By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many; and in horsemen because they are strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord! Yet He also is wise and will bring evil and will not call back His words; but will rise against the house of evildoers and against the help of them that work iniquity.
Now the Egyptians are men and not God;
And their horses flesh and not Spirit.
When the Lord shall stretch out His hand, both he that helpeth shall fall and he that is helped shall fall down and they shall fall together.

Isaiah 31:1-3
Today's Read: Isaiah 31; Jeremiah 17:5-8
Israel's enemy was on her heels.
Assyria was moving in on her, preparing an attack, ready and eager to make her a casualty of war and take her captive.
Anxiety ruled the day,
The heart,
The mind.
What do we do when the enemy threatens to invade us and destroy us?
What do we do when anxiety rules the day?
We are given some boundaries here in this passage and three aids which might empower us in our seasons of distress:
1) Anxiety has a tendency to make us think and do crazy things.
The act of self-preservation kicks into overdrive and man's first inclination is to grab ahold of what looks most secure to him in the high waters.
Like a drowning man at sea, anything within grasp wields potential for deliverance.
The threat of drowning reveals dangerous tendencies in man.
Hmmm ...
Israel saw herself going under.
Her first "glance" was to the nation to the South which happened to be Egypt.
 Egypt held a tangible visible sense of provision and safety.
She had the man power,
Horse power,
And chariot power.
She looked like a respectable and powerful means to securing safety for the nation of Israel.
All hands on deck, Israel rallied to a military power instead of a spiritual power, and she lost her footing ... and true power.
Moments of anxiety cause us to look for tangible sources of securety, safety, and stability.
While the temptation to look to others resides in all of us, it is a short-term plan to a long-term hell.
Trusting in man is counter-productive and a temporal solution at best.
God doesn't honor battles fought in the flesh.
We must get on your knees and remain in a posture of humility recognizing that we are incapable of fighting the battle;
This is our strength in the battle.
God says, "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for their help."
He means it.
2) When an untrustworthy alliance is made with another, a forsaking of God begins to take shape that wields long-term results.
Israel chose Egypt over God.
Hmmm ...
Haven't we all been guilty of grabbing ahold of a hand in our darkness without recognizing or even really caring about the figure and face behind it?
Haven't we all experienced the appeal of a timely sense of flesh touching our moments of perceived abandonment?
When our "reach" becomes anything or anyone but God ...
That "reach" will prove counter-effective in our relationship with God.
Three things we can do with our hands in our moment of despair:
-Fold them in prayer.
-Lift them in praise.
-Open up the word of God and allow truth to enter in.
3) Quick and hasty responses do not generally garner favorable outcomes.
Responses in the flesh generally yield disastrous consequences in the long-term, though they may appear convenient solutions in the short-term.
Israel knew better than to look to Egypt instead of God but she took matters into her own hands and allowed her fear to prevail.
Israel could point the finger of blame all day long on the threat imposed by the nation of Assyria but God was only using Assyria as a means of displaying Israel's true heart.
Israel's heart was revealed to God ... by God.
God knows our "Assyria's" and He is vitally interested in our response to them and where we go when we face them.
Now the Egyptians are men and not God;
And their horses flesh and not Spirit ...
Isaiah 31:3
Assyria, Egypt, and Israel were all in the hands of a sovereign God.
Had Israel attested to the fortified strength of God waiting to be realized by God, she would have witnessed a very empowering and victorious chapter in her life.
She chose otherwise and her vicious cycle of "untrust" would continue.
God would remain faithful regardlesss ...
And the wonder of His story gain Him glory in her end.
Look to the One who wields the power to save.
Only Jesus.