When we watch movies with a good story, that story nearly always is a battle between the good guy and the bad guy. Sometimes we can’t tell at first who the “good guy” is because the bad guy is making everyone so happy, doing good things for the community while giving aid to those in trouble.
But in the wings, they terrorize their families and those who work for them. Those close to the bad guy sees the real person in all their self-made glory that produces their arrogant pride but feel they cannot do anything to stop the evil. The bad guy begins to think they can get away with anything because they have manipulated the populous and have something on everyone in order to control them.
As the plot rises to a peak, suddenly things happen and the fall begins. The bad guy’s rise to fame begins to crumble when others begin to point out the flaws and failures. The bad guy’s character is seen for what it really is when pushed into a corner. The good guy comes forward with evidence of all the evil the bad guy has done. The bad guy is exposed and all the world will know the truth. And the truth sets the once manipulated free from the hold of the bad guy.
The plot never changes. Storytellers will create different ways to portray the battle but the battle is always the same. That’s life. All that is not of God become weapons for the battle against Him. Pride and arrogance are the first tools used to terrorize a group of people into submission. Do we fall for it? Are we the terrorizers and manipulators of others’ emotions? Is our pride beginning to become or downfall? Or are we trusting and obeying God’s command to love Him and to love each other like He loves us?
God knows hearts. He delivers us from the “bad guys” who are controlled by evil. He says to Pharoah, one of many “bad guys” throughout the story of God, “You’re going down!” God will show people He is God and God alone in the process of taking evil down. God wins. Every time, God is in control and we win who believe in Him.
Ezekiel 32, The Message
A Cloud Across the Sun
1-2 In the twelfth year, on the first day of the twelfth month, God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, sing a funeral lament over Pharaoh king of Egypt. Tell him:
“‘You think you’re a young lion
prowling through the nations.
You’re more like a dragon in the ocean,
snorting and thrashing about.
3-10 “‘God, the Master, says:
“‘I’m going to throw my net over you
—many nations will get in on this operation—
and haul you out with my dragnet.
I’ll dump you on the ground
out in an open field
And bring in all the crows and vultures
for a sumptuous carrion lunch.
I’ll invite wild animals from all over the world
to gorge on your guts.
I’ll scatter hunks of your meat in the mountains
and strew your bones in the valleys.
The country, right up to the mountains,
will be drenched with your blood,
your blood filling every ditch and channel.
When I blot you out,
I’ll pull the curtain on the skies
and shut out the stars.
I’ll throw a cloud across the sun
and turn off the moonlight.
I’ll turn out every light in the sky above you
and put your land in the dark.
Decree of God, the Master.
I’ll shake up everyone worldwide
when I take you off captive to strange and far-off countries.
I’ll shock people with you.
Kings will take one look and shudder.
I’ll shake my sword
and they’ll shake in their boots.
On the day you crash, they’ll tremble,
thinking, “That could be me!”
To Lay Your Pride Low
11-15 “‘God, the Master, says:
“‘The sword of the king of Babylon
is coming against you.
I’ll use the swords of champions
to lay your pride low,
Use the most brutal of nations
to knock Egypt off her high horse,
to puncture that hot-air pomposity.
I’ll destroy all their livestock
that graze along the river.
Neither human foot nor animal hoof
will muddy those waters anymore.
I’ll clear their springs and streams,
make their rivers flow clean and smooth.
Decree of God, the Master.
When I turn Egypt back to the wild
and strip her clean of all her abundant produce,
When I strike dead all who live there,
then they’ll realize that I am God.’
16 “This is a funeral song. Chant it.
Daughters of the nations, chant it.
Chant it over Egypt for the death of its pomp.”
Decree of God, the Master.
17-19 In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth day of the first month, God’s Message came to me:
“Son of man, lament over Egypt’s pompous ways.
Send her on her way.
and her proud daughter nations
To the underworld,
down to the country of the dead and buried.
Say, ‘You think you’re so high and mighty?
Down! Take your place with the heathen in that unhallowed grave!’
20-21 “She’ll be dumped in with those killed in battle. The sword is bared. Drag her off in all her proud pomp! All the big men and their helpers down among the dead and buried will greet them: ‘Welcome to the grave of the heathen! Join the ranks of the victims of war!’
22-23 “Assyria is there and its congregation, the whole nation a cemetery. Their graves are in the deepest part of the underworld, a congregation of graves, all killed in battle, these people who terrorized the land of the living.
24-25 “Elam is there in all her pride, a cemetery—all killed in battle, dumped in her heathen grave with the dead and buried, these people who terrorized the land of the living. They carry their shame with them, along with the others in the grave. They turned Elam into a resort for the pompous dead, landscaped with heathen graves, slaughtered in battle. They once terrorized the land of the living. Now they carry their shame down with the others in deep earth. They’re in the section set aside for the slain in battle.
26-27 “Meshech-tubal is there in all her pride, a cemetery in uncircumcised ground, dumped in with those slaughtered in battle—just deserts for terrorizing the land of the living. Now they carry their shame down with the others in deep earth. They’re in the section set aside for the slain. They’re segregated from the heroes, the old-time giants who entered the grave in full battle dress, their swords placed under their heads and their shields covering their bones, those heroes who spread terror through the land of the living.
28 “And you, Egypt, will be dumped in a heathen grave, along with all the rest, in the section set aside for the slain.
29 “Edom is there, with her kings and princes. In spite of her vaunted greatness, she is dumped in a heathen grave with the others headed for the grave.
30 “The princes of the north are there, the whole lot of them, and all the Sidonians who carry their shame to their graves—all that terror they spread with their brute power!—dumped in unhallowed ground with those killed in battle, carrying their shame with the others headed for deep earth.
31 “Pharaoh will see them all and, pompous old goat that he is, take comfort in the company he’ll keep—Pharaoh and his slaughtered army. Decree of God, the Master.
32 “I used him to spread terror in the land of the living and now I’m dumping him in heathen ground with those killed by the sword—Pharaoh and all his pomp. Decree of God, the Master.”
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Ezekiel repeated the prophecy that the sword of Babylon would leave Egypt desolate and that all of Egypt’s pride and pomp would vanish. Sometimes God decides that desolation is the most effective way to restore a land that has been polluted by its inhabitants.
God does what He knows is best for His people. Trust Him. No matter what, trust God.
I trust you with all that is in me for you are life.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen