Journey Through The Scriptures

Isaiah II

Lesson 3: Trust in God, Not in Egypt

(Scripture to Read: Isaiah 31:1–32:20)

Isaiah repeatedly warned the leaders and people of both Israel and Judah against the foolish strategy of turning to Egypt for help against the invading Assyrian army. Chapter 31 restates that message in strong terms. Egypt cannot help because her soldiers and horses are merely flesh, whereas the God of Israel is strong and does not fear in the face of any human army. The real problem of turning to Egypt for help was that God’s people were putting their trust and reliance in such an alliance instead of trusting in Him. Egypt was known for its horses, of which the Assyrians no doubt had many and which Judah may have had relatively few.

The foolishness of trusting in armies for protection is clear from 31:8–9, where God said through Isaiah that Assyria would fall by His supernatural hand before its armies could conquer Judah. Judah would not fall to Assyria, but God still warned the people to put away their revelry and don sackcloth because a day of desolation would come on them. The prophecy that Jerusalem would become “a wasteland forever” (32:14) does not refer to the end of time, but to a long period, after which God will pour out His spirit as the reign of Messiah comes. This will be a time of justice, righteousness, peace, and prosperity for Israel and the earth.

Study Questions

  1. What seemingly ironic statement does Isaiah make in 31:2 about God and His ability to protect His people?
  2. What persistent sin of Israel do verses 6-7 of Isaiah 31 allude to?
  3. Instead of the people not heeding God’s Word, as was the case in Isaiah's day, what will be different during Messiah’s reign (see 32:3–4)?
  4. Why were the proud, reveling women of Jerusalem counseled to trade their fine clothes for sackcloth and beat their breasts (32:11–12)?

Something to Think About

Let us pray the day will come soon when the blessed prophecy of Isaiah 32:17–18 becomes a reality in the Holy Land: “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.”