Isaiah Chapter Thirty One, Where Could I Go?

In our study of Isaiah chapter thirty one, we look at the futility of running to men for help when the real answer is to trust in God. There is an old song called "Where could I go (but to the Lord)" that came to mind when I was studying this chapter. It speaks of the same type of situation that Jerusalem was facing during Isaiah's time where there is danger and you have a choice to either stand on your faith or to run to men for help. In chapter 30, Isaiah reassured the people that God would fight the battle for them and, now, he continues by describing what will happen if they look to men for the help that only God can provide.

Isaiah 31:1

"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." NIV translation

Isaiah gives a strong warning about what will happen to the people if they run to Egypt to protect them from the Assyrians. We might ask: What is wrong with allowing others to help?

The first thing is that they were looking for someone to do what God had already promised to do Himself. The second thing is that it is a form of idolatry in elevating men to the position of sustainer which is God's place.

Isaiah 31:2

"Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster; he does not take back his words. He will rise up against that wicked nation, against those who help evildoers." NIV translation

This verse can be a little bit confusing but it speaks of the fact that God would be against the nation of Egypt if they tried to help the people of Jerusalem. He goes on to describe the people that trust in the Egyptians as "evildoers" and it may seem harsh but that is the way that God looks at those who refuse to trust in Him. 

That fact should cause each of us to ask ourselves whether we lead people to trust in God or do we teach them to rely on the good will of men.