What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help,
trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers
and depending on the strength of human armies
instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
In his wisdom, the Lord will send great disaster;
he will not change his mind.
He will rise against the wicked and against their helpers.
For these Egyptians are mere humans, not God!
Their horses are puny flesh, not mighty spirits!
When the Lord raises his fist against them, those who help will stumble
and those being helped will fall. They will all fall down and die together. (NLT)
When the ancient people of God were in big trouble, they turned to the greatest military power of their day: Egypt. Surely it could protect them against the present and future calamities. They were wrong for two reasons.
One is that not even the greatest earthly power is stronger than the power of the God who made the world. World powers might strut their stuff on the world stage and throw their weight around, but God will have the last word.
The other problem with appealing to Egypt was that the people of God had got themselves into this mess by defying God himself. They were being oppressed by other military powers, but God was allowing this to happen because of their disobedience to him. This was not a case of the poor godly people being bullied by wicked pagans. This was a case of bearing the consequences of their own folly.
When faced with troubles of our own, we can learn from this. We can learn that if we have brought trouble on our own head, some sort of repentance and change of conduct might have to be the first step. Though never assume calamities or disasters are inevitably some direct judgement from God.
We can also learn that if our troubles are part of the general challenges of living in an out of shape world, our ultimate help and hope is in God alone. Various human experts and human skills and effort can be of some help, but our bedrock security is found in only one place and in only one person.