Admonitions to Trust God for Deliverance — continued
The woe oracle contained in Isaiah 31:1-3 addresses the foolishness of trusting in Egypt rather than in God. Judah was impressed with Egypt’s army (see Deuteronomy 17:14-16 regarding the prohibition against going to Egypt for help). Isaiah told the people they must choose between trusting in the Egyptian army (made up of men and horses of flesh) or trusting in the Lord.
The words “help,” “rely,” “trust,” and “do not look to” in verse 1, accentuate Judah’s reliance upon Egypt. They looked to Egypt and did “not look to the Holy One of Israel” (31:1, and see also the attitude expressed in 30:11). This failure to trust the Lord would result in failure. Isaiah noted that neither “he who helps” (Egypt) nor “he who is helped” (Judah) would be able to stand.
The only hope for dealing with the Assyrian threat was with the Lord (31:4-9). Isaiah called the people to repent and return to the Lord from whom they had defected (31:6) and to destroy their idols (31:7). God Himself would deal with the Assyrians (31:8) and any who tried to attack Jerusalem (31:9).
Practical Consideration: Trusting God is a matter of choice … an act of the will.
Judah’s leaders had a choice when they felt the pressure of the Assyrian threat. Isaiah records that they chose to trust in Egypt’s military machine rather than in God. They chose to trust in things made of flesh rather than in God. They chose to rely on the words of the Egyptians rather than on the words of God. They chose to look to the power of pharaoh rather than to the power of God. We too, have a choice when it comes to trusting God. May we choose to trust God and say with the psalmist, “Some boast in chariots, and some in horses; but we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God” (Psalm 20:7).