Scripture: Isaiah 31:1 Alas for those who go down to Egypt for help and who rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord! 2 Yet he too is wise and brings disaster; he does not call back his words, but will rise against the house of the evildoers, and against the helpers of those who work iniquity. 3 The Egyptians are human, and not God; their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and the one helped will fall, and they will all perish together.
Observation: The Assyrians, an invading people conquering much of world around the Israelites, are now preparing to invade Israel itself. For protection, the Israelites make an alliance with Egypt rather than doing as their God has directed via the prophet Isaiah. This passage warns God’s people their alliance with Egypt is futile.
Application: Too often I am like the Israelites seeking help from the Egyptians rather than from the Lord. I am too easily impressed with worldly solutions to my problems. And as a pastor, I should know better. It’s not that worldly solutions are to be ignored, it’s that my first response should be to take any and all problems to the Lord. Our God can resolve in an instant what may take humans a lifetime. A key question for me today:
Where am I relying on “Egypt” rather than on the Lord? In other words, where am I turning to solutions of this world rather than to the Lord God, Creator of heaven and earth?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are so easliy impressed with things of this world. We too often fail to acknowledge you, your power, your grace. Rather than living as your children, we live as orphans struggling on our own. It should not be so. Give us grace to embrace our identity as your children. And, as your children, help us to seek You first. In all things. Amen.