It seems the Jewish nation was always looking for refuge in their neighbors rather than in their God. (It seems I may be guilty as well!) This time they run to Egypt and the great problem is that they do so without consulting God. There are times when we need our neighbors (I've needed mine this week), but when we seek first their counsel and wisdom while not even considering what God might have to say then there is a problem!
Here the Israelites are running to find a solution for their difficult situation. They are all about doing something where their problems and fears are concerned. They are "executing a plan" but that plan is not God's plan. They are "making an alliance" but it is with a pagan land full of pagan gods rather than with the Spirit of the Living God. They are "taking refuge in the safety of Pharaoh" rather than in God who "is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (Ps 46:1). They are "seeking shelter in the shadow of Egypt" rather than "taking refuge in the shelter of Your wings" (Ps 61:4).
There is evil in these actions. They are "adding sin to sin" by their refusal to submit themselves to the wise counsel of their God. There is evil in my actions everytime I act without care for or consideration of the clear commands and principles of the law of God. I " add sin to sin" and practically act like the old atheist I once was when my desires and wisdom take precedence over His!
There are blessings in walking in the way of the LORD and in seeking His counsel. I can't help but think of the words of Psalm 1 this morning:
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.
Righteousness and true blessing go hand in hand. However, Isaiah makes it clear that there is a "woe, to the rebellious children." Hear the words of Psalm 1 again as the theme changes from the blessing of delighting and meditating on the law of the LORD to the curses of "walking in the counsel of the wicked":
"The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous, for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish."
"The wicked are not so!" Isaiah put it this way: "Therefore the safety of Pharaoh will be your shame, and the shelter of in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation." There is no real safety or shelter in any thing, any place, or any counsel other than that of our God.
May God grant His children a hatred for the rebellious path and a love for the righteous way!
In His glorious grace,