What God Says to Egypt

What God Says to Egypt

Egypt! Egypt!
A Meditation for Today
on Isaiah 19:24–25

O Egypt, Egypt, do you not
    Recall, dear friend — have you forgot —
That twice you were the savior of 
    My only Son — though not from love?

You fed him in the famine. Then
    You took him for a slave. And when
I rescued him, I made you know
    My name, my power, and how much woe 
Will fall on those who mock my Son.

   And when he came again, the One
That Herod would destroy, he fled
    Once more to his dear friend who fed 
Him once before. And there you hid 
    And suckled him like Moses, ’mid
The rushes and the riches of
    The regal court — though not from love.
Two years you gave him shield and bread
    Until his enemies were dead
And it was safe for him to make
    His way back home, and for your sake
To die. 
                  O Egypt, Egypt, will
    You now destroy his house, and kill
His people, cut his seamless word
    To pieces, lest the truth be heard — 
The sweetest news that he, or I,
    Could ever speak?
                                   And so I cry
Aloud again: O Egypt, Hear
    This tender word. It is as near
To you as hope. Did not your own
    Isaiah tenderly make known
My heart? O Listen, Egypt! “In
    That day, in spite of all your sin,
Together, you and Israel,
    And vast Assyria, will dwell
As one — the kingdom of my Son —
    And in that day, with joy, I’ll stun
The world, and call you mine. And you
    Will be my people. Yes, the true
And happy bride of Christ, with all
    Your meek and broken foes who call
On his great name. And in the end,
    You’ll know why I have called you friend.”


Poem also available at worldmag.com. Background music in the audio is from Page CXVI.


Recent poems written and read by John Piper:

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.