Rebellious Children

“Woe to the rebellious children,” declares the LORD,
“Who execute a plan, but not Mine,
And make an alliance, but not of My Spirit,
In order to add sin to sin;
Who proceed down to Egypt
Without consulting Me,
To take refuge in the safety of Pharaoh
And to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
“Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame
And the shelter in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation.
“For their princes are at Zoan
And their ambassadors arrive at Hanes.
“Everyone will be ashamed because of a people who cannot profit them,
Who are not for help or profit, but for shame and also for reproach.” (Isaiah 30:1-5)

War plans never survive contact with the enemy. The people of Israel feared the rising power of the Assyrians and Babylonians. To counter the very real threat, they attempted to make an alliance with the Egyptians. The Egyptians had long served as a counterweight to the power of Mesopotamia, with Israel balanced precariously between the two of them. God pointed out that in seeking help from Egypt, the Jewish people were rejecting help from God. They were trusting the power of an Egypt that they could see, and distrusted God, whom they could not. Rather than consulting God, rather than praying, rather than studying the word of God, they relied on themselves.

Children make decisions based on what they think is best, based on their understanding of things. But children lack both the brain development and the experience base that adults have. What seems like a perfectly reasonable plan of action to a child, can be incredibly stupid in reality. They could have been spared much grief if they had only talked to their parents first. God was willing to provide proper guidance to his people. He was willing to take care of them. He was far more powerful than the Egyptians. But they trusted themselves more than him and lost everything because of that. God understands our problems better than we do. So why not let him make the plans?

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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