Israel against Egypt. Whatever the case may be, it certainly will be a strong attack that God will launch upon Egypt and the scripture tells us that “the hearts of the Egyptians will melt with fear.” A fearful time is coming for the people of Egypt. They think at this moment of time that they are moving into a democracy that will be friendly and productive for the people of the land. But actually the ultimate result will be chaos in the land of Egypt.
It is interesting to hear on the news when I listened to the announce-ment of Mubarak’s resignation, that Hamas sent their congratulations. Hamas is one of the strongest, most fanatical terrorist organisations on the Globe. Particularly Hamas is strongly established at the moment in Gaza with many links already to Egypt which obviously will increase and multiply when the Islamic control takes effect on the land of Egypt. We are told that the “heart of the Egyptians will melt” during the attack.
An interesting thing that we read too in verse number two is “I will make Egyptians fight against Egyptians, brother against brother, neighbour against neighbour, city against city, province against province.”
We have seen some of this taking place recently during the protest. We have seen the protesters massing in the streets up to a crowd claimed by the media to be of more than one million people. We have also seen the supporters of Mubarak and they have come against one another, sometimes in violent clashes and we have seen the beginnings of what perhaps could become a civil war in Egypt. Very specifically characterised in verse two of Isaiah 19, “brother against brother, neighbour against neighbour, city against city.” There will be tremendous chaos in the population of Egypt for a period of time.
Isaiah goes on in verse three to say “the Egyptians, that is, as a whole, even those who were divided against one another in civil war” - the Egyptians will lose heart and I will confuse their plans. They will plead with their idols for wisdom and call upon spirits, mediums, and those who consult the spirits of the dead.”
This is a time of chaos and confusion that will come upon Egypt almost immediately after this amazing event which has seen the resignation of Mubarak. He appeared so adamant that he would not resign. Then he began to say that he would resign in September when an election would be called. But the protest has increased so powerfully that he has been forced to retract his original decision and make his resignation effective immediately.
Friends, we are living at a very crucial time. We are living in days when prophecies are being fulfilled that tell us that the Day of the Lord is close at hand. We need to study our bibles. We need to prepare our hearts. We need to get ready for a tumult of confusion that will fill the whole world; beginning in the Middle East but it will ultimately herald the gracious redemptive purpose of God.
In verse 4 of Isaiah 19: God says “I will hand Egypt over to a hard and cruel master. A fierce king will rule them” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
I want to emphasise that throughout this chapter God is referred to by that title “The Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” Every time we see the word LORD in capital letters, that is what it is a translation of - “Yaweh Sabaoth” is The Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He is the one who is consistently spoken of in chapter 19. He is the one who says “I will hand Egypt over to a hard, cruel taskmaster.”
I believe that this will be a transference of power, not from a democracy, not from the rule of Mubarak, but to the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood who are largely behind this overthrow of President Mubarak. I am not sure exactly what will transpire in the immediate future. I don’t quite know who will initially take the lead now that the army has been given control over the affairs of Egypt. But I do believe that it will not be very long until the powers of Islamic fanaticism that wish for not only the destruction of Israel, but also the suppression of the whole world, will begin to be activated in the land of Egypt.
I think the chapter tells us that initially that Egypt will suffer a very trying and devastating time of judgement. But after that period is finished, God has a redemptive purpose in mind for Egypt. He is going to reveal Himself to the nation. God will appear not only as Yaweh Sabaoth, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, but also as the Redeemer and Deliverer of the people. Some of the things that will overtake Egypt are mentioned beginning in verse five where Isaiah tells us that “the waters of the Nile will fail to rise and flood the fields. The riverbed will be parched and dry. The canals and its subsidiaries will dry up and the streams of Egypt will stink of rotting reeds and rushes. “All the greenery along the river bank and all the crops along the river will dry up and blow away.” This is speaking of a time of devastating drought which will be so severe that the Nile itself will dry up and all the subsidiary streams from the Nile that fertilises and irrigates the land will be dried up. It will obviously be a season of great drought upon the land of Egypt.
In verse 8 the prophet goes on to say “the fishermen in Egypt will lament for lack of work.” Because the Nile has dried up, there will be no fish to catch. The scripture says that “those who cast hooks into the Nile will groan and those who use nets will lose heart.” So the fishing industry which is very vital to the wellbeing and to the economy of Egypt, will come to a standstill as drought covers the land and the rivers become dry beds.
Verse 9 tells us another thing there will be no flax for the harvesters. No threads for the weavers. They will be in despair and all the workers will be sick at heart. This is going to be an exceedingly trying time economically and socially for the people of Egypt. It will look like the land as it was in the days when God judged it in the days of Moses, when he sent hail and destruction and plagues upon the land. Egypt is going to be judged again in a very similar manner. The officials and leaders of Egypt – their counsel will prove to be stupid and wrong. Verse 11 tells us “what fools are the officials of Zoan, their best counsel to the king of Egypt are stupid and wrong. Will they still boast to Pharaoh of their wisdom, will they brag about all their wise ancestors.” Instead of wisdom, for which Egypt has often been renowned, being in the past one of the greatest civilisations in the world, all the plans, the glory of the pharaohs, the riches of Egypt, all the historic treasures that are to be found in that nation. The leaders will give advice, but rather than being wisdom it will be stupid and wrong. This will further the devastation upon the land of Egypt. Isaiah goes on in verse 12 to say “where are your wise counsellors Pharaoh? Let them tell you what God plans, what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies is going to do to Egypt.”
God is going to intervene into this situation. The leaders of the land will be proved to be foolish, inadequate, their advice and wisdom desperately wrong.
Verse 13 says “the officials are fools, and the officials of Memphis are deluded. The leaders of the people have led Egypt astray.”
Egypt in recent years has been something of an ally to Israel. To some extent they have deterred military activity against Israel that would have emerged from Egypt. Although quite an amount of weaponry has been smuggled from Egypt into Israel through tunnels that have been made in the ground, President Mubarak and his government have basically honoured the treaty and the truce that was made with Israel. They have deterred and diminished to some degree, the military activity from Egypt against Israel. But here we read that the leaders of the people in the time period about which we are speaking, that is the present and immediate future, have led Egypt astray.
Verse 14 says “the LORD (that is Yaweh Sabaoth) has sent a spirit of foolishness on them, so that all their suggestions are wrong”. They cause Egypt to stagger like a drunk in his vomit and there is nothing that Egypt can do. All are helpless, the head and the tail, the noble palm branch and the lowly reed.”
Verse 16 says “In that day the Egyptians will be as weak as women. They will cower in fear beneath the upraised fist of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Just to speak the name of Israel will terrorise them, for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has laid out his plans against them.”
These verses that I have been sharing are all ominous. They all speak of judgement that God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will send upon the whole nation of Egypt. Describing the fear that will dominate their minds as the upraised fist of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies comes down on the nation of Egypt. And as the name of Israel terrorises the Egyptians, as the Lord of Heaven’s Armies’ plan becomes clear, as they realise that God is going to deal with this nation in a very stringent and powerful way. God is going to bring judgement on the land. But thank God His judgement will ultimately bring about redemption and Egypt is going to come through this period of trouble, - industrial trouble, - trouble between brethren. Almost a civil war – God is going to bring them through this trouble into a time of lasting peace and prosperity.
These are the things that we, as watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem should be praying earnestly about. This is something that is about to take place very soon and we must wake up to realise the seriousness of the hour in which we are living. May God bless you as you prayerfully look to the future of Israel, and of the entire world.
In Isaiah chapter 19 and verse 16, we are told that the Egyptians will be as weak as women; they will cower in fear beneath the upraised fist of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Just to speak the name of Israel will terrorise them, for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies has laid out His plans for them.
Fortunately for Egypt, those plans are not only plans of judgement, they are plans of redemption. Verse 18 is an amazing verse. It says “In that day” – that is following all these troubles that will come upon Egypt, “In that day, five of Egypt’s cities will follow the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” In other words they will surrender to Jehovah. They will surrender to the One who has demonstrated His power and authority to the nation in such a powerful and dynamic way. They will not only surrender to Him, they will follow the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. They will submit to Him. They will walk in His ways.
The latter part of verse 18 says “they will even begin to speak Hebrew – the language of Canaan.” One of these cities will be Heliopolis, that is the City of the Sun. Imagine that cities in Egypt – I am not sure if five is a specific, definite number or whether it infers that numerous cities in Egypt will speak Hebrew, it also says in verse 19, “In that same day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart (or the centre) of Egypt and there will be a monument to the Lord at its border. It will be a sign and a witness that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies are worshiped in the land of Egypt. When the people cry to the Lord for help against those who oppress them He will send a Saviour who will rescue them.
The Lord, Yaweh, will make Himself known to the Egyptians. Yes, they will know the Lord and will give their sacrifices and offerings to Him. They will make a vow to the Lord and will keep it. The Lord will strike Egypt and then He will bring healing to Egypt. The Egyptians will turn to the Lord and He will listen to their pleas and heal them.”
What an exciting prophecy this is. What a powerful word. And to realise that it will transpire, in our day, in the very near future. We are on the verge of seeing all of these things come to pass and be fulfilled. What a tremendous thing that Egypt, which has been, nominally at least, an Islamic nation. Eighty million citizens will be transformed into the nation that will no longer worship Allah but they will worship Yaweh, the one true and living God. There will not only be a revolution in Egypt, there will be a revival! There will be a great outpouring of the Spirit and of grace upon the land of Egypt. The Egyptians will cry out to Jehovah for deliverance from their oppressors and they will set up an altar to Jehovah upon which they will offer sacrifices and oblations. The scripture says that Jehovah, the Lord, will hear them and will heal their land.
How encouraging for Egypt that after a period of great trial and testing and after a time of great calamity and consternation God will cause good to come to Egypt. After the judgements of God have fallen again upon Egypt, as they did in the days when Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt. After the ten plagues had descended upon the Egyptians and upon Pharaoh, the last of them being the death of the eldest son. Again Egypt will be subjected to a time of powerful, devastating judgement. But praise God that is not the end of the story. For the scripture says in verse 21 that “Yaweh shall be known throughout Egypt,” that is throughout the whole land. We are told that there will be an altar to God in the centre of Egypt and there will be a monument on the border. This is the way of expressing the fact that the whole of Egypt will come under the influence of Yaweh. It says in verse 21 “In that day the Lord will make Himself known to the Egyptians.
This intimates a vital knowledge of the Lord Yaweh. It doesn’t just mean that they will know that He exists, it means that they will know Him in the sense that they will begin to understand Him. They will honour His Word. They will honour His commandments. They will learn His ways, and walk in His ways. The scripture says “they will follow after Jehovah.” This is almost a statement of discipleship that will take place throughout the land of Egypt. What a glorious transformation. What a wonderful prospect. How marvellous it is to think that God is not only going to judge Egypt but He is going to redeem Egypt.
There is another remarkable prophecy at the end of this chapter. Beginning in verse 23.
Isaiah says “In that day, Egypt and Assyria will be connected by a highway. The Egyptians and the Assyrians will move freely between their lands and they will both worship Yahweh and Israel will be their ally. The three of them together and Israel will be a blessing to them for the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will say “blessed be Egypt my people, blessed be Assyria, the land I have made. Blessed be Israel, my special possession.
God’s favour upon Israel is guaranteed. But His favour upon the children of Ishmael as well as those descendents of Isaac, will come into a period of blessing under the hand of the Lord. God has promised remarkable things for the children of Abraham. Not only the Jews who are the immediate descendents of Abraham but also for the descendents of Ishmael through Hagar and Keturah. God is going to send a great revival and harvest in the lands of Ishmael’s descendents. They will witness the providence, goodness and prosperity of the Lord God.
This is an amazing prophecy. But prophecies have to be taken up by those who believe the Lord who gives the prophecy. We must not just sit down and wait for these things to happen. We must be active in prayer. We must be intercessors on behalf of God’s plan and purpose for Egypt and for Israel and for the Middle East and for all the nations upon earth for the blessing of God, the harvest that God is going to send. It will begin in Israel and will spread throughout all the earth. All the nations of the earth will come to recognise the omnipotence of God. They will come to regard Him as the great Creator of the Universe. They will come to recognise Him as the One who holds the Universe in His hands and has planet Earth in the centre of His palm as He works out His glorious plan of Redemption for the nations of the world.
Some Sobering Thoughts From An Intercessor In Israel
Since June 1952, Egypt has been ruled by the military - at times there was a notable strongman at the helm: Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak - but the real power has always been the Egyptian Military High Command. In Egypt as in China, the military has not limited itself to military matters. They own cement factories, olive oil factories and myriad other commercial ventures. They are the real big players in the Egyptian economy. What has changed in the last few weeks? Nothing really - not yet anyway.
Certainly things were not happening in Egypt as the media wanted us to believe they were.
Some facts: Cairo is a city of 17 million people; Egypt's population is 84 million. The demonstrators in Cairo never exceeded 300,000. While by itself this is not an insignificant number, in the context of the population of Cairo and of Egypt it is only a drop in the bucket. Certainly it was not the "mass uprising" it was called. The revolutions that we have seen in Eastern Europe, Iran and other places were precipitated by demonstrations of millions of people and without the use of the internet either. We have been told that this uprising was orchestrated via the internet. Somehow this does not bear witness to me.
During the demonstrations, a letter was forwarded to a friend. The letter supposedly was sent by an Egyptian believer and in short it said: The people in Tahrir square are not Egyptians, the media is manipulating the situation and the people of Egypt do not want Mubarak to leave. Two Israeli journalists who were in Tahrir square reported that it was the scene of "medieval brutality" and nothing like what was being reported in the media.
If this letter and report is true, then some serious manipulation has taken place. I am sure we have not seen the last of the unrest in Egypt. Personally I believe we will see an Islamic dictatorship sometime in the not too distant future. I believe this will be the "cruel master and fierce king" who will rule over them according to Isaiah 19.
Some time ago a prophecy given by a Coptic Bishop who had been exiled by Mubarak because he was so popular. We were told that he had prayer meetings attended by thousands. The prophesy went like this: Mubarak will be the last secular ruler of Egypt, then would come an Islamic dictatorship and then would come the Lord. Is this word in process of being fulfilled?
I do not believe that the military takeover in Egypt is the last scene of the drama. The fundamentalists are in the ascendency and in either a shorter or longer time frame they will control Egypt.
At this point, the biggest winner in Egypt is the Moslem Brotherhood. Founded in 1928, its basic belief is: "Allah is our objective; the Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations." Hamas in Gaza is a Palestinian branch of the Moslem Brotherhood (MB) and has the same basic belief system. Even now the MB is speaking out of both sides of its mouth. On the one hand they say that they will not seek a majority in upcoming elections nor run a candidate for President of Egypt. Other MB leaders openly and clearly have been saying that as soon as they have power they will cancel the peace treaty with Israel - and this is just for starters.
Concerning the peace with Israel, it is not only the Muslim Brotherhood that wants to cancel the treaty but just about all the self-proclaimed candidates for President of Egypt. As of now the only active voice that wants to keep the peace with Israel is the Egyptian Military.
The Director of National Intelligence in the USA actually stated as have most media pundits, that the MB is a moderate group that has rejected violence. I can't in any way see how the word "intelligence" or "intelligent" has any meaning in relationship to these people. The killers of Anwar Sadat, the former President of Egypt, came out of the MB. Zarkawi, the #2 in the Al-Quida terrorist organization, came out of the MB. The MB is not stupid - it is much more PC (politically correct) for them to say they are not seeking power and are not violent but it is a subterfuge that hides their true goal of an Islamic Caliphate ruling the world. Under Mubarak, membership in the MB was illegal and he put many of the MB leaders in prison, some even to death. With all of that governmental oppression, the MB is the largest political party in Egypt with an estimated 30% of the population supporting them.
The implications for Israel of an Egypt that is once again at war with Israel are almost catastrophic. For more than 30 years, our southern border with Egypt has been militarily quiet. The IDF has not had to plan for war with Egypt and could concentrate on our enemies in Lebanon, Syria and Iran. Egypt is the most populous Arab state with the largest, best trained and equipped army. Since the peace treaty with Israel, Egypt's army has American equipment and training. Before that it was Soviet equipped and trained. This has been a big upgrade for Egypt.
Another area of concern is Jordan on Israeli's eastern border. The MB is also very strong in Jordan and the population of Jordan is predominately Palestinian (Jordan an artificial state created by the British in 1922 on land that should have been part of Israel, with an appointed King who had no previous connection with that land). Certainly the present Jordanian King Abdullah has taken notice of how quickly Obama abandoned Mubarak.
But God! In this increasingly difficult situation that Israel finds itself in, we look to and trust in the Almighty God who has made promises that He cannot break, but only keep. He who knows the times and the seasons has a redemptive plan and purpose for the nation and people of Israel that is one of the heralds of the Lord's return. This does not eliminate the probability of much conflict and suffering, it strengthens us in the knowledge that God's Word remains sure.
An analysis of Isaiah 19.
1. 1. Jehovah will come against Egypt like a swift cloud. (A supersonic air attack?) The transition of power in Egypt will eventually descend into a nation with strong Islamic ambitions to see the destruction of Israel. Egypt will temporarily become a powerful enemy of Israel which will occasion a devastating attack by Israel’s Air force.
2. 2. The heart of Egypt will melt through the attack. V 3
3. 3. Internal conflict. (Civil war?) Brother against brother V2
4. 4. A cruel lord will reign over them. V 4. The Islamic Anti Christ system will rise to power in Egypt.
5. 5. The Nile and various rivers will evaporate. V5
6. 6. Fishermen will mourn V 8 As fishing industry fails
7. 7. Industry will fail. V 15. Weavers etc V 10
8. 8. The leaders of Egypt will deceive the people Vs 11-13
9. 9. Egypt will live in fear. V 16
10. 10. Israel will be a terror in Egyptian minds. V 17
11. 11. The fear of Jehovah will come upon the people.
12. 12. Egyptians will surrender to Jehovah. Vs 18-22
13. 13. They will cry out to Jehovah for deliverance from their oppressors and
14. 14. They will set up an altar to Jehovah. Vs 19 -20
15. 15. They will offer sacrifices and oblations to Jehovah V 21
16. 16. Jehovah will hear them and heal their land V 22
17. 17. Five cities in Egypt will speak Hebrew and swear to Jehovah Sabaoth V 18
18. 18. Jehovah shall be known throughout Egypt. V 21 Isaiah 19:21 In that day the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians. Yes, they will know the LORD and will give their sacrifices and offerings to him. They will make promises to the LORD and keep them. NLT
19. 19. A highway will be built from Egypt to Assyria Isaiah 19:23-23 In that day Egypt and Assyria will be connected by a highway. The Egyptians and Assyrians will move freely between their lands, and they will worship the same God. 24 And Israel will be their ally. NLT
20. 20. Jehovah Sabaoth will bless Egypt and say “Blessed be Egypt My people.” Isaiah 19:25 For the LORD Almighty will say, "Blessed be Egypt, my people. Blessed be Assyria, the land I have made. Blessed be Israel, my special possession!" NLT