Over the past couple of weeks, I have been reading the prophet Isaiah which let’s be honest makes for some very interesting parts of scripture. One of the passages that really caught my attention and then trying to sort it out was the passage we read today.
There we have the words of God in Isaiah 31: 1-9; a very strong indictment not just of the days of Hezekiah where he was leading the people and himself away from God. Instead they were relying on Egypt completely. The reality is that these same issues are still applicable to the people of the world today as we all tend to rely upon everything else rather than our Sovereign God.
These people who should have known better were turning away from God to trust completely in man made strength and institutions for the supply of all of there needs including protection. Listen to Isa. 31:1; which says; “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude………………” But these words are a follow on from the very same message in the previous chapter where God is warning the people not to rely on these false pictures of supposed strength.
Here we read, “Woe to the obstinate children declares the Lord, to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin.” It is in these chapters 30-32 in Isaiah that God is warning the people through Isaiah the dangers and even false hopes that appear when you turn away from God. See how he drives their actions home to them as he declares that what they are doing is not part of his divine pans for them. He says, “who go down to Egypt without consulting him.” In other words, they have brought all of this upon themselves by not trusting in God.
But is this still the picture that we see in the world today as people look to everything else for their strength and shield apart from God? It is almost the same as when you are trying to guide a child in what they should do in a particular situation. And let’s be honest when we were being shown the lest way to do things or even to live our response was the same. How often do we hear “I can do it all by myself.” Yet looking on you can see that it just isn’t going to end well. And what usually did happen? It did not end well.
Well here as in so many times throughout history this is what happens. Stubborn sinful men and women firmly convinced that they do not need God nor even listen to him. But Isaiah mentions the key word through all of this and that is “trust”. These people and even today people want to trust only themselves in every situation of life. “I can do it by myself.”
Several times in the psalms we have this reference to the problems of trusting in man made things or your own strength and the dangers that this brings about. But throughout all of this turning away from God and trusting in their strength and worldly possession there is a gentle reminder. David declares it in Psalm 20:7; “Some trust in chariots and some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”
I love the very subtle message from God through all of this rebellion then and even today as it has been through every generation. The people of the world today are still declaring that they do not need God at all. Look at their actions in everything. Nations build up stockpile of weapons to build up their own power and might. There are the groups who are happy to tell us that we can put anything into our own bodies in the form of illegal drugs. There are the groups that are now rekindling the debate that it is all right to take a life through abortion. There are the groups who tell us that we change the created order and have more than a man and a woman. But they all forget that the very body they want to use is a creation of God. It is also described as a temple in which the Holy Spirit lives.
These people receiving the warning from God through the prophet Isaiah we only focused upon themselves. They trusted in no one except who they thought could look after them in all that they could see in front of them. Commonly called the ‘here and now’ but how wrong they were because there is more than just the here and now.
God has a wonderful description that covers all of these nations, people and physical things for their help, care and protection. You have all heard of ‘Dora the explorer, Thomas the tank engine, or even Whinne the pooh’ and when you think of them a picture comes into your head. Not trying to tell you if this picture is any good. But let’s give you a biblical catch phrase that is really good for you to remember, “Rahab the Do-Nothing.”
This is God’s way of describing all of the false powers that men think that can help through everything, but they can do nothing. They are a “Rahab the Do-Nothing.” It is there in Isaiah 30:7; “to Egypt whose help is utterly useless. Therefore I call her Rahab the Do-Nothing.”
So what then do we really have? We have our Heavenly Father the one in whom we trust completely. As David said, ‘we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” As Rom. 10:11; “As the scripture says, ‘Anyone who trusts in the Lord will never be put to shame.”
We can also read in Heb. 6: 18-20; “God did this so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us……………….”
Men make plans and try to rely on their own strength, but it will all come to nothing. Rahab the Do-Nothing is the best way to always remember this. But for those who trust completely in God and His promises will never be disappointed. As the hymn tells us ‘my hope is built on Jesus blood and righteousness.’
Let’s finish with these words from 2 Peter 1:3-4; “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory…………….”
Where is your trust and hope? Is it in Rahab the Do-Nothing or in Almighty God who is the anchor for your soul, firm and secure through Jesus Christ our Lord?
Let us pray………………..Amen