18 May

NO TURNING BACK!

Bev and I sat around the dinner table and I listened with rapt attention. This dear lady told us her story, and I could see the integrity in her eyes. It was real. She and her husband were addicted to drugs…hard drugs for over 20 years! Going in and out of rehab did not do too good. Every night the music circuit they were in and the entertainment lasted until the early hours of the morning, and then came the struggle to survive. Bad finances, worse friends, and heavy drugs took their toll eventually. Her husband died in a tragic road accident leaving behind two little girls to look after. The world system and its principles have a devastating toll on human lives.
But today she sat confidently. She’d found Jesus and He was the centre and fulcrum of her life. Today she serves Him in all she can do and say. Truly this was a real-life story of restoration!
She’d been ‘down to Egypt’ but it was only God who saw her through!
I can picture Isaiah standing on the streets of his city and prophesying…Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help…Isaiah 31:1
At that time, Egypt was at its height of glory. The gold, silver and precious stones were in abundance. The economy was spiraling upwards, trade was at its highest, and the armies of Egypt the strongest.
Some Israelite leaders hero worshiped the Egyptians. They soon became friends and allies. So they went down to Egypt for help and support and later took part in the false worship of their gods.
The majestic chariots and horses of the Egyptians came to pick up these Israelite ‘friends’ many times crossing over borders especially on heathen feast days and such. The alliance was getting stronger with the nation of Egypt. Joining with them the leaders and politicians of Israel would think that they would be safe from the threat of Assyria and its numerous armies.
But the Lord had warned Israel. They were not to trust and multiply their horses and chariots (Psalm 20:7). There was folly in that reliance. Furthermore, as the verse goes on to say…they did not look to the Holy One of Israel. They did not seek His face anymore. They did not consult with the God of Heaven before they made their plans, they did not seek His favour in all they did.
Egypt always speaks of the world and the worldly systems in the Bible. Can you see the same familiar trends in our churches today? Many so called believers feel the world is somewhat better. The world has much to give them and somehow they are ‘missing’ the life that they had and that the church has become too unexciting for them. Herein lays the hazard…they then ‘go down to Egypt’. They cross over to the other side for some ‘fun and frolic’ flirting with the enemy and joining in their pleasures. Soon their friendships become solidified, and then the compromises begin. In the end, they are caught in a sinister web of deceit and falsehood believing the lie for the truth. Over time wills waver and allegiances change. They have trusted in the ‘horses ‘or the strength and power of the world and the ‘chariots’ or the protection of the system that has engulfed them. And so the woe of God is suddenly come upon them! Sad but so very true!
They soon forgot to ‘look to the Holy One of Israel’. Egypt has a deceitful way to first attract and then distract the believer. In fact in Jer 2:18, the word from the prophet brings a dreaded warning from God… What hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? In other word, God is saying…why are you making alliances with Egypt, and then going down to the waters of the black and dark Nile for your sustenance? Instead of cleaving to the Lord Israel made alliances with people who would eventually destroy them because they were jealous of them and truly sought their ruin.
So, who are the friends you hang out with the most? Where do you spend your time generally? And what you love doing when you are where you love to be?
Many ‘Christians’ believe they can do without fellowship and the study of God’s Word. Many feel they know it all and have no need of the Biblical foundations that should govern their lifestyle and character. Many believe they can pick and choose their Christianity, like walking down an isle in a mall. And many are blinded to believe the pathway they take is right. Their ‘Egypt’ has seduced them.
Prov 3:7 says…Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. Wisdom is not really about intelligence. It is common sense. In my ministry I have known humble farmers with more wisdom than PhD graduates! Being wise in your own eyes is an obvious attempt to elevate a particular view over common sense. It really means we must fear the Lord, and obey His Word rather than the tenets of the world system.
The lady Bev and I were talking to over dinner that day had been down to Egypt and it was only God who saw her through when she realised she needed to get up and get out of the sick place she was in.
She was delivered completely. So what about you? After so great a salvation will you turn back? Your turn to answer.
Blessings.