This morning I was reminded of the things I go to for salvation other than God. The list was quite depressing. In the prophet Isaiah’s day, the people of Israel went to a literal savior, whose name was Egypt. Assyria was going to attack and Israel made a political alliance with Egypt — the same Egypt who held them as slaves for decades.
Isaiah 30:7 says, “Egypt’s help is worthless and empty; therefore I have called her ‘Rahab who sits still.'” Don’t get caught up on the “Rahab.” God’s simply saying, “Egypt sits still — they don’t do anything for you.” Egypt couldn’t provide eternal comfort and salvation for Israel. So, I asked myself, “What is my Egypt, today, in the 21st century?” I thought of knowledge, spiritual disciplines, security, “normalcy”, passionate prayers, vibrant worship, my lifestyle and worldview, self-pity, and isolation.
I don’t have a physical place to run to, but these functional saviors are what comfort me when I am surrounded by troubles. Instead of running to God, I run to things that “sit still.” Some of those things are good things. But if I make them ultimate things, they go from good to god, and I become an idolater.
The great news is that God is excited to rescue me. Later on, in verse 18, after all rebellion that is ascribed to Israel (and me), Isaiah writes, “Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.”
The logic of God’s amazing grace is illogical to us. I am rebellious, therefore he waits — longs, yearns — to show me grace and mercy and faithfulness. This salvation is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus, the one who died for us sinners, who were his enemies, to reconcile us to God (Rom. 5:6-8).
My Egypts will not, and cannot, ever do that.