Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Week Thirty-Six - Down Into Egypt

Beside the Well

Proverbs 8:8, 9, 11, 35  “All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.  They are all plain to him that understandeth and right to them that find knowledge…for wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. …for whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord.”
Isaiah 30:21, 33:6 “Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left….And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure.”
How wonderful! Look at the beauty and surety of God’s word. Allof his words are righteous.  Allof his words are plain and right.  There is nothing froward or perverse in them.  What does that mean?  There are no tricks or crookedness in God’s word.  It is plain – honestly straight and proper.  It never hurts your ears or offends.  It is always true and gracious, even when it has something hard to say.
But then I read, Isaiah 30:1-3.  “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: that walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt.  Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.”
How sad we so easily hear the voice of Egypt – the world – above the gentle wooings of God’s word.  Why? Because God’s word sounds so simple? So plain?  Because it leaves no room for self or pride?  Because the voice of the world sounds more appealing or claims to promise more advancement and acceptance? 
Don’t be fooled.  The voice of the tempter always knows how to appeal to your baser self; that self who wants to be first.  That one who wants all the adulations; to be best, most prominent or noticed.  Sadly, it ends in shame and confusion.  
We are wiser to hear God’s word.  The word that calls us to face our weaknesses, to repent of our sinful pride, and the word that holds true richness and nourishment for our inner hunger. 
Look back at those verses in Isaiah 30:21 & 33:6.  Do you see the promises?  God’s word will be a little voice in your ear helping to guide you through life.  It will bring stability, strength, and genuine treasure.
Why? Because all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. …for whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord” (Proverbs 8:11, 35).  The world can never make that promise – never!  Only God can give these things.  
I don’t know about you, but when I look at the beauty, plainness, and assurance of God’s word, I rest in His promises.  I shut out the voice of the world, and know I am listening to and following a true path – one holding life and favour.  Why would I ever want to go “down into Egypt?”

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