As great as Egypt was, Israel could not rely upon them

Isaiah Bible Background

Old Testament: Isa 30.6–7

To read the Bible in a year, read Isaiah 29–30 on October 4, In the year of our Lord Christ 2019

By Don Ruhl

Sometimes old enemies become friends, and the friendship becomes more than it should be. That happened with Israel toward Egypt. The Egyptians had made slaves out of the children of Israel, but later they became friends, then Israel made its friendship with Egypt so great that they relied upon Egypt more than upon God:

The burden against the beasts of the South.

Through a land of trouble and anguish,
From which came the lioness and lion,
The viper and fiery flying serpent,
They will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys,
And their treasures on the humps of camels,
To a people who shall not profit;
For the Egyptians shall help in vain and to no purpose.
Therefore I have called her
Rahab-Hem-Shebeth.

– Isaiah 30.6–7

Rahab was another name for Egypt. However, Egypt would not truly be able to help Israel and so God added to the name Rahab, calling Egypt Rahab-Hem-Shebeth, meaning Rahab Sits Idle. You can tell that is the meaning from the previous lines in the prophecy.

Israel had learned repeatedly that their only reliable source of help was the Lord their God.

Questions:

  • Have you learned that the only true help in life is the Lord God?
  • Why are we tempted to look to the world for help?

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