Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses and who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Holy One of Israel nor seek the Lord (Isaiah 31:1).
Just turn on the television and you find multitudes of people who want to help you, help you consolidate your debt, help you make retirement investments, and the list goes on and on. Really? Do they really want to help, or do they just want to help themselves? The moral of the story is that you need to look for help in the right places.
Isaiah confronted Judah with two sins: the sin of trusting in Egypt and their military might, and the sin of not looking to the Holy One of Israel. Judah felt they had a reason to trust in chariots (because they are many). Judah felt they had a reason to trust in horsemen (because they are very strong). But they couldn’t seem to find a reason to trust in the LORD.
How much better it is to have the heart of the Psalmist in Psalm 20:7: Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. And our trust should only be in the LORD.
Though Judah couldn’t seem to find a reason to trust God, the reasons were there, and Isaiah called them to remember the reasons. They should trust God more than the Egyptians or their armies because He also is wise and will bring disaster…He will arise against the house of evildoers. The Egyptians were men, and not God; and their horses were flesh, and not spirit: Judah was also wrong about their trust in Egypt. The Egyptians and their armies were not as mighty as they seemed to be. All the LORD must do to topple them, along with all who trust in them, was to stretch out His hand.
Judah’s trust in Egypt for protection against the Assyrian invasion was both foolish and unnecessary. God would protect Mount Zion if Judah trusted Him or not. Because of how great God is, because of how terrible the alternatives to serving Him are, we should feel compelled to return to Him. Repentance means turning towards God, and away from anything we have put in God’s place, idols of silver and idols of gold – sin, which your own hands have made.
What idols do you trust and where do you look for help? So, when you need help, don’t reach for the remote control, reach for the Bible and find your help, protection and security in the Word of God.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
Even when we’re looking forward to a new year, it’s easy to become pessimistic about our world. The headlines attest to that. Yet these three things will always remain: faith, hope, and love.
As Christians, we should never forget God’s calling on our lives to be salt and light to our culture, no matter the persecution we may face for speaking the truth in love. And if you fear that 2023 may hold more challenges in store for Christians than this past year, let God’s word through the prophet Isaiah bring you peace:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
We don’t know the future, but we know the Author of that future, and we can trust him with it. Fear not! Jim Denison
— o —
Commercialism is a system that can enslave you. How foolish to put yourself under the domination of something so fleeting and insignificant. We are here for such a short time, but eternity is forever. Is it wise to put everything into this life, and nothing in the life to come?
Jesus said, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15). Our lives consist in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I would much rather be poor in this world and rich in faith, than rich in this world and poor in faith. The riches that we have in Christ are lasting— they are eternal. Dan Shock
— o —
• 52 percent of American adults believe that Jesus was a great teacher and nothing more.
• 53 percent of Americans believe the Bible “is not literally true.”
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Remember that stress doesn’t come from what’s going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what’s going on in your life.
Unexpressed gratitude expresses ingratitude. Andy Stanley
Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot. Clarence Thomas
No matter where you are, someone is looking to you as a role model, and following your example. Your child is learning how to be a parent from what they observe in you. Younger Christians are learning what it means to follow Christ from watching you. How important it is that we take this responsibility seriously. What are people seeing in you? Dan Shock
Clearly, we need a Savior to save us from our sins. But, paradoxically, one of the sins from which we need to be saved is the sin of rejecting our need for a Savior. Jim Denison
Your feedback is welcome. Feel free to pass this along to others and to contribute your ideas and thoughts. Address all items and comments to [email protected]. © Thoughts on Life Copyright 2023