Today: [Isaiah 31] Give God a Chance to Work in Your Situation. In chapter 31 of Isaiah the prophet encourages the people to trust in God and not in man. The southern kingdom is convinced they must call on their former slave masters in Egypt to come down and save them. Isaiah declares if they will refuse this thinking and trust in God that the Lord will come down and defend them like a lion roaring against the prey. Have you ever caved in under pressure and made a bad decision rather than trust in God? This is the message of our chapter today. Give God a chance to work. Keep your trust in God intact and see what the Father will do next.
[Isa 31:1-9 KJV] 1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because [they are] many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD! 2 Yet he also [is] wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back his words: but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work iniquity. 3 Now the Egyptians [are] men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together. 4 For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, [he] will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. 5 As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver [it; and] passing over he will preserve it. 6 Turn ye unto [him from] whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. 7 For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you [for] a sin. 8 Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. 9 And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire [is] in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.
In this chapter Isaiah continues to lobby against the plan to call on the Egyptians to defend Jerusalem from invasion. “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help…” In chapter 30, verse 7 Isaiah declared:
[Isa 30:7 KJV] 7 For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength [is] to sit still.
Have you ever called for help in a situation from someone you were absolutely sure would be there for you, only to find they didn’t want to get involved? Some people are willing to walk in fellowship with you but they are not willing to have relationship with you. What that means is they will be your friend and enjoy your company – but if you ever really need them you can forget it. Make it your determination not to be this person. Be willing to stand by those you consider to be your friends, even if it costs you something. When you are rebuffed and find even those closest to you don’t want to get involved in what you are facing, forgive them. Do not allow hurts, wounding and offense to distract you from the matter at hand.
Very often we run to our friends when we need to run to Jesus. This is the entire argument of the book of Isaiah. The city of Jerusalem is looking to the Assyrians, to Egypt, to Ethiopia, etc., to solve problems and help them face the threat of invasion. In Isaiah 1:21 the prophet calls this harlotry:
[Isa 1:21 KJV] 21 How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.
How can we apply this truth to ourselves? In Rev. 14:8 we find that the one great sin of spiritual Babylon is fornication. This includes but also goes beyond the obvious sexual connotation. The word fornication as it is used in scripture derives in the New Testament from the Greek word “pornea” which means “to sell”. How many times do we get under pressure and sell out our principles for the expediency of the moment? These are moments when we are fully aware of what the scriptures tell us but because of immediate challenges decide that we can set that aside and find justification in other choices that denigrate our testimony but conclude it is necessary to deal with immediate problems before us. To this Isaiah speaks in Isa. 8:19:
[Isa 8:19 KJV] … should not a people seek unto their God?
Egypt in this chapter is a type of the world and the world’s system. If you study the development of civilization from the standpoint of sacred history you will find that it was the line of Cain and not that of righteous Seth that built cities, established metallurgy, worked in the arts, invented musical instruments, etc. The line of Seth right down through Abraham lived lives of agrarian simplicity, looking to God and counting the stars in pursuit of relationship to the creator. When Abraham suffered in the land of famine however he went down to Egypt for relief. Isaac did the same thing a generation later. There was a time of famine and he assayed to go to Egypt for relief like his father before him. In this case however the Lord met Isaac on the way and restrained him:
[Gen 26:1-4 KJV] 1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. 2 And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: 3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; 4 And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
This is what Isaiah is referring to when He commands the southern kingdom and the city of Jerusalem not to go down to Egypt for help. As observant Jews they knew this story as well as Isaiah did. They knew that the promise of God came to Isaac because he did NOT do exactly what the entire city was clamoring to happen – to go to Egypt for relief. We do the same thing many times. We want to “cut and run” when we are under pressure and go back to doing things the way we did before we came to Christ. We want to look other than to God for our help but realize this – BECAUSE Isaac obeyed God he was abundantly blessed:
[Gen 26:12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.
We cry out to God many times to know WHEN the promises of God are going to accrue to us. We think that perhaps God is holding out on us for some reason. Theologians and teachers try to convince us that all this suffering is actually God’s will and that all we need to do is wait. Notice however that it was AFTER Isaac obeyed God and refused to implement THE NATURAL SOLUTION, the choice his own father Abraham would have made and in fact did make, it was AFTER ISAAC chose to believe God that the 100 fold return became his portion.
In verse 4 Isaiah promises the people of God that the Lord will defend Zion like a lion roaring down upon His prey. Verse 5 says that God will defend Jerusalem and pass over them as a bird passing overhead to drive off the impending invaders. Likewise God will defend you in your time of trial. Always look to God first. Resist leaning to the arm of flesh as a first resort. It sounds disrespectful but give God a chance to show His faithfulness by not giving in to doing things they way everyone else does when they are in trouble. Resist the Babylon principle of fornication. Refuse to sell out and put your trust in man when only trust in God will bring you through with your testimony intact and the heart of God happy because you have demonstrated your trust in Him once again and been rewarded.
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