Isaiah 31:1, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and really on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to The Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!” That verse ends with an exclamation point. The picture here is God speaking through Isaiah to His people for the ways they are looking, have looked to foreign nations to support them, to godless peoples as a source of strength for them. He says, “Woe to you, when you go to other things in this world, other people in this world instead of Me. You don’t look to Me, The Holy One of Israel, or consult Me. Woe upon you.”
We should trust in God, not the things of this world, for strength and provision.
Obviously, we’re in a different situation today. This is not speaking to any specific nation today. This is not saying any kind of political statement about alliances with other nations. What this is saying is, to the people of God, look to God. In our lives, don’t look to the things of this world, the pleasures, pursuits of this world, and even what looks strong in this world. Look to God. Don’t look to the ways of this world for wisdom, for counsel, for guidance. Don’t trust in the things of this world. Don’t put your trust in your money. Don’t put your trust in worldly possessions. Don’t put your trust in worldly pursuits. Don’t trust there. Trust in God, trust in His Word. Trust in The Holy One of Israel. Look to Him, consult him. This is the way to life.
If we want a sure foundation to stand on, it will not be standing on the things of this world, the pursuits of this world, even that which looks most strong in the world. It will be standing on The Word of God. It will be standing on time alone with God and the leadership of God in our lives, and the priorities of God for our lives. I encourage you, think through your life right now. How are you tempted to trust in the things of this world instead of God? How are you tempted to look to the patterns of this world for what you prioritize in your life, instead of looking to God’s Word, and re-orienting all your priorities around what He says is most important?
God, we pray that You would keep us from the sin of Israel in Isaiah 31 here. Keep us from looking to this world and the things in it, the patterns of it, as a foundation for our lives, as strength or as that which is good. God help us to see Your word as good. Help us to see Your ways as good, not the ways of this world. Help us to see Your ways as good. Help us to look to You and in You to find our strength, in You to find our hope, in You to find our joy, in You to find our confidence … That when we’re trusting in you, when we’re obeying You, when we’re following You in a Romans 12 kind of way, God keep us from being conformed to the patterns of this world. Transform us by the renewing of our minds today, as we look to You.
Help us to be constant in prayer, in seeking Your counsel. Keep us from thinking according to the ways of this world. Help us to think according to Your Word. We trust that when we do, we’ll have a strength, and a peace, and a comfort, and a wisdom that nothing in this world could ever give us. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.