When The Godly Go South

When The Godly Go South

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help . . . but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!
–Isaiah 31:1

Abraham is the central character of the Old Testament because he is the personification of what God wants most in our lives: that we believe what He says and act accordingly. God told Abraham, in essence, “I am going to make you the father of a great nation. I am going to give you a land that will be yours forever. Through you, all the nations of the world will be blessed.” So Abraham uprooted his family and moved to this land he had never seen before. In Genesis 12:8, he was kneeling at the altar, thanking God for His promise. Little did Abraham know that right around the corner was a gigantic test of his faith–a test that he flunked.

Genesis 12:10 says, “There was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there.” In the Bible, sometimes Egypt was a place of God’s provision for His people. But other times, Egypt was representative of trusting in self rather than trusting in God. Isaiah 31:1 says, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!” In Isaiah’s day, Israel was in danger of trusting in an alliance with Egypt rather than in God for their protection. Abraham was doing the same thing.

Now, Abraham’s motive was pure. He was trying to provide for his family. The problem is, Abraham did not consult with God about his problem. He should have said, “God, if You do not do something, my family and I are going to die, and Your reputation is going to be blasphemed.” Instead, Abraham just launched out on his own. His disbelief led him to disobedience.

Whenever we take matters into our own hands that really belong in God’s hands, we are going to be tempted to disobey God. A single adult, thinking he or she has to find a mate before it is too late, ends up marrying a non-Christian. A businessman, worrying that he will not be able to provide for his family, cuts corners in a business deal in order to make a buck. That is what happened to Abraham. He went south because he did not believe God could take care of him.

Right now, you may be facing a dilemma that you have to trust God about. Have you spent even twenty minutes on your knees before God praying about that issue? Are you continually asking God for His guidance? Have you considered the possibility that God wants to supernaturally intervene in that situation before you launch out on your own? Disbelief leads to disobedience.


Today’s devotion is excerpted from “When The Godly Go South” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2009.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org