God Has Great Plans for Egypt
Looking at the news coverage of Egypt makes a person wonder, perhaps even worry, what will become of one of Israel’s geographically closest Arab neighbors? The Obama administration backed the ouster of long-term strong man Hosni Mubarak and subsequent free elections. Being the most organized and funded opposition group in all of Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood had the upper hand in the election that followed on June 30, 2012.
Their man, Muhammad Morsi, won but not by a large margin. Since that election, Morsi has made some moves that are considered decidedly undemocratic and a shameless bid to consolidate power for himself and his allies. Added to that is an economy that still hasn’t recovered from the original protests and violence that led to Mubarak’s ouster, causing a profitable tourism industry to suffer.
It appears that events are beginning to spiral out of Morsi’s and the Muslim Brotherhood’s control. A petition for his ouster received between 17 and 22 million signatures, depending on what source is read. That’s a bigger piece of Egypt, ¼ of the population, than Morsi received in votes in 2012. On the anniversary of the election, millions demonstrated nationwide, demanding his ouster. The Army even issued an ultimatum for the Morsi administration to “meet the demands of the people” within 48 hours, that’s by Wednesday evening, or they would have to move in to restore order. The opposition has given him until Tuesday afternoon to step down and call for a new presidential election. Ministers of the environment, legal affairs, tourism, communication and water utilities resigned in apparent solidarity with the demonstrators. The foreign minister has reportedly joined them in resigning.
Monday’s protests turned violent when a mob stormed the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Cairo and set it on fire. Eight people were killed in the clashes there and many more were wounded. Nationwide, the demonstrations and counter-actions left 16 dead, including a 21-year-old American teacher, Andrew Pochter, who was stabbed to death while watching the demonstrations. 780 additional people were wounded with just under 200 still hospitalized. An Egyptian news source, Al-Ahram, stated that there were 46 reported sexual assaults during protests.
So, what will be of Egypt? Will the military intervene and calm be restored? Are new elections inevitable? Finally, will a new government be established that is more representative of the people’s diverse interests? Could such a move by the military lead the Muslim Brotherhood to turn into an armed rebellion with pitched battles and terror attacks afflicting the nation into the distant future? Would Morsi respond to the pressure, share power with opposition groups and call for new elections for president and for parliament within a year’s time?
Does Scripture give us any hope for Egypt? Indeed it does. Despite many passes through the Scripture throughout the years, it was just several years ago that a passage in Isaiah stunned me. In the NKJV, Isaiah 19:24-25 states:
“In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing in the midst of the land, whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, ‘Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.’”
Isn’t that incredible? The LORD will call Egypt “My people.” Isaiah prophesied of a time when the three peoples of Israel, Egypt and Assyria would all be blessed by God and be a blessing “in the midst of the land.” In fact, the wording seems to suggest that there will be a union of some sort. Israel “will be one of three” with Egypt and Assyria.
Whatever happens in Egypt today or even into the foreseeable future, a day is coming when Egypt will be blessed and be a blessing, somehow in confederacy with Israel and Assyria. They will be considered God’s people, the work of His hands and His inheritance. That is astounding!
I am sure this is very good news for the Christians of Egypt. It should be good news for all Egyptians. Islamists would not be thrilled with the link to Israel and will likely find themselves on the wrong side of God’s program for Egypt and for Israel. Undoubtedly, it will be great news for the world to come over which the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus, shall reign! Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Do you believe the Scriptures? Is there hope for Egypt? Let’s keep hoping and praying for Egypt’s future.