Tuesday, July 17

Quiet confidence

Scripture: Isaiah 29-31, James 1

Isaiah 30:1-2 Woe to the rebellious children!  This is the Lord’s declaration.  They carry out a plan, but not mine; they make an alliance, but against my will, piling sin on top of sin.  Without asking my advice they set out to go down to Egypt in order to seek shelter under Pharaoh’s protection and take refuge in Egypt’s shadow.

Isaiah 30:15 For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said: “You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence.  But you are not willing.”  

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and who depend on horses!  They trust in the abundance of chariots and in the large number of horsemen.  They do not look to the Holy One of Israel and they do not seek the Lord. 

Observation

Judah was facing invasion by Assyria from the east.  Rather than seeking the Lord, they turned to Egypt.  They sought a political and military alliance with Egypt, hoping that Egypt would protect them from Assyria.  But God had already announced that He was using Assyria to punish Judah; their alliance with Egypt was only another form of rebellion against God—they were “piling sin on top of sin.”

All of this was done without consulting the Lord.  They made a plan, but not God’s plan; they made an alliance with Egypt without seeking God’s advice.  They trusted Egypt and her military might and their own schemes, but not God.  They didn’t look to Lord or seek Him.

God reminded them that their salvation was in Him, not Egypt.  They would be delivered by returning to Him, resting in Him, trusting Him.  But they weren’t willing to do that.

Application

I can easily respond to perceived threats or problems by scheming, forming alliances, making my own plans rather than consulting the Lord.  I can trust my own strength, or others’ strength, rather than trusting the Lord.  I’m a planner and doer—nothing wrong with that, provided I trust the Lord first, and seek His plan.  Here’s my takeaways for today:

Seek God first.  When Assyria invades, when trouble comes, seek God first.  Pray first rather than scheme first.  

Ask God for His plan.  Rather than simply concocting my own plan, ask the Lord what He wants to do.

Trust the Lord and live with quiet confidence in Him.  This will be my strength—not my genius but His.  

Prayer: This is so counter-intuitive Lord—I need Your help.  I turn to You; help me to trust You, to seek You, to live with quiet confidence in You.  You are my strength.