Who Can Save the Persecuted Christians in Egypt?
Fr. Abraam Sleman
“O my soul, my soul! I am pained in my very heart! My heart makes a noise in me…” (Jeremiah 4:19, NKJV). “For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt. I am mourning; Astonishment has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead, Is there no physician there? Why then is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of my people?” (Jeremiah 8:21-22, NKJV).
There are many calls in many ways to try to find a way out of the current crisis of tribulations, but we should be aware and believe that God alone is the Savior, and there is no use of doing anything without His personal intervention. The Lord says in the Book of Isaiah: “I, even I, am the Lord, And besides Me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43:11). “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2-3).
Our faith in God, in His salvation, in His promises, and in His commandments is the way to prevail over this world. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith” (1 John 5:4).
It is God who fought for His people in the story of the Exodus of God’s people out of the land of slavery. Moses said to the people: “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today… The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” (Exodus 14:13-14). Moses said in his blessing before his death: “The eternal God is your refuge [for His people], And underneath are the everlasting arms [carrying His people]; He will thrust out the enemy from before you … Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, The shield of your help And the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, And you shall tread down their high places” (Deuteronomy 33:27-29).
In our troubles, we cry out with the Prophet Isaiah: “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord! Awake as in the ancient days, In the generations of old … Are You not the One who dried up the sea, The waters of the great deep; That made the depths of the sea a road For the redeemed to cross over?” (Isaiah 51:9-10).
In the Book of Judges, the Lord sent a savior to His people whenever they cried out to Him. More than once it is written: “When the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them” (Judges 3:9, 15). In the Book of Psalms, David the Prophet says: “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
God warned His people in the Old Testament of the dependency on other nations, or on their power to save without depending on Him. The Lord says through Isaiah the Prophet: “Woe to those who go down to Egypt [people other than the people of God at that time] for help, And rely on horses , Who trust in chariots because they are many, And in horsemen because they are very strong, But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, Nor seek the Lord!” (Isaiah 31:1).
In the New Testament, God gave His Son as a Savior of His people. The angel said to Joseph: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).
The Apostles witnessed to this. St. John says: “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14). The Apostle Peter testified: “Nor is there salvation in any other [other than Jesus Christ of Nazareth], for there is no other name [other than the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
If we believe that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God, the Savior who will save His people from their sins, we should also believe that He is standing in front of the Heavenly Father to intercede for us, till we are saved from our sins and from the sins and evils of others. “But He [Jesus Christ], because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost [to save from evil and from the works of the wicked] those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:24-25). “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens [who is], Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [by having confidence]. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:14 -15).
Thus, “let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace [before the Heavenly Father], that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). “Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer” (Romans 12:12). “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God” (Isaiah 40:1).
New Jersey October 10, 2011