Only Men and Horses


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 do not look to the Holy One of Israel
or consult the Lord!
And yet he is wise and brings disaster;
he does not call back his words,
but will arise against the house of the evildoers
and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.
The Egyptians are man, and not God,
and their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall,
and they will all perish together. Isaiah 31:1-3 ESV

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in princes. Psalm 118:5-9 ESV


There was once a baseball team in a little town called Mudville, and at a game one day the team went into the bottom of the ninth inning behind four to two. Everyone wished that the hero of the team, Casey, would be able to come to the plate, but there were four batters before him, and none of them was a very good hitter. The first two batters went out, but then the next two batters got on base. When Casey came to the plate, there were runners at second and third with two outs. Everyone was sure that Casey would be able to win the game, and they eagerly waited for him to be the hero. But it didn’t happen. Casey let two strikes go by, and then he struck out. The people of Mudville were very sad. They had trusted Casey to be a hero, but he was only a man, and he failed to help them this time.

God’s people were also trusting in the armies and horses of Egypt to be their heroes and to save them from their troubles. The prophet Isaiah warned them that they were very foolish to trust in Egypt instead of trusting in God. The armies of Egypt were only men, and all people fail sometimes. Their chariots and horses seemed strong and fast, but horses can fall or become lame or be killed in battle. It was very foolish of God’s people to trust in the men and horses of Egypt more than they trusted in God. Isaiah warned the people that the Lord would punish them for putting the kind of trust in Egypt that they should only have in God.

We also often trust in people or things rather than God when we have problems. We might trust our own strength or cleverness, or money, or other people, or our government and armies, or anything that seems strong and able to help. Sometimes God might work through these things, but it’s very foolish to turn away from the Lord and put all our trust in something or someone else. It’s especially foolish to trust in anyone besides Jesus, the Savior God sent for us, to makes things right between us and God. Our sins keep us from God’s love and help, but because Jesus died for us, God forgives us and loves and helps us every day. We can’t work our way to God or earn his help, but we can trust him to give us all the love and help we need, now and always.


Dear Heavenly Father, help us to always trust in you for forgiveness and for help with all our problems. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.