Don't Trust in the Things of this World (Isaiah 31:1) - Radical

Don’t Trust in the Things of this World (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!”
-Isaiah 31:1

Isaiah 31:1 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.”

Isaiah 31:1 Reminds Us to Trust God, Not the World

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 or trust the ways of this world for wisdom, for counsel, for guidance. Don’t put your trust in your money or in worldly possessions or in worldly pursuits. Trust in God, trust in His Word. Trust in The Holy One of Israel. Look to Him, consult him. This is the way to live.

Isaiah 31:1 Reminds Us God Is Our Firm Foundation

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?

This Verse Leads Us To Ask God For Help To Trust Him

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 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. When we’re trusting in you, we’re obeying You and 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 and 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 strength, peace, comfort, and wisdom that nothing in this world could ever give us. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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