Yeshayahu Thirty-One: Taking Initiative

“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for aid, and who rely on horses and trust in chariots which are many, and on riders who are very strong, and they did not rely on the Holy One of Israel and the Lord they did not seek (Isaiah 31:1).” I don’t particularly agree with this verse. All my life, I’ve heard jokes and stories about people who refuse to help themselves because they’re waiting for God. But what that translates into is people who don’t take initiative or try to solve their own problems, because they’re preoccupied with waiting for them to be taken care of by outside forces. If the people need help, isn’t it better for them to actively go look for it, rather than to sit around waiting? Why does that have to be considered disloyal to God?

“Like flying birds, so shall the Lord of Hosts protect Jerusalem, protecting and saving, passing over and rescuing (Isaiah 31:5).” This is the reassuring counterpart to my above comment. Maybe it’s because we’re special that we don’t have to look to outside forces for aid, because we have the ultimate savior on our side, always.


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