Who is the first person you turn to when you have a need or a problem? If you were upset with someone, would you call a friend? How about if you had health needs? Would you turn first to doctors and medicines? How about if you had financial needs, would you turn first to your bank account, family and friends, and the bank? And if you had a disagreement with another that couldn’t be resolved, would you turn to the legal system?
The Israelites had a history of wanting to return to Egypt time and time again when they faced challenges on their way to the Promised Land. Although God Almighty had called them His people, and had repeatedly demonstrated His power amongst them, their response to trouble was always to call on Egypt, or go to Egypt for help. That attitude always saddened God’s heart, and made Him jealous, because over and over again, He had told them to look to Him for help. It saddened His heart because by going to others, they were getting less than He wanted for them; less than they deserved, if they got anything at all.
There is nothing wrong with consulting doctors, banks, or the legal system; God made these available to us, but they should not be the first in our thinking. We need to always turn to the Lord first, and have Him direct us to those if that is what He’ll have us do. Jesus said, “Apart from me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5 NIV). If He doesn’t give doctors the needed wisdom, they wouldn’t be able to help us, and if we do not depend on God to provide the right judges, we’ll not experience the justice we need and seek. Let us go first to God, and then He will guide us to the right resources. The Psalmist wisely says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV).
It is important to note that aside from the inability of those we consult to help us, there are consequences for bypassing God, and looking for help elsewhere. Bypassing Him is a clear indication that we do not trust Him, and in response to that attitude, this is His response, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD” (Isaiah 31:1 NIV). Additionally, He says in Jeremiah, “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:5 NIV).
The arm of flesh always fails, but “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him” (Jeremiah 17:7 NIV). Goliath trusted in his size (giant), his sword, and army; David trusted in the living God, although he was tiny in comparison, and only had a sling for a weapon, and an army shaking in its boots. This is our wakeup call to seek God first in everything.
Sennacherib, king of Assyria invaded Judah during the reign of Hezekiah. Hezekiah encouraged his army officers and the nation, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles” (2 Chronicles 32:7-8 NIV).
Instead of going to borrow from the bank and paying a hefty interest, God could find us the money we need, without us having to pay it back. God does provide you know! Before I got into using credit cards, I prayed about every need, but after starting to use credit cards, I didn’t always wait for God’s response even if I prayed. The habit of credit use can erode faith, and cause us to take our focus off God. Let us be careful; let us place our faith in God alone, and seek Him first in every situation.