“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 very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!”
When God established Abram in the Land of Promise, Abram had a tendency to go to Egypt during times of famine. Jacob and the nation of Israel spent hundreds of years in Egypt before God delivered them under the leadership of Moses. Even after being freed from that Egyptian bondage, the complaining Israelites often looked back favorably to Egypt with a longing to return. Egypt represents for us the world system that we have been saved out of and delivered from.
In our text, the prophet Isaiah is used to warn the nation of Israel about the dangers of going to Egypt for help. Going to Egypt is trusting in the world. God is to be our Source, not the world. He is our source of wisdom, not the wisdom of the world. It is a mistake to trust in the world. In our generation, parents trust the education and training of their children to the world. The world does not have the answers we need. The “god of this world” (II Corinthians 4:4), which is Satan, governs the world. Why should we trust in a system that has the devil as its god? The “wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (I Corinthians 3:19). Why should we make decisions based on the counsel of the world? God wants His people to STAY OUT OF EGYPT.
We have to be in the world as far as our employment, lodging, etc., is concerned. We have been commanded to take the Gospel into the world. However, we are not to go into the world for our counsel, for our fellowship, or for our joy and purpose of living. We are not to trust in the world, but rather, we are to trust in the Lord. Isaiah cautioned these people because “they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!” They were leaning on the world rather than believing in God. They were trusting in the arm of the flesh instead of relying on the strength of their Savior. It sometimes seems easier to look to the world rather than seek the Lord. Many of our friends and associates, even those who claim to know the Lord, often rely on the world. But the world does not have the solutions we need. When we depend on the world, God is being robbed of His due glory when we bypass Him for Egypt.