|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Steadfast and immovable”
Our Bible verse for today: “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of horseman, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord.” Isaiah 31:1 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Don’t look to Egypt”
Currently, in my personal Bible study, I’m using “The Every Man’s Study Bible” and I’m reading through the Old Testament book of Isaiah. In one of the side articles to go along with the text, the editors noted that Isaiah ministered at a time when the Israelites were experiencing great material prosperity, but also even greater spiritual apathy. They were safe, secure, and affluent, but their thoughts were focused on enjoying a life of ease rather than on honoring God and blessing others.
In those days, Egypt was the dominant regional power both militarily and culturally, and for the most part, the Israelites had a comfortable relationship with them. They thought they could rely on Egypt for protection, and they were also indulging in many aspects of Egyptian culture. That’s what Isaiah was referring to in chapter thirty and thirty-one. And as a result, as a nation they were rapidly descending into spiritual decay.
The situation for the Jews in the days of Isaiah is not so different from the situation we find ourselves in today in our nation. Many Christians are way too comfortable with the culture we live in. We’re looking to the things of the world for joy and fulfillment far too much, rather than to God. As a result, there’s great spiritual decay in our land. But not just in the nation, not just among “them out there”, but in our churches and in the personal lives of individual Christians. The spiritual decay is taking place among God’s people. In many cases and in many ways we, the people of God, are looking to Egypt rather than to God.
For the remaining two days of our series on being steadfast and immovable, I want to return us to the subject of serious discipleship. Our nation, our communities, our churches, and our families need Christians who are passionately committed to following Christ, and who have incorporated the full range of spiritual disciplines into the daily practice of their faith. You know what those are. We’ve thought about them throughout this month. At a minimum such practices include prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other Christians, service in ministry, and full participation in the life of a good church. There are more, but those are the basics.
We need to do this. The allure and the influence of Egypt (the culture) is subtle but strong. If we aren’t intentional and determined in the practice of our faith, steadfast and immovable in our determination to faithfully follow Christ, then we will end up, over time, looking more to Egypt than to God.
The words of warning from Isaiah to the Jews pertains us much to us today as it did to them back then, “Don’t look to Egypt!”
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