I got to thinking the other morning as I was studying Isaiah about the desperate situation Hezekiah found himself in and the direction he chose to follow. Look at these two verses and let’s see if there isn’t something in there for the bride of Christ. There is a lot here and I can only scratch the surface.
Isa 30:6-7 6 The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them. 7 For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength is to sit still.
In an effort to form a protective alliance for Judah and Jerusalem he sent his princes and ambassadors loaded down with riches and treasures from the kingdom in order to buy an alliance with Egypt. And look where he sent them: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent. And on top of that, who was he trusting in?
Isa 30:7 For the Egyptians shall help in vain and to no purpose. Therefore I have called her .
He was putting the trust of Judah and Jerusalem in whom Isaiah calls Rahab-Hem-Shebeth; a reference to Rahab the sea monster who is identified with chaos, confusion, noise and powerlessness. One writer translated the name as “A big-mouth, a do-nothing.” However you view it, the name just represents the foolishness and futility of trusting in Egypt. Now, let’s quickly look at two key things the Lord pointed out to me as I was reading this chapter.
First, if you step back and look at this you will see a very important and key fact… this was the complete reversal of the exodus.
Deut 8:14-15 God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;
Hezekiah was turning away from God and going right back into the very thing God led Israel out of. He was forgetting God and risking the lives and treasures of the kingdom to Rahab-Hem-Shebeth; the very one from whom God had delivered them! Think about that and ask yourself the question; have you ever failed to wait on God, taken things in your own hand and gone back to Egypt; gone back to the world for help? Turned your back on the spiritual in favor of the natural? I have!
God delivered us out of the bondage of sin just as He delivered Israel out of the bondage of slavery. For us to turn back to the source of that sin in times of trouble and turn our back on God is to make the same mistake as Hezekiah. It’s to fail to see the vision God has given us and take the situation and solution into our own hands. What “Assyria” is standing in front of you that is causing you to fear? Who will you put your trust in? Who will you turn to? Will you stand and wait on God?
Isaiah’s word to Judah is one that we should keep in mind as the enemy seems to be closing in on us. Listen to what God had to say to Hezekiah:
Isa 30:1-3 “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord, “Who take counsel, but not of Me, And who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, That they may add sin to sin; 2 Who walk to go down to Egypt, And have not asked My advice, To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, And to trust in the shadow of Egypt! 3 Therefore the strength of Pharaoh Shall be your shame, And trust in the shadow of Egypt Shall be your humiliation.
Are we “rebellious children” who take counsel from someone other than God? Do we fear the situation so much that instead of waiting on the One who has promised to take care of us we “devise our own plans?” Do we try and strengthen ourselves by seeking answers in the world (the natural) instead of seeking wisdom from the Lord who has promised to give it to us if we just ask? Do we take the path of rebellious children or the path of the bride of Christ? If we choose the path of rebellion the consequences for us are the same as they were for Hezekiah; shame and humiliation!
Trusting in Rahab-Hem-Shebeth or in the Lord… not even a choice to consider!