Monday, April 11, 2016
Ezekiel, Chapter 30, Verse 13
13 Thus says the Lord GOD: I will destroy idols, and put an end to images in Memphis. There will never again be a prince over the land of Egypt. Instead, I will spread fear throughout the land of Egypt.
Ancient Egypt was a magnificent civilization, until it suddenly vanished in the sixth century B.C. according to Brad McDonald.
A Base Nation
In chapters 29 and 30 of Ezekiel, we read of God sending the Prophet Ezekiel to deliver a crucial message to Egypt. “Set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt,” God instructs Ezekiel, “and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt” (Ezekiel 29:2). The biblical record shows that Ezekiel was dispatched to Egypt in the early sixth century, and that he delivered his message to Pharaoh Apries (Hophra in Hebrew), the fourth king of the 26th dynasty of Egypt. Egypt was a powerful, influential civilization. In fact, Egypt’s presence was so impressive, Apries, thought himself king of the world, as powerful as God Himself. Pharaoh Apries considered the Nile River, the source of Egypt’s material greatness, to be his own creation, and he declared himself the god of the Nile. Drunk on arrogance, Apries had lost sight of Egypt’s history with God and the Israelites. So God dispatched Ezekiel to warn Apries of where his egotism was leading and to tell him that God would expose and destroy him, and that in Egypt’s devastation the world would learn the ultimate source of Egypt’s power. In verse 3, God tells Ezekiel: “Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.” God was going to show Pharaoh Apries exactly who created the Nile and gave Egypt all its power. In verse 4, God tells the pharaoh, “I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales.” God said He would expose Pharaoh Apries as a fraud—much like He had exposed the gods of Egypt during the 10 plagues nearly a thousand years earlier! God continues His warning in verses 8-10: “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it. Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.” In verse 19, Ezekiel even reveals to Apries that he would be attacked by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. In scripture after scripture of chapters 29 and 30, God warns the pharaoh that Egypt’s destruction at the hands of the Babylonians and Persians would be so disastrous that it would never fully recover! Then, in verse 15, God makes a prophecy that would change Egypt forever. Regarding Egypt’s future after the destruction, He says explicitly: “It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them that they shall no more rule over the nations.” God couldn’t have been clearer: He promised that after the sixth century B.C. Egypt would never again be a major ruling power!
I shall content myself with relating the history of St. Stanislaus, Bishop of Cracow, Poland, who restored to life a man who had been dead for three years, attended by such singular circumstances, and in so public a manner, that the thing is beyond the severest criticism.... This incident was known by countless persons and by all the court of King Boleslaus II (reigned 1058-1080) St. Stanislaus, bought from a man named Piotr [Peter] an estate situated on the banks of the Vistula in the territory of Lublin for the use of his church at Cracow. The Prelate gave the full price of it to the seller. This was done in the presence of witnesses, and with the solemnities required in that country, but without written deeds, for written accounts of transactions of this kind were seldom made in Poland at that time. They contented themselves with having witnesses. Stanislaus took possession of this estate, and his church enjoyed it peaceably for about three years. In the interim, Piotr, who had sold it, happened to die. The King of Poland, Boleslaus, had conceived an implacable hatred against the holy Bishop because he had frequently reproved him for his excesses. Therefore, seeking to cause him trouble, the King excited the three sons of Piotr, his heirs, against their father and told them to claim the estate which their father had sold, on the pretense that it had not been paid for. He promised to support their demand, and to cause the estate to be restored to them. Thus these three men had the Bishop cited to appear before the King, who was then at Solec, occupied in rendering justice under some tents in the country, according to the ancient custom of the land, in the general assembly of the nation. The Bishop was cited before the King, and maintained that he had bought and paid for the estate in question. The day was beginning to close, and the Bishop ran great risk of being condemned by the King and his counselors. Suddenly, as if inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Bishop promised the King to bring before him in three days Piotr, the deceased man who had sold it to him. The condition was accepted mockingly, as a thing impossible to be executed. The holy Bishop retired to his Church a distance away, where he prayed and fasted with his household for three days. On the third day, he went in his pontifical robes, accompanied by his clergy and a multitude of people, ordered the gravestone to be raised, and made them dig until they found the corpse of the defunct, all fleshless and corrupted. Then St. Stanislaus commanded him to come forth and bear witness to the truth before the King's tribunal. The Bishop touched the bones with his crosier and they filled out with flesh. The dead Piotr rose; they covered him with a cloak. The Saint took him by the hand and led him alive to the feet of the King. No one had the boldness to interrogate him. But Piotr himself spoke out freely, and declared that he had in good faith sold the estate to the Prelate and that he had received the value of it. After stating this, he severely reprimanded his sons, who had so maliciously accused the holy Bishop. Stanislaus asked Piotr if he wished to remain alive to do penance. Pierre thanked him, and said he would not expose himself anew to the danger of sinning. Stanislaus re-conducted him to his tomb, where he again fell asleep in the Lord. It may be supposed that such a scene had numerous witnesses, and that all Poland was quickly informed of it. The King was only the more irritated against the Saint. Sometime after [on May 8, 1079], he killed the Bishop with his own hands as he was coming from the altar in Wawel Castle outside the walls of Cracow. He then ordered that the Prelate’s body be hacked into 72 pieces so that they might never be collected together to be paid the honor due to them as the body of a martyr for the truth and for pastoral liberty. St. Stanislaus was canonized in 1253 by Pope Innocent IV. He is the patron of Poland and of the city and Diocese of Cracow, and is invoked in battle.
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