In this season of social distancing for many, and shelter in place orders for others, as we all try to fight for faith in the face of COVID-19, I decided to share one thought a day from my daily devotional time in the hope of strengthening other’s hands in God (1 Sam 23:16), and encouraging friends forward in faith. You can subscribe at the bottom of the page to receive an email for each new post, and feel free to come back daily and share with anyone who might find them beneficial.
I use a reading plan that has me reading a few chapters in different parts of the Scripture for every day of the week, and so each day’s content will be dictated by the required daily reading of that plan. I will focus in on one unit of thought rather than trying to address the full scope of the day’s reading. I am trusting God that He will speak from different parts of His Word, as He always does.
Thursday, April 2nd
Reading: Isaiah 31-33
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
and 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!
— Is 31:1
This prophecy from Isaiah is from the time recorded in 2 Kings 18, where Sennacherib, king of Assyria threatens to attack Jerusalem and Judah’s king, Hezekiah doesn’t know what to do in the face of a mounting siege. Sennacherib sends another wonderfully named fellow, Rabshakeh, to shout taunts at the representatives of Jerusalem and the guards who are standing watch on her walls. It works. The Assyrians are a terrifying bunch.
Hezekiah, who knew this threat was coming, had consulted with Egypt, and looked to the possibility of military assistance from their former enemy, and it is this impulse that Isaiah prophetically rebukes. You see, Egypt had a lot of what Judah needed in the face of upcoming suffering and strife. They had the best horses, tons of chariots and men to ride them, and strong armed fighters with a reputation for military might and precision. It made a lot of sense to place hope in their help. They were also a godless lot who had held Israel in brutal slavery for generations, but humans have a remarkable ability to trust in the very power that has previously enslaved them.
Isaiah reminds the people of Jerusalem … great sorrow awaits you if you put your hope and trust in the things of Egypt and fail to even consult the Lord or look to Him in your moment of need.
It’s got me thinking. In this season of extreme refining for the people of the world, we have an opportunity to realign where we put our trust. For many of us, our temptation is to look to the very things that enslaved us for years, without looking to our Lord or even consulting Him on what to do next.
I know that this is a stressful time, so go to the Lord. Consult Him. Look to Him. Don’t look to the horses of Egypt. They aren’t as strong as you think.
Courage, dear friends.