Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely 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, ESV)
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD. (Isaiah 31:1, NIV)
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD! (Isaiah 31:1, NASV)
What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. (Isaiah 31:1, NLT)
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, 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, NKJV)
Doom to those who go off to Egypt thinking that horses can help them, impressed by military mathematics, awed by sheer numbers of chariots and riders - and to The Holy of Israel, not even a glance, not so much as a prayer to God. (Isaiah 31:1, The Message)
How terrible it will be for those people who go down to Egypt for help. They think horses will save them. They think their many chariots and strong horsemen will save them. But they don't trust God, the Holy One of Israel, or ask the Lord for help. (Isaiah 31:1, NCV)
Several years ago, when traveling home from a family trip, we had an incident with our camping trailer that sticks with me to this day. We were in the middle lane of the Interstate with a significant amount of traffic on either side of us. The lug studs on one trailer tire all sheared at once, causing the wheel and our vehicle/trailer tandem to go their separate ways. I can only attribute it to God that we were able to get over to the right lane, up an exit ramp, and stopped safely with no injury to us, no significant damage to the trailer, and no reports of the "dearly departed wheel" hitting anyone else. Oh, and it was a single-axle trailer, which made things all the more interesting.
Once we had regained whatever composure we could and tried to think about what to do next. We were due to stop soon, but without the trailer available to us, we'd need to make alternate plans. Part of what we did involved calling the insurance company who provided our trailer and road hazard insurance. After a series of calls, the representative arranged with a local towing company to come get our trailer - and it took two trucks to get the job done. Here, God also provided what I can only term a pair of "angels" in a couple who had the trailer deposited in their driveway, saw we found our way to a motel for the night, and repaired the wheel with the spare the next morning. Considering I never saw a bill from the towing company, we were only out the cost of the motel and a little more time than we planned on taking for that brief overnight stop.
This story came to mind as I thought of the single verse quoted in this entry. The verse was brought to my attention by someone who noted he had read it as the first verse of a daily passage and never gotten any further. The words had a huge impact on Tim, and he just couldn't continue. He shared the verse on a social media site and I began looking it up in multiple translations.
The meaning of the words - the near heart-breaking statement from God - hit home. Unlike the incident I described where I called the "appropriate" agency for assistance, we too often face life's trials without turning to God at the very first. Just like Israel when the Assyrians were knocking on their door, we look to Egypt because they appear strong, sleek, and well-positioned to help. And God weeps over His children who don't seek him, don't even give him a glance or a prayer.
As I travel this Crooked Path, I need to constantly remind myself that God wants to be my first resource. He has provided in so many ways at so many times and He is always ready to hear my plea for help. As I noted a few entries back, we have a Tireless Advocate. Our God never tires of us and will never turn us away. That's a comforting thought and very reassuring.
- Who or what do you turn to when you see trouble approaching? Or, in a more basic question that might require a deeper answer, who do you trust to provide for you?
- Have you found yourself trying to work out your life by yourself, or planning some route of escape without consulting God? Can you imagine how God feels when you do that?
- Will you make a fresh commitment now to seek God first, to give Him far more than just a passing glance? Can you trust Him to provide the rescue or relief you so desperately need?