The days leading up to deployment are busy and stressful. Soldiers, families, and their leaders finalize plans and gather needed equipment. Every detail must be cared for so they can successfully engage in the battle ahead.
In today’s passage, we hear a call to the troops from the Lord Himself. He alone is sovereign over all the nations of the world (v. 18). These closing days in our study contain prophecies about those nations who would rise in opposition to Judah and Jerusalem. Today’s message focuses on Egypt. Judah had sinfully looked to Egypt rather than God for protection from Babylon, or at least hoped that the two superpowers would keep each other busy (and far away from them).
That was a vain hope. Jeremiah prophesied that Babylon would conquer Egypt. The soldiers of Egypt would stumble, and the Lord Himself “will push them down” (vv. 15–16). They make loud noises but had no real strength to back it up (v. 17). The defeat of a country was symbolized by a defeat of their god. First, Egypt was a heifer—they had a bull god named Apis—who would be bitten by a horsefly (Babylon). Egypt’s mercenary soldiers would be “fattened calves” for the slaughter (vv. 20–21). As a snake— the symbol of many Pharaohs—Egypt would flee and be destroyed, “put to shame” by the Babylonians (vv. 22–24).
In the midst of this destruction, there is a promise for God’s people. “Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel. I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile” (v. 27).
>> Do you make checklists? You might not be preparing your shields, but you have a battle plan for the day in front of you. Today, pray over your lists. Ask God, who is sovereign over all, to go before you.
Lord, as we go about our duties today, we ask You to go before us. Protect us from harm, give us grace and wisdom in our dealings with others, and bless our gospel witness. May our conduct today glorify You.