A Voice in the
Wilderness

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                           *** PORTIONS ***

Re: God or Egypt?  (Isaiah 31)

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and lean on horses, and
trust on chariotry, because it is great; and in horsemen because they
are very strong! But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor
seek Jehovah. (Isa31:1)

For Israel, Egypt represented their past. It represented the bondage
from which God delivered them. A picture/type for the modern-day
Believer of the world and sin. Just as Israel had been slaves to Egypt,
with no discernable method of becoming free; we were slaves to sin.
(Rom6:16) Just as it took Israel's cries to God to be heard (Ex2:23),
and He delivered them by a mighty hand, so, when we were without
strength, "Christ died for us" (Rom5:6) delivering us from "darkness to
light, and from the authority of Satan to God, in order that [we] may
receive remission of sins..." (Acts26:18) and so "whoever may call on
the name of the Lord will be saved." (Rom10:13,Joel2:32)

But how many people, calling themselves "Christian", still rest in the
world! We are told to take up the whole armor of God because we are in
spiritual warfare. (Eph6:10~)  When they purport to do "evangelistic"
work, they use the world's glitz and blitz to try to "lure" people into
the kingdom with "salesmanship" tactics. That's like going in to
'pharaoh' and asking him for some soldiers and chariots so that we
might fight against him to be free from him. But "the weapons of our
warfare are NOT fleshly, but powerful to God..." (2Cor10:4)

Let's get down a little more "personal". What about when finances start
getting tight?  Remember with the manna, those who collected little
were not lacking, and those who collected much didn't have too much. It
was always "just right". Over the years I have seen the Lord's hand
regarding finances.  And, I have heard from people who have experienced
His hand, as well. We don't go buying Lotto tickets, hoping to "get
rich quick". If there are children, and one of the parents decides to
stay home to take care of the kids, perhaps it's not so necessary to
have those expensive used-once-a-year vacation toys that suck so much
out of the monthly budget in mortgage and credit card payments. Who
says you need the world's toys to have a happy family?

What about when we have emotional/spiritual problems? Do we go to the
world's practitioners? Psychology? When the Believer's soul is 'down'
and depressed, who is it who "restores my soul"? (Ps23:3) Our Good
Shepherd. If there are physical ailments, where do we go first? To the 
pills and doctors? Or to the Great Physician?

We know God supports His own. What we need to do is "remember" how the
Lord did in the past (Deu8:2); we remember "as He has been with our
fathers, He shall not forsake us or leave us." (1Kg8:57) When we feel
down, we remember and call out, "You have been my help, do not leave me
or forsake me." (Ps27:9) "For Jehovah will not leave His people; nor
will He forsake His inheritance." (Ps94:14)

Yes, as mere humans who are "dust", we sometimes worry when things
start looking scary. But our Heavenly Father "pities those who fear
Him." (Ps103:13-14) He knows us. Jesus encourages us not to be
"anxious" about our state. He reminds us that "your heavenly Father
knows that you have need of all these things." Where is our focus to
be? "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all
these things will be added to you." (~Mt6:25-34)

Let's get back to Israel, to whom this passage was originally given.
When Israel was looking to Egypt, "Egypt is a man, and not God. And
their horses are flesh, and not spirit." (vs3)  They were always in
need of 'military' aid against their enemies. When Israel was returning
from Babylon, God's message to Zerubabbel was, "Not by might, nor by
power, but by My Spirit says Jehovah of Hosts." (Zec4:6)

As Israel left Egypt, and the Egyptian army was pursuing, they were
told "stand still and see the salvation of Jehovah, which He will
prepare for you today." (Ex14:13)  On another occasion a massive force
was coming against Judah, and Judah came and stood before the Lord. God
sent His message through Jahaziel, "You shall not fear or be
terrified...for the battle is not yours, but God's...you shall not
fight in this...station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of
Jehovah..." (2Chr20:1-24)  And God worked to have the enemies ambushing
each other, killing each other off, such that by the time Israel got
out there, their enemies were already all dead.

Of the future God says to Israel, first of all, "Turn back to Him
against whom you have made a deep revolt, sons of Israel." (Is31:6)
Remember how Jesus said, "Seek -first- the kingdom of God." If there is 
sin, get right with God.

As we look at Israel's present precarious situation, so small in the
middle of so many who would wipe her existence off the earth, we shake
our heads in dismay as they continually negotiate away their resources,
hoping for peace settlements.

When Russia comes down against Israel, it will not be Israel's prowess 
that will gain the victory. God will confuse the coalition's 
communications and they will be fighting each other. (Eze38:21) There 
will be equipment malfunctions. (Eze39:3) When Assyria (Syria, Iran, 
Iraq?) comes against Israel they "shall fall by a sword, not of man;
yea, a sword, not of man, shall devour him." (Is31:8) God will also be
providing earthquakes and hailstones.

Yes, we might tell Israel to not make their peace treaties with nations 
we know will break their promises; and human wisdom would suggest to 
build up their military more.  We might encourage the USA to be a 
better friend and support to her. But the USA is like "Egypt". However, 
for all the preparations Israel might make for the final battles, 
ultimately it will be "Jehovah of Hosts [Who] will shield over 
Jerusalem; shielding and delivering, and passing over, He will save 
it." (vs5)  Not "Egypt".

Amen!