Egypt is Not the Way Out

Joel Sanchez 

Isaiah 30 presents a sad picture of Israel. They’ve walked away from God and now find themselves as pawns to other nations more powerful than them. In their moment of distress, they decide to make an alliance with Egypt, one of the strongest empires, in hopes that they would be saved from an impending invasion by the Assyrians.

Through Isaiah the prophet, God tells them, “Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord, “who carry out a plan, but not mine, and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my direction, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!”  Isaiah 30:1-2

There is nothing wrong with having plans and strategies and to work hard to accomplish important things. But sometimes you may be tempted to go at it on your own, to rely on your strategy without consulting God. Sometimes you may be tempted to rely on people, strategies and plans that are ungodly, plans that are not well thought out or plans that you have not had a chance to pray about. Maybe it’s what everyone else is doing and they are getting great results. Maybe they seem too good to pass up or like the only way out.

This is what Egypt represented to Israel. Egypt was strong and they were weak. Egypt had weapons and they were empty-handed. Egypt seemed to have it all and the people of God felt they needed to make an alliance to be saved.

In verse 15 of chapter 30, God reminds them, "For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

You may be tempted to go at it your way, to follow the pattern of the world, to rely on plans, strategies, and people who are ungodly simply because it seems like the only way out, the easy way out, or the fastest way out. In those times follow the advice of Isaiah 30:15.

Your strength, your deliverance, your answer, your provision, your resolution is not found in you or who you know or even what you know. It is found in returning to God, resting on His promises, in quieting your anxiety by remembering that those who put their trust in God will never be put to shame (Psalm 25:3).

May God help you today to identify the plans and strategies that are yours and not His, to have the ability to sit and quietly listen to God’s guidance and direction, and to hopefully await God’s mighty hand in your life, your struggles, your family and your future.

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