Read Isaiah 20
Focus on verse 6
The world can be a dangerous place if we choose to trust the wrong people. Those who make their living scamming others operate on the ideology that there is a sucker born every minute. A few years ago I read an article in a local newspaper about a man who had lost his executive office job in the downtown of a major city. Rather than telling his wife of his misfortune, he continued to leave his home in the suburbs each day as if he was going to his office, but instead he went to a local thrift store where he bought some raggedy old clothes, which he stored in the trunk of his Mercedes when he was not using them.
He would then drive down to a busy intersection where he changed into the old clothes, and made a crude sign that said, “will work for food”. He admitted to the reporter who wrote the piece about him that he typically made more money in a day that way than he ever had at the office as an executive. This is not to suggest that every person who stands by the road asking for help is necessarily a panhandler, it is rather to make the point that there are some people who will take advantage of those who trust too quickly. It also indicates something about our culture when most of us would rather just throw ten or twenty bucks at a person in trouble than take the time to actually try to help them.
In today’s reading in Isaiah, the Lord reprimands the people of Israel for trusting in the Egyptians to protect them from the Assyrians rather than trusting in the Lord to protect them. Isaiah warns them that the day will come when the Assyrians will conquer and capture the Egyptians, and if the Assyrians defeat the ones Israel was trusting in it will only be a matter of time before they return to carry off the wealth of Israel as well.
The implication here is that had Israel placed their trust in the Lord to protect them from Assyria, He most likely would have done so, but because they had chosen to trust in Egypt, the Lord was allowing them to reap the consequences of that decision.
Apparently it makes a difference in whom we trust for our protection. Now, that having been said, it is possible that the Lord might have used another nation like Egypt to protect Israel if Israel had chosen to trust God for their protection, however, because they chose not to trust in Him, the Lord chose to allow them to experience the fruit of that choice.
It does not always seem rational to us to trust the Lord to protect us, and there are times when He provides for our protection simply by giving us the resources to protect ourselves. Where we most often begin to go wrong is that we choose to chase after things other than the Lord. When we do this our relationship with Him begins to become more distant which makes it more difficult, or perhaps even impossible to hear and understand His will and direction. It is at this juncture that we tend to make bad choices, particularly when we find ourselves in stressful circumstances. It is this same error that caused Israel to choose to trust Egypt rather than God for defense against the Assyrians. Ultimately we learn that there is nothing and no one we will find more trustworthy than God. We all need to trust others at some point…be careful who you trust.