[Egypt] shall be the lowliest of kingdoms; it shall never again exalt itself above the nations, for I will diminish them so that they will not rule over the nations anymore. No longer shall it be the confidence of the house of Israel, but will remind them of their iniquity when they turned to follow them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord God.Ezekiel 29:15-16
There are seasons we go through in life where God ensures that we do not learn to rely on others, or even his own blessing and provision, as a crutch or a place of help. He wants our trust in him.
This is especially concerning when the thing we trust in is our job, our skills, and ability in ourselves to provide an income and provide for our families. When God began judging Israel, he also began to strike down places Israel had relied on and depended in.
Imagine this scenario:
You’ve been following God for years. A faithful tither. Faithful to help, teach, and volunteer in your church. You pray and study the Bible daily. In return, you have personally seen the hand of God blessing you. At work, you do your best to live as a witness of Jesus. You work hard, and try to show Jesus in how you work. The attitude of bosses and supervisors toward you clearly testify that God has placed His favor on you. You receive raises, and regularly are recognized as a primary contributor to success.
And then something changes. Like Elijah with the ravens, your brook has dried up. What was a blessing and a help, has now turned on you. The places you looked to…the way you have served God…the blessings that have always been there…absent. If you’re like me in this situation, you just try harder. You pray more, give more, do more. You try to squeeze more out of the places that have always been there. The harder you press on, the more around you turns to dust. You may even see your employers finances turn bad. No raises – maybe even a layoff! Your spiritual mentors may even be incapable of guiding you in the right way.
Israel was in the same boat – the prophets they had trusted in told them to stay and fight. They had always been able to rely on Egypt as an ally and partner in business and battle. But in the scripture above, God actually began prophesying destruction on Egypt.
Can you imagine? Where could they turn? The prophets were no help. Allies were dropping like flies. They were helpless. Alone. But God had clearly given them instructions. They just were unwilling to follow them, because all that God had provided felt so much more stable.
And there was their sin… God will destroy even the work of his own hands if we rely on that instead of Him. From my own experience, I encourage you – trust in the leading of the Holy Spirit. Don’t trust in all the things God has blessed you with. He will judge it. And He will win. Make the jump to run after God.
How do you know? If you’re trusting in the things, it’ll be extremely hard and scary. Go for it. Don’t take all of Egypt down with you, just because they had the misfortune of being the place you relied on.