113-131 Isaiah Chapter 31
Help Not in Egypt but in God
Isaiah presents Judah with two sins against them. The leaders of Judah place their trust in the military might of Egypt and did not seek the counsel of the Holy One of Israel. Judah trusted in the chariots of Egypt and their horsemen but they could not find a reason to trust in the Lord. They had not abandoned their faith as everyone lives by faith. The marketers have faith in their markets and the military trust their arms, scientist trust in the regulations of nature but the leaders of Jerusalem trusted in Egypt.
It would be better to have the trust of the Psalmist. “Some boast in chariots and some in horses, But we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.” (Psalm 20:7) The only place to place our trust is in the Lord. “He that stands with one foot on a rock, and another foot upon a quicksand, will sink and perish as certainly as he that stands with both feet on a quicksand.” (Trapp)
Though Judah could not find a reason to trust in the Lord Isaiah reminds them of the reason. They should not trust the might of Egypt because the Lord is wise and He will bring disaster because He will rise against evildoers.
The other point is that Egypt is not as mighty as they appeared to be. For the Lord all he has to do to topple the Egyptians and all who placed their trust in them is to stretch out His hand.
Judah placing their trust in Egypt to fight against the Assyrians was foolish. God would protect Mount Zion even if Judah did not trust in Him. The picture that Isaiah presents is that of a mother bird protecting her young. The Lord will protect Jerusalem with the ferocity of the lion and with the tender care of a bird. These two images are powerful.
The combination of the two images is powerful. “As birds flying; which come from above, and so cannot be kept off; which fly swiftly and engage themselves valiantly and resolutely, when they perceive that their young ones are in imminent danger.” (Poole)
God calls His people to return unto Him, as the alternatives to serving the Lord should compel on to return to Him.
The Assyrians had devastated most of Judah and were camped on the outskirts of Jerusalem preparing to conquer it. But in 2 Kings 19:35 we read that the angle of the Lord killed 185,000 of the Assyrians in one night. When the people of Jerusalem woke the next morning they had been given the victory completely by the hand of the Lord. God is more than able to protect His own.