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            The prophet Isaiah wrote to the people of God concerning their failure to trust in the Lord and seek his counsel. At various times throughout the history of God’s people in the Old Testament they became weak in faith and began to trust in what they could see rather than trust in God. Isaiah wrote to them concerning this issue saying, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord” (Isaiah 31:1). The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
           God’s people during the time of Isaiah had begun to walk by sight rather than by faith. That is they saw the powerful military of Egypt in the form of horses and chariots, and little by little they began to place their trust in these things. The most practical thing that they children of Israel could have done was to have put their trust in God rather than in what they could see. Isaiah continues by saying, “Not the Egyptians are men, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit” (Isaiah 31:3). The message to Israel was that God alone could save them if they would place their complete trust, faith, and confidence in him. That was the Lord’s message to his people during the time of Isaiah. The calendar moves forward into the first century when the Lord establishes his church (Matthew 16:18, Acts 2:38,41,47), and from that century until the present the message is the same, trust in the Lord rather than in what is seen. What does the twenty-first century church see that it often trusts in?
           The church of the twenty-first century often places trust in wealth and material things. It is a challenge not to do that when one lives in a county that is blessed in a material way lightyears beyond many other countries. One does not choose where they will be born or under what conditions so there is no fault in being born in a country blessed materially or in one that has little material wealth. However, whether one is born in the middle of material wealth or not Isaiah would say “…look to the Holy One…” (Isaiah 31:3). Materialism can blind one to God and abject poverty can do the same.
           The church of the twenty-first century often places trust in what impresses and is popular. That popularity and influence may come through popular culture, music, Hollywood, the Internet, or even “the going thing” in the denominational world. That is exactly what Israel did when it looked to Egypt. They have horses and we need horses. They have chariots and we need chariots. Israel did “not look to the Holy One of Israel”, the Lord, as their standard, but whatever was popular they followed after it. Not only did God’s people do that regarding material things, but also regarding the false religions and they began to “practice ungodliness” (Isaiah 32:6), which was the logical result of seeking popularity. Trying to be popular among the denominational world has led many congregations and individual Christians to fall to a lower moral standard regarding their actions, speech, dress, and recreation.
            The church of the twenty-first century often places trust in the political. It is almost as if Christians see themselves in and through politics first. Politics becomes the answer for the spiritual success of the church and the nation. Isaiah said to the people of God “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help” (Isaiah 31:1). Their salvation as a nation, in their eyes, was through political means rather than trusting in God. The Lord’s church has and will live and survive under whatever political conditions might exist. That was true in the first century and in the centuries that have followed. Isaiah would say seek the Holy One (Isaiah 31:1) and Paul would say “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).