Isaiah 19 has the prophet addressing one of the continual issues to God’s people Israe. Egypt was one of the great powers of the ancient world, and being situated immediately to the south of Israel, it was an empire that Israel constantly had to reckon with. God doesn’t just sit by idly and watch His people struggle. “And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, each against another and each against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom; and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out”.
He doesn’t require them to do all the fighting on their own. He has the power to turn them against each other and take this powerful nation and put them on their knees. “I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master, and a fierce king will rule over them”. God uses a civil war in Egypt, which was indirectly the hand of God’s judgment against them. In this time, God not only causes the Egyptians to fall apart and fall under the rule of an enemy, He also takes away their wisdom.
“The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish; the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel”. As Egypt comes under the judgment of God, He removea sound counsel and wisdom from their leaders, and they turn to idols instead. A land that was filled with wise men goes stupid. God confuses them completely. “The Lord has mingled within her a spirit of confusion, and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds”. God has plenty of tools in His toolbox to cause nations and people to submit to His ways. We may think we are in control, but we really aren’t. God is always at the helm.
There will be a massive change after God takes away their power. Amazing how we get our attitudes in line once we can no longer depend on ourselves. When God strips us down to the bare bones, we get aligned with Him. “In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border….And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them”. What a change. From being a boastful power to now a submissive servant to God. He is in control – then and now. We need to learn and heed His call!