17 In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: 18 “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre. Every head was made bald, and every shoulder was rubbed bare, yet neither he nor his army got anything from Tyre to pay for the labor that he had performed against her. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall carry off its wealth[a] and despoil it and plunder it; and it shall be the wages for his army. 20 I have given him the land of Egypt as his payment for which he labored, because they worked for me, declares the Lord God. Ezekiel 29:17-20
Babylon worked hard against Tyre, but they got nothing for it—no plunder, no slaves—all their hard work seemed for nothing. But GOD saw. They were working for Him, accomplishing HIS purposes, so He decided to give them Egypt as payment. It was a delayed payment, to be sure, but a far better pay off in the end. The land, wealth, plunder, people—all of Egypt—that was to be the wages for Babylon, the way God paid them for their service against Tyre.
It’s an interesting passage. An interesting concept.
Ever feel like you’ve worked hard? “For the Lord” even? But then felt you were robbed or shorted in you pay/reward/compensation? Ever feel that all your hard work and faithfulness came to nothing? Like it was all just pointless? Even worse, you ever feel like everyone else BUT YOU benefits from all your hard work? Like maybe it was all for something, just none of it was for you?
Take heart. Know that God sees. God’s not an unfair business man. Quite the contrary, He’s quintessentially generous. He’ll never cheat you or short you or rob you. He’s never thankless. If he withholds payment now, trust that there’s a better pay out coming—someway, somehow. Maybe on this earth, maybe not, maybe it’s tangible, maybe it’s not—but I know that it’s better. I can’t say how He’ll make good, but I know this—He’s working out HIS Kingdom on earth, and HIS Kingdom operates on generosity and abundance and love and mercy… Expect God’s generosity to be extended to you in HIS good timing. If you feel that you’ve just fought for Babylon and received none of the rewards, you may just find that God intends to give you all of Egypt instead. You just be faithful. And wait.
And just think – in the end, Tyre fought the lesser battle but reaped the greater reward. That’s the generosity and upside-down economy of God. May His Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.