If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Deuteronomy 3, Psalm 85, Isaiah 31, Revelation 1. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Isaiah 31.
The Assyrian Empire dominated the Middle East 700 years before Christ. They defeated the Northern Kingdom, Israel and scattered the people in those tribes away from the Promised Land. This was a direct result of Israel’s disobedience to God’s Law. Although the Southern Kingdom of Jerusalem remained in the Promised Land assigned to them, they were oppressed by the Assyrians and were fearful of being defeated by them as Israel was. Hezekiah was a godly king of Judah in many ways, be he also did some foolish things. His advisors urged him to create an alliance with the Egyptians but Isaiah pronounced a curse (v. 1: “woe”) on anyone who was looking to the Egyptians for military strength against the Assyrians. The reason for this curse is stated at the end of verse 1; they seek help from Egypt “… but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord.” As mighty as the Egyptians were, they were not nearly as powerful an ally as the Lord himself was for Judah, if they would only trust him. “But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God; their horses are flesh and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, those who help will stumble, those who are helped will fall; all will perish together.”
God had promised to protect and defend his people and that promise is repeated here in Isaiah 31 (v. 4), but humans naturally seek human solutions to human problems rather than looking to God for supernatural or providential solutions to human problems. The same is true with us; we go Googling for the answer almost immediately when we encounter a problem, but often we forget God altogether or pray as if he won’t help us anyway. This passage reminds us to turn to God, claim his promises and call for his help when we face pressures and problems in our lives.
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/calvarybiblechurch/. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.