Isaiah 31:1 “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!”

Don’t address spiritual threats with man-centered solutions. The Assyrians were a huge threat to the people of God; they were ruthless warriors who would destroy anyone who stood in their way. They were big, mean, and brutal in battle. When threatened by them there was a strong temptation for the people of God to flee to Egypt and seek protection there. But God reminds them through the prophet Isaiah, “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.” (Isa. 31:3)

When threats come against the church of God we must not resort to man-centered tactics. Rather we must trust in God, he is strong and mighty to save, and he loves the church more than we ever could. There will be a temptation to neglect prayer, fasting, self-examination, and gracious confrontation. We will be tempted to forsake brotherly love and a commitment to live according to the Scriptures. We will be pulled in the direction of focusing only on human strategy, running to people that we think can protect us rather than running to the Lord.

We must be ready for trouble, because it will certainly come upon the church. “The devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8), but we must remember that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12) When we face troubles we must remember that the problem is always sin and the solution is always the gospel. We do not need to resort to worldly tactics but we need to trust in the power of the gospel to transform the lives of individuals. In the end, it is enough to remember that whatever the threat, whether it is a threat to you, a friend, or something that endangers many people… God alone can rescue.

Isaiah 31:5 “Like birds hovering, so the LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem; he will protect and deliver it; he will spare and rescue it.”