Focal passage: Isaiah 31:1-9
When I was a kid, my brothers and I played war. We would try to attack each other and build forts to protect ourselves. We would sometimes even form coalitions to try to defeat the other brother. Often, our preferred material for building our protective forts to avoid attack was cardboard.
Looking back now, I see the folly of trying to protect ourselves with cardboard, even from the not so overwhelming attack of my brother(s). There was no way that recycled material of paper and glue was going to protect us. Just as silly was the idea that the people of God could protect themselves from the army of Assyria. Even more silly was the fact that they would run to Egypt for protection in the first place. They were the people of the one true God. And yet, they had become overcome with fear.
God had promised to be with them and to be their God and protector. God told them through the prophet Isaiah that their substitute protector would certainly fall and, if they failed to repent and return to Him, they would fall too.
Don’t we sometimes do the same thing? For example, God has freed us from the bondage of self-reliance and dependence on worldly wealth. And yet, the “enemy” of an economic downturn starts showing on the horizon, and we can trust the “horses and chariots” of our 401k, running in fear behind our cardboard fort of financial stability, rather than trusting in our faithful Father. Our God is our protector. We can, by faith, trust in Him.