“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots
and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
or seek help from the Lord.”
– Isaiah 31
Don’t put your trust in the things of this world. They won’t last. I’ve written along these lines before, but it bears repeating. God clearly thinks so judging by how often he reminds his people throughout the Old Testament.
When you look to things other than the Lord for your protection, power, or freedom, it’s not going to go well.
In Isaiah 31 God is addressing Israel and warning them against looking to Egypt for help and protection from Assyria, Babylon, and other threatening nations. Egypt had a large army – a multitude of chariots and hordes of strong horsemen, but God declares woe on those who look to Egypt for help.
Israel was being tempted to return to their old captor in order to feel safe, abandoning the God who had set them free from Egypt and slavery in the first place.
What multitude are you putting your trust in today? When life troubles come along are you expecting your array of preparations or piles of saved dollars to protect you?
What strength are you looking to? Are you trusting in the strength of your willpower or the strength of the economy or the strength of your relationships?
Want to see the power of God at work? Give up the chariots and horsemen and the thousand little things you think make you secure. Look instead to God’s multitude of grace found in Jesus. Look instead to the strength of God’s power demonstrated in Jesus. Embrace the conflict and trust that God is more than able to help you, even when an entire nation is opposing you.
Woe to those who look to Egypt for help, but those who look to the Lord can say with the Psalmist, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23).