Read Isaiah 30:1-5
1 “What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,”
says the Lord.
“You make plans that are contrary to mine.
You make alliances not directed by my Spirit,
thus piling up your sins.
2 For without consulting me,
you have gone down to Egypt for help.
You have put your trust in Pharaoh’s protection.
You have tried to hide in his shade.
3 But by trusting Pharaoh, you will be humiliated,
and by depending on him, you will be disgraced.
4 For though his power extends to Zoan
and his officials have arrived in Hanes,
5 all who trust in him will be ashamed.
He will not help you.
Instead, he will disgrace you.” (NLT)
When we are in trouble we may look around desperately for any sort of help. When unhappy we grasp at anything that provides relief. Some turn to addictive substances like alcohol or drugs. Some engage in extramarital affairs. Some embrace dubious self-help therapies. Some even jump on political bandwagons to solve their frustrations.
This ancient text speaks of God’s people turning to Egypt in their time of threat. At that time, Egypt was a great power and Israel figured that such power would avert the threats facing them. God warns them against it. Pharaoh is just not up to it. He might be great in worldly terms, but he is not the means by which their trouble is to be overcome. They have clutched at an immediate and seemingly promising sort of help without calling on the help of God. Always an indication that more rather than less trouble awaits us.
It is certainly not as if others can’t help us, or that God’s help only comes to us via direct ‘spiritual’ means. God is able to use all sorts of things and people to aid us. But only as we entrust ourselves to him in the first place. Only as we recognise he is our ultimate security and refuge. We dare not fall for the seductive lie that says mere earthly programmes or policies or power or pleasures can offer us protection.
Our help comes from our Creator, not that which he has created.