This is the final chapter in the chapters 28-31 Five Woes.
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, not seek the Lord!Isaiah 31:1
The final woe is the same message as the rest of this set of chapters. We should look to the Lord. We have "good reasons" to trust ourselves and the tools around us...so we often look to horses, chariots, and horsemen.
We can see them. We can measure their strength. They look formidable.
But, in verse two God gives us the reasons to trust in Him above what we can see:
- He is wise
- He will bring disaster
- He does not retract His words (which is something I really value and rarely find among men)
- He will rise against the baddies. (we know in His character, He'll only let nonsense go on so long...)
In verse three He then goes on to describe why trust is misplaced in Egypt and her "tools".
- Egyptians are men, not God
- horses are flesh, not spirit
- if someone is "helping" when it should be God, our jealous God is able to cause the "helper" to stumble and fall, so everyone can see that they aren't the one in charge. God has a plan and He's not going to let us use tools to run away from Him. (gratefully)
The Lord gives us natural images of His love, leadership, and protection in verse four. Lions growl and bring the shepherds out to protect the prey, but the lion isn't afraid of them.
So will the Lord of hosts come down to wage war on Mount Zion and on its hill.Isaiah 31:4d
Similarly, in verse five, He describes Himself as a flying bird protecting and rescuing Jerusalem.
Starting in verse 6 is a call to repentance to the sons of Israel. Return to Lord for those those to whom you have defected.
In verse seven He explain that, in the end times, every man will give up the idols, made by his own hand in sin.
Warren Wiersbe's Commentary, Be Comforted, has some great thoughts on this concept.
- "They trusted the words of the Egyptians but not the Word of the Lord!
- "...it is always a temptation to turn to the world or flesh for help...we must trust Him to protect and fight for us."
- "Faith is living without scheming."
God promises that Assyria will be finally destroyed and it won't be by any man.
With Assyrian defeated (God's enemies), starting in Chapter 32, we see the real King reign.