THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Ezekiel: Effective Ministry To The Spiritually Rebellious
Part XLIX: God's Judgment Of Proud Egypt's Descent Into Sheol
A. Scripture informs us that the souls of the deceased unsaved are permanently in a place of torment separated by a great gulf from Paradise, the permanent abode of blessing and of God for believers, Luke 16:19-31.
B. Ezekiel 32:17-32 ventures poetically into a description of Sheol, the place of the departed unsaved dead, without explaining its torment, but providing information on God's use of Sheol to humble the unsaved dead.
C. We thus view the passage for insight and instruction relative to our experience (as follows):
II. God's Judgment Of Proud Egypt's Descent Into Sheol, Ezekiel 32:17-32.
A. The prophetic message of Ezekiel 32:17-32 was given on March 17, 585 B. C., two weeks after the previous message on Egypt's demise, indicating that Egypt's fall was so sure that even though it would not occur for another 17 years, even Egypt's descent into Sheol, the place of the souls of the departed unsaved dead, is predicted with no explanation on the torment of Sheol. (Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1291-1292)
B. God then directed Ezekiel to wail over the multitude of Egypt, and prophetically to send them down into Sheol along with other formerly majestic nations that had already gone there, Ezekiel 32:17-18.
C. Though Egypt considered herself unsurpassed in beauty, she would be assigned to Sheol and be laid to rest with other uncircumcised peoples there, Ezekiel 32:19. This event is further described in Ezekiel 32:20-30:
1. When Egypt's multitudes would be slain and their souls descend into Sheol, they would rest beside mighty Assyrians who had spread terror all around them, the Assyrians all now slain and dead, Ezekiel 32:20-23.
2. Egypt would find the mighty of the fierce nation of Elam would be there in Sheol, all of her soldiers in graves though they too had spread terror to nations around them in their time on earth, Ezekiel 32:24-25.
3. Meshech and Tubal "were probably located on the northern fringe of what is now eastern and central Turkey," a people that had waged long war against Assyria for control of the area south of the Black Sea, Ibid., p. 1292. Meshech and Tubal, once great, formidable, fierce soldiers would be there, the graves of all of their soldiers round about, the once terror-striking force now lying in Sheol in death, Ezekiel 32:26-27.
4. Ezekiel addressed Egypt, claiming that along with these mighty nations of warriors, even Egypt's army would likewise be broken and lie among these uncircumcised armies in Sheol, Ezekiel 32:28.
5. Edom's army would be there in Sheol with all her kings and princes, with their mighty warriors who had been slain by the sword, lying among the uncircumcised dead, Ezekiel 32:29.
6. The final group of mighty slain by the sword in Sheol would be the princes of the north and the Sidonians, likely Phoenician city-states of maritime powers who had suffered the same humiliating fate of being slain in disgrace despite the terror they had caused by their power while living on the earth, Ezekiel 32:30; Ibid.
D. When Pharaoh would see all these mighty nations of warriors lying helplessly slain in death in Sheol, he would thereby gain some comfort over the slaying of his own great multitude of Egypt, Ezekiel 32:31.
E. God claimed that He Himself was the One Who ultimately spread terror in the land of the living as He was the One Who sent people to Sheol, so God Himself would cause Pharaoh and his army to be laid to rest among the uncircumcised, all these other former, great, terror-striking nations of warriors, Ezekiel 32:32.
Lesson: Through Ezekiel's lament for Pharaoh and his army's descent into Sheol, and through Pharaoh's witnessing all the other once-terrorizing armies of other nations that had subsequently been slain by others into being humbled to lie in Sheol in defeat, God clarified that proud, terror-striking parties are still subject to Him, and He had the capacity to deal out justice to them and if need be send them to Sheol along with all the other great and terror-striking armies that had once proudly afflicted others.
Application: (1) May we not fear man who can destroy the body, but fear God who can destroy both body and soul in Hell, Matthew 10:28. (2) Accordingly, may we humbly revere God so as to obey His command to believe in His Son Jesus Christ for salvation from sin and hell unto gaining eternal life, Acts 17:30; John 3:16. (3) If we are tempted to be afraid of some person or people and thus to depart from obeying God due to that fear, may we recall that in the end God has complete jurisdiction over the eternal destiny of every person and so abandon our fear of that party and revere God more than the party. (Proverbs 29:25) (4) May we also be encouraged to serve the Lord regardless if facing opposition from unsaved people, for God will judge all people in the end, Matthew 13:47-50.