The glory that was Egypt is now dust

Lord, I come to You with a heart full of thanksgiving, I have seen the swamps and mires men live in, they smooth out a place in the mud, shape it and pack it down to their liking, and they say that this is what You gave them, what You intended for them.
Now, I know that this is the exact opposite of what You intended for us. The swamp is the place we get to leave as we come to live in You. As You told us many times in the Old Testament. The glory of man fades quickly and is as dust under Your feet.
The recent digs in Egypt have underscored this. The recently discovered massive, impressive statue of Amenhotep III made of pink granite, a substance which is indestructible in our eyes, lies in fragments, the largest of which, the head, lies mute, and impotent on it’s side, the beard of the pharaohs ( a symbol of the god-king’s power) broken off.
On the same site there are a couple of other massive statues which have been reconstructed, they are lumpy ghosts of what they once were. The massive pink granite statue lies in pieces, a puzzle for the conservators to solve, but it is a signpost for us, the Greatest King of Egypt in all of his glory could not build a permanent honor to himself. Instead it lies broken and no longer expresses the magnificence of his reign. How well Shelley put it nearly 200 years ago (Ozymandias, see below). Yet in all this time with the Old Testament, and Shelley for counsel we have not taken this lesson to heart. We constantly strive to build ourselves up, yet if we trust in our riches and in our strength, we will always gather dust as our reward.
Life lies in the riches of Your Spirit, a life lived in love, beloved by You and sharing whatever You bring us. A life illuminated by Your presence.


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert…Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley


[Published by Hunt in “The Examiner”, January, 1818. Reprinted with
“Rosalind and Helen”, 1819. There is a copy amongst the Shelley
manuscripts at the Bodleian Library. See Mr. C.D. Locock’s
“Examination”, etc., 1903, page 46.]

My earnest thanks to Project Gutenberg for making this classic work available. Shelley’s works are in the Public Domain, they are listed here.
You have to hunt for them, His work is next to his wife’s writings (Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley).

Explore posts in the same categories: Christianity, Dreams / Vision, God, Hearing God, Jesus, Journaling, Poem, Poetry, religion, Writing

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5 Comments on “The glory that was Egypt is now dust”

  1. Rachel Says:

    So true. Reminds me of the verse – Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

    This life is so fleeting may we each focus on the work that God prepared in advance for us to do.


    • Nathan Says:

      Thanks Rachel,
      I am a somewhat older guy, and each time I look up and realize another month, another year has past I realize how futile the things I try to cling to are. There really is no such thing as progress unless you are going Gods way with His power.
      More power to you, sister


      • Nathan Says:

        My wife just found this quoted in the back of a Mennonite cookbook, it goes right along with what we have been talking about.

        “3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
        there is no help for you there.
        4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
        and all their plans die with them.
        5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
        whose hope is in the Lord their God.
        6 He made heaven and earth,
        the sea, and everything in them.
        He keeps every promise forever.
        7 He gives justice to the oppressed
        and food to the hungry.
        The Lord frees the prisoners.”
        Psalm 146:3-7 (New Living Translation)

        Even in the midst of catastrophe,
        He is our future!!

  2. cindyinsd Says:

    We work so hard to create some kind of lasting heritage–man-made “eternal life,” and the greatest of these is lying in the dust. It is all futility without Jesus, who is the door into true life. Beautiful work, Nathan, and thanks for including that incredible poem!

    Love in Jesus, Cindy

    • Nathan Says:

      Ha Cindy,
      The man made immortality idea has got to be one of the biggest lies that so many of us have bought.
      Thank you for your kind words Cindy, He is shepherding us into a life that none of us expected, because none of us could see what He was saying. Thank God He is healing our blindness.
      Bless you guys up in SD

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