EGYPT’S LAST PHARAOH?

This past Sunday I preached on the 10 plagues of Egypt during the reign of history’s most ego-maniacal pharaoh; Ramses II.  It will air in a few weeks and I predict it will have you saying, “Oh my”, “Oh ya” or “Oh no.”  I specifically made no mention of the current uprising in Egypt knowing well that the situation could change overnight and make whatever I said seem hopelessly outdated.  But, as I am sure you are aware, I have some thoughts on it since I have thoughts on EVERYTHING!

We were in Egypt 4 years ago as part of our 25th wedding anniversary gift to ourselves.  It was for me the trip of a lifetime.  As a history buff, being up close and personal with 4500 years of history was a dream come.   But there was another side of Egypt that was as impossible to miss as the pyramids… the majority of people live in a constant state of mid-grade poverty and a high-grade oppression.  Meanwhile their president, Hosni Mubarak, lives in palatial elegance, more like a modern day Egyptian pharaoh, than a political leader. Egypt has two major industries; tourism and the Suez Canal.  Incredibly, the proceeds from the Suez Canal go directly to Mubarak to do with whatever he pleases.  His personal fortune is estimated at over $40 billion and it is carefully kept in offshore banks all over the world. He has been in power for 30 years, controls the media and bans all political opposition. The elections are a farce as he is the only name on the ballot. He is a corrupt dictator who is known to use torture and police brutality to maintain his despotic rule.

While we were there we visited what they euphemistically call a ‘Carpet School’.  This is where young children from poor families go to learn a trade.  The trade is hooking carpets. They work 12 hours a day, six days a week and get paid a dollar a day.  When I asked the owner where the children go to class to learn to read and write he looked at me like I was crazy.  ”We teach them a trade so they don’t end up on the street,” he defensively responded.  The carpet schools are nothing more than state sponsored child labour factories. This boy showed me what they do all day.  I was horrible at it and he had to undo my whole row and redo it.  I slipped him a dollar when the boss wasn’t looking.

At the moment Mubarak has cut off internet and cell phone service to the entire nation.  He has little regard for the actual people of Egypt and his selfish greed has prevented the nation from moving forward in democracy and prosperity.  When we were there I kept asking people what they thought of him and to my surprise they all liked him.  When I asked about the incredible wealth from the Suez Canal going into his pocket they would say that he deserved it for doing a good job of running the country.  It was perplexing to me at the time because it seemed so obviously out of whack.  So when people have been asking me in the last few days what I think of the situation in Egypt, my response is; It’s about time!

What many Westerners are just finding out now is that Mubarak is in power at least in part due to US foreign policy.  Egypt has been a huge American ally in the Arab world for these past 3 decades.   Mubarak’s ‘dictatorship’ has been propped up to the tune of a billion dollars a year in US foreign aid.  The US has a very long track record of picking losers – the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, Augusto Pinochet of Chili to name a few… or for that matter Saddam Hussein in Iraq before his invasion of Kuwait and the Taliban before the US invasion of Afghanistan.  I could go on and on but then I would be accused of anti-American sentiment and that is not at all my point.  My point is the world is full of tyrants and we have got to stop supporting them just because it benefits us economically or politically.

Anytime true democracy surfaces in the world it almost always affords an opportunity for the gospel to follow.  We are having a particularly hard time in the Arab world.  We have a billion Arabs that still need to hear about Jesus and we are barely scratching the surface. In most of these nations it is not even legal to preach the gospel.  We have a missionary working in Cairo right now but he has to do so under the radar.   Andrew has been quietly labouring there for years in a city of 8 million people who are 80% Muslim.  He has an insurmountable task ahead of him but he is faithfully reaching one life at a time.

The situation could go one of two ways in Egypt.  We could see a powerful democratic revolution that would be good for the gospel, or an Islamic fundamentalism that swells up to fill the political vacuum, which I think would hurt our cause even more.  One thing is for sure, Mubarak is toast, and hopefully we have seen Egypt’s last pharaoh.

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16 Responses to EGYPT’S LAST PHARAOH?

  1. Betty says:

    W-o-w,was that ever a story filled with a lot of interesting information, from Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, it was like I heard it for the first time.

    This situation in Egypt, tells me again, how important it is, not to take it for granted, that we can live in a peaceful country,on a different note, I think it is a great country to visit.

  2. Anessa says:

    Thanks

  3. Carol says:

    “an Islamic fundamentalism that swells up to fill the political vacuum,”..given the situation in Yemen.. Tunisia..and other countries.. is likely more to the case..be careful what you wish for.. the alternative could be worse

  4. Patricia says:

    Thank you for taking the time to write this. It is informative for someone to read that is not familiar with their culture and political practices to read this.

    I am against child labour and other practices of denying a child an education. I hope we see a better regard to people and what they need in the country.

    I am not surprised to hear that the Americans have been communicating with the states quite heavily. I once had someone that I know tell me that the Arabs own Canada and the states and I am too stupid to know it. I was surprised that he actually took notice of Barack Obama’s comments. However, that just goes to show how the states is still a foothold with a country across the ocean.

    My concern is what this means to Isreal. The key to Western Civilization, I have heard some documentaries say. Will they rise against Isreal once this is decided upon? If Isreal has fallen, what does that mean for our society, culture, and political beliefs? How far are we to the coming again of our Lord Jesus Christ? Everytime there is something like this over there, I keep thinking that Jesus is very near. So I should not weep but rejoice despite the termoil of the people?

    What makes me so special to be one of the chosen? Why not one of the Children that grew up Egypt under such treatment that just became age of accountability?

  5. Evelyn Bennett says:

    It is amazing each time you preach or write in your blog some historical event happens.

    This past weekend one of the famous museums in Egypt was broken into. Praise only the gift shops suffered the most damage.

    Was it the Lord that saved the artifacts, you can decide.

    All I know the more Christians that go on excursions to those countries could be making a difference by praying and being a witness to the surroundings.

    I do agree with the disgrace of child labor. If they do learn to read and write they may be able to vote or voice out an opinion if something is not right. Or be able to read the gospel in their own language.

    The more we spread the gospel more opportunity of the Lord to move in those countries.

  6. Anne-Marie says:

    Thank you pastor Mark for your insightful blogs! I am glad you are a “history buff” so we can be provided with historical, present and most of all, biblical truth. May the Lord bless you with your gift of sharing this most important info!

  7. Adrian says:

    Dear Pastor Mark,
    Always interesting to see your blog and your opinions and remarks. I admire your insight and wish you every blessing to carry on with your ministry and your work
    I am just a believer in the Middle east and I hope you have time to come visit us hre sometime !! God bless,
    Adrian.

  8. Victoria says:

    Oh my goodness,
    Now the foreign journalists are being targeted!They are being searched,and their equipment is being seized by the Egyptian army!

    600 people have been injured so far,and warning shots were fired into the air today as things are getting volatile.

    I am not sure that the president will step down on his own, as it looks like the protesters may be taken down by gunfire.

    I know he has been using all his dark powers to achieve his goals and will continue to do so…

    But believe me,I am guessing God is displeased with his people over there,and something is about to happen that will surprise us all!

    It’s like taking a lollipop from a small child-
    EVERYONE has currency besides money…they need to find out what HIS is, and use it as leverage..maybe diplomatic immunity if he steps down?
    Maybe he is scared that he will have no protection from the law because of his past sins…?
    After all he’s just a man!
    Or is he?
    I pray:
    Every power standing as a Goliath in the people of Cairo’s Life, we bury you today in Jesus name!

    Anger of the Lord, provoked against the elders of my fathers house bowing down to Satan;Divine guards of my town of nativity, use your deadly weapons to slaughter those bowing down to Idols for evil against the people of Cairo!

    Take burning coals and fire from the Cherubims of the Lord and scatter them on those bowing down to Satan, against Gods glory in Jesus name!
    God save the world!
    Add a comment to this post

    • Patricia says:

      Hi Victoria. I enjoyed reading what you wrote. I have not had the opportunity to read all of the news or watch the live feeds.

      I agree that this President has no intensions to step down or probably has a major plan of doing something that will inflict his further dictatorship well after he is gone to the people of Egypt.

      I have seen God work in my life in the works of the prayers that I ask for for myself and my family. Some are baby steps, like he refining a peice of clay into a beautiful young woman, etc. In this I do believe if people offer up prayers all together at the same hour to God, he will answer our prayer. I ask Pastor Mark to write a prayer and an hour in the evening on a certain day that we would all say this prayer at the same time and then add our own thoughts on this.

      We need God’s divine intervention. A sign that will show that all should bow to him, not satan.

      Like the labor pains of a baby I see the return of Jesus coming soon. I thank him and bless him for making Canada my choice of birth. Where I am able to write and speak my thoughts and opinions on subjects such as this. Where we live in peace (in the most part) and harmony with our fellow Canadians and newcomers.

  9. todd says:

    It’s not just gypt – what country in the world couldn’t use a revolution at this point in time? I said 10 years ago that if governments didn’t start representing the people then a farmer will lead a revolution. We’re seeing the beginnings of that inevitable close to home – the Tea Party. In Alberta the Wild Rose Party will no doubt win a majority. These are all good things. It’s the status quo that must give – not the people. The people have no more to give – people like Mubarak seem to possess it all already. The fall of egypt will now start the necessary global reconciliation. This will be a tough 20 years ahead. Im pray for the children. When it comes down to it – we have our faith and nothing else.

  10. Christen says:

    Hi Pastor Mark,
    I am from Egypt, but I have emigrated to Canada with my parents and brother 4 years ago. However, we still have lots of relatives still living there and though I completely agree with you on how awful Mubarak has been as a ruler but most of the Christians prefer him over a muslin brotherhood leader that would make the Christians’ lives a living hell. Christians over the years have experienced brutal attacks from Muslim extremest (possibly supported by the Muslim brotherhood) so imagine what it would be like if they ruled… So we are praying that God would provide a smooth transition after Mubarak leaves and a leader that cares about the well-being of the country and its people.
    I believe in this verse: Isaiah 19:25
    The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people…”

  11. Pat says:

    Please check out this video. It is relevant to exactly what’s going on in Egypt and what is said in Biblical prophecy.

    http://vimeo.com/19610930

    • Jim says:

      What is so horrific what Iranian women and children are going through? Compare to the USA/West…women walk around scantily clad, and some make a living by stripping, or selling their bodies, or other degrading and demeaning activity called advertising..they are also encouraged to have abortions..and do have between 1 and 2 million healthy babies are killed each year in the USA, and Canada is proportionate….Do they allow that in Iran? Of course not..modesty by women is the Muslim requirement….what is wrong with that? Nothing..we need some of it here..and maybe a year of Sharia law to clean up the mess we have in our own societies. God bless us all!

  12. Pat says:

    It’s horrific what the Iranium women and children are going through. I don’t have a clear understanding of politics and I wish I could remember everything I heard so I could pass along a short version of something. So instead I’m putting this link for anyone who might be interested.

    http://www.iraniumthemovie.com

  13. David John says:

    If the islamics are voted in GOD help Israel.

  14. Sally says:

    It looks like we are going to see what happened in Iran happen in Eygpt where the US dropped support of the Shah and let the Mullahs take over. The US had been propping up Mubaraks rule but now that they are pulling back their support it will be a field day for the Muslim Brotherhood to take over. As Christen says it will be very hard for Christians living in Egypt then. We know from scripture that Epypt plays a significant role in the bible prophesy with the highway to Jerusalem. Isaiah 19:21 says. The Lord will make Himself known to Egypt and Egyptians will know the Lord in that day. As we are instructed to pray for the peace of Jerusalem so we also pray for peace in Egypt and protection especially for Egyptian Christians.

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