Ezekiel 31 has the prophet continuing his delivery of God’s truth about the Egyptians. Pharaoh, and through him Egypt, is likened to a giant cedar tree, well watered and tall, which provides shelter for birds and animals alike. It is a picture of the strong and proud kingdom of Egypt, upon whom neighboring countries relied for protection. Yet even in the midst of their power and strength, God reminds them that they are still nothing compared to Him. “Whom are you like in your greatness”? They are like a tree that towers above the earth but is still dependent upon water and sun for it’s strength.
Other countries were impressed by Egypt and envied its stability and strength. But no matter how impressive the tree became, enemies will come and cut it down. Egypt will be conquered. “Because it is high in stature and has set its top among the clouds , and its heart is haughty in its loftiness, therefore I will give it into the hand of a despot of the nations; he will thoroughly deal with it”. God will not let it tout its greatness. The ruin of Egypt will be a warning to others not to be dominated by pride and selfish ambition.
God determines the fate of all nations. There is none powerful enough to stand in His presence. “On the day when it went down to Sheol I caused lamentations; I closed the deep over it and held back its rivers”. It was no surprise or mystery as to what happened. God is in control. No matter the might or power, God’s is greater. He is the King of Kings and sits on the throne of the universe. Egypt believed that they were the mightiest of nations. But when compared to God and His power and plan, they were merely a tree that could be cut down.
As the trees of the forest mourn the death of this mighty cedar tree, so will all the other nations tremble when they hear of the fall of Egypt. Other nations who had ‘died’ previously will feel some comfort to learn that mighty Egypt has now suffered the same fate. They had incorrectly believed that somehow Egypt was in a class by itself. But God again proves that all people and nations are subject to Him. He alone is at the helm. The once glorious nation now lies in humiliation and destruction. They missed the potential of their future because they believed they were in control.