Verse 1 – 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 who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the Lord!
Why is it that people will look for every excuse to keep themselves from going to God “first” when in trouble? Most of the time it’s because they think they can handle it on their own. That’s what Judah did. They thought they would go to Egypt and get themselves some fine strong horses and be able to fight any battle that came their way. They were too stubborn and stiff-necked to repent and follow God.
Verse 2 – Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster, and will not call back His words, but will arise against the house of evildoers, and against the help of those who work iniquity.
Verse 3 – Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out His hand, both he who helps will fall, and he who is helped will fall down; they all will perish together.
Judah sought the aid of Egypt, but neither were a match for the wrath of God.
Verse 4 – For thus the Lord has spoken to me: “As a lion roars, and a young lion over his prey when a multitude of shepherds is summoned against him, he will not be afraid of their voice nor be disturbed by their noise, so the Lord of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion and for its hill.
Verse 5 – Like birds flying about, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; passing over, He will preserve it.”
Even though God’s people went to Egypt for help, God would hover over them with His grace and protection.
Verse 6 – Return to Him against whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted.
Verse 7 – For in that day every man shall throw away his idols of silver and his idols of gold – sin, which your own hands have made for yourselves.
Returning to God is two-fold; repenting and rejecting false gods. Money, fame, and success, is seductive. If one’s heart is not right before God, pride and arrogance will creep in. People will start to believe as Israel did, “I got here on my own!”
Verse 8 – “Then Assyria shall fall by a sword not of man, and a sword not of mankind shall devour him, but he shall flee from the word, and his young men shall become forced labor.
God will use Babylon to cause Assyria to fall.
Verse 9 – He shall cross over to his stronghold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the banner,” says the Lord, whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.