Sunday, April 23, 2017

The First Woe of the Egyptian Alliance (Part VI)

"For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift. One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill." (Isaiah 30:15-17)

Once again, amidst all the turmoil, uncertainty, fear and human preparation, the Lord with both simplicity and power reminds Israel where her true hope lies. Salvation comes not by human preparation but by confidence in the Strength of the Holy One of Israel. Adversity naturally encourages human nature to make preparations for its own deliverance; however, God encourages just the opposite. Rather than instantly turn to human strength in times of trouble, God encourages each person to stop and to seek first the help of his Redeemer. The Almighty graciously offered deliverance to Israel if she would but acknowledge Him by faith; however, she was not willing. Following the same principle, the Lord Jesus offers permanent deliverance to those who will, in faith, make Him their only Source of salvation; but like the stubborn Israelites, most people refuse to accept the humble simplicity of God-fearing faith.

Enamored with the war-chariots and prized horses of Egypt's armies, the people refused faith in Jehovah and chose the physical advantage of swift horses. Unfortunately, they did not remember Psalm 20:7. "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God." Because of Israel's choice, the Lord promised that the tables would be turned upon her. The prized horses of the Egyptians would be no match for the enemy. Through the power of God's Spirit, the Assyrian would be given the upper hand while Judah and her allies would be defeated.

When God's blessing rested upon Israel in the days of Joshua, the Lord promised that one Israelite would chase a thousand enemy soldiers (Joshua 23:10); however, Israel's rebellion had produced a situation directly opposite to what God had intended for her.

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