Trust in God

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Christians should place their trust in God above all else.

All right everyone,
Go ahead and open you Bibles to Isaiah 31.1
If you haven’t already:
Mute your microphones
Turn off your web cams
That just helps us remove as much distraction as we can during the message

Trust in God

Every day we place our trust in many things. For example:
When we sit in a chair, we place our trust in the chair to be able to support our weight.
When we get into a car, we place our trust in the driver to get us safely to where we wish to go.
When we lock our doors at night, we place our trust in our homes to keep strangers out of our house while we sleep.
Now, if any of those things have ever failed you at any point, your trust in that thing begins to weaken…
so if a chair slips from under you, you will be more cautious next time you sit in that chair
If someone isn’t a safe driver, you are going to be more hesitant to get in the car with them if they offer to drive again
And if your home gets broken into, you (or more likely your parent) might upgrade your home with a security system.
But all of these extra measures to ensure your safety are not guarantees that you will be kept safe.
This is what we will see in our text tonight:
Just to give some context,
Isaiah the prophet is giving a series of warnings to the leaders of Israel concerning the judgment and discipline of God that they will experience because of their sin and disobedience to God.
Isaiah is warning them of the Assyrian army that will come to destroy Jerusalem, and so Isaiah calls Israel’s leaders to repentance. But listen to what they do instead of repenting and seeking the Lord.
Isaiah 31:1 ESV
1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!

1) The appearance of safety is not reliable.

Israel attempted to protect themself from Assyria by making an alliance with Egypt for their protection…
Look a the language describing Israel’s reliance on Egypt
They go down to Egypt for help
relying on their horses
and trusting their chariots
And based on external appearance, this looks like a sure way on securing their safety.
Egypt has horses with many chariots and strong horsemen.
In the ancient world the chariot would have been one of the best weapons of war… so it is no wonder that Israel made their alliance with Egypt due to their military strength…
But while Egypt may have appeared strong, Egypt’s protection would not be enough to save Israel from God’s judgment
This is made clear in v 3
Isaiah 31:3 ESV
3 The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together.
And furthermore, Israel, of all people, should know the power of God that is able to destroy mighty armies…
Israel’s history is full of stories where their enemies were completely destroyed not because Israel was strong, but because God was with them....
And one of the most clear examples of this is when God delivered Israel from the hand of Egypt itself...
This deliverance that is recorded in Exodus was God’s doing and not Israel’s
Thus God demonstrated his ability to redeem Israel. And this was to teach them an important lesson
and we need to learn lesson too
That is this…

2) We are to look to God for his protection.

But the sad thing, is even though Israel experienced the power of God’s protection and deliverance in the past…
Looking to God for protection is exactly what Israel failed to do
Isaiah 31:1 ESV
1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!
Now it is important to note what this doesn’t mean…
This doesn’t mean that we cannot receive help from people
This isn’t a criticism on using going to the doctor or using medicine
Or a rebuke for those who are financially responsible and save their money…
But what one must see is this:
we should not place our hope and trust in other people’s help
or in medicine to keep us healthy
or in our financial decisions to provide us security for tomorrow…
Our hope is not to rest in these things… rather our hope and trust is in the Lord…
we look to him to be our help in our time of need
we look to him to sustain us in life
we look to God who provides for us in all circumstances …
And this is exactly what Israel failed to do…
Israel did not look to God for help, but instead looked to Egypt.
But Israel’s folly was not simply in their failure to look to God for help, but listen to the rest of the verse
Isaiah 31:1 ESV
1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the Lord!
That word, consult, means to seek information or advice from someone with greater knowledge or wisdom than you.
As many of you plan what you will do after high school, you probably consult a guidance counselor or a parent to learn and gain insight so as to make a wise decision for your future.
Or if you have financial questions, you might consult a financial advisor…
So too, as Israel began to make a decision and look for protection, they should have brought that decision before the Lord.

3) Every decision must be brought into conformity with God’s will.

And the way we know God’s will is through his word…
For in that word, we have everything that we need to know in order to be faithful to God through the Christian life.
Had Israel consulted the LORD they would have known what he said in Deuteronomy 17:16
Deuteronomy 17:16 ESV
16 Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’
You see, Israel resolved to provide for there safety by displeasing God and disobeying his will.
They did so at the cost of forgetting God’s work of redemption, and they forgot God’s desire for them to be faithful to him alone.
Now, what does this have to do with us?
I didn’t pick this text to warn us of the consequences of making an alliance with Egypt or to show you how chariots will not offer you any guarantee of protection.
In Acts 4:12, Peter says this of Jesus
Acts 4:12 ESV
12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
In this sense, Peter is telling us, that any hope or rescue from sin and death…
does not come from yourself
or from any other person,
be it Egypt
Your parents
or your pastor…
But salvation is found only through the person and work of Jesus.
so place your trust, your confidence, and your hope and life in him.
1. Even though they looked strong, Egypt was unable to protect Israel. What things that once appeared stable have let you down?
2. What problems do you try to fix on your own without first seeking the Lord’s help?
3. When is it wrong to receive help from others?
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