Egypt looms large over the history of Israel and throughout Scripture itself. It also features prominently in church history, as numerous early church fathers were based in Egypt. In fact, the Coptic (Egyptian) church is one of the oldest churches in the world and is by far the largest group of Christians in the Middle East. Scripture promises a great turning to the Lord from Egypt - and while we've seen glimpses of this throughout history, Isaiah's prophecy shows that God has more planned for Egypt:
Isaiah 19:19-25 (ESV) - 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. It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 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. And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance."My prayer for today: Lord, thank You that we have Your promises over Egypt and glimpses through history to show us what that might look like. Though today Egypt is dominated by the state religion of Islam, we know that Your purposes have just not yet been fulfilled for Egypt. We pray for the Coptic church to be faithful and strong, to accomplish all that You have for it. We pray for You to turn the hearts of the government to allow converts to change their identity papers to show that they are Christian. We pray for leadership training, for wisdom in reaching out, and for a strong vision of kingdom purpose. Lord, we ask You to fulfill every promise You have for Egypt. In Jesus' name, amen.