Isaiah 30:1-17

Do not trust in Egypt's power

1 The Lord says, ‘It will be very bad for you, my children who have turned against me. You have decided what to do, but you did not ask me about it. You have made an agreement with Egypt, but without my Spirit's help. In that way, you continue to do more and more sins.

2 Your leaders travel to Egypt to ask for Pharaoh's help to keep them safe. But they did not ask me what I think about it. They think that Egypt has the power to protect them. 3 But Pharaoh's help will only make you ashamed. If you trust in Egypt's power, that will bring you down low.

4 Judah's officers have arrived in Zoan, and some of them have gone to Hanes. 5 But the people of Egypt will not be able to help you. So everyone in Judah will become ashamed. If you trust in Egypt, they will give you shame instead of help.’

30:4Zoan and Hanes are two places in Egypt.

6 Here is a message about the animals that travel in the Negev desert: It is a place where there is trouble and danger. There are dangerous lions there, both male and female. There are different kinds of dangerous snakes. People are carrying their valuable things on the backs of donkeys and camels. They are taking their riches as gifts to a nation that cannot help them! 7 Help from Egypt is useless! So, I call Egypt ‘Rahab who does nothing.’

30:7Rahab was another name for Egypt. See Psalm 87:4. It was also the name for a monster that lived in the sea.

8 Go and write this message down for them to see. Yes, write it in a book so that it will always be there to read. In the future, it will always show what is true.

9 These people have turned against the Lord. They are his children but they love to tell lies. They do not want to obey his law. 10 They say to the seers, ‘Do not see any more visions!’ They say to the prophets, ‘Do not tell us messages about what is right! Tell us nice things, even if they are not true. 11 Leave this path. Get out of our way! Stop telling us about the Holy God of Israel.’

12 Because of that, this is what the Holy God of Israel says:

‘You have not accepted my message. Instead, you like to be cruel and to deceive people. You believe that it will help you.

13 So your sin will cause you to fall down. You will be like a high wall that has a weak place. It is not safe and it will bend and fall down. Very suddenly it will fall with a great bang!

14 That wall will break into pieces, like the pieces of a pot. It will be completely broken so that it is all useless. There will be no piece that is big enough to carry coal from a fire, or water from a well.’

15 The Lord God, Israel's Holy God says this:

‘Turn back to me and wait for me to help you. Be quiet and trust in me. Then you will be safe and you will be strong again.’

But you do not want to trust in God. 16 Instead, you say, ‘No! We will run away on horses and we will escape.’ Yes, you will run away! You say, ‘Our horses will run very fast!’ But your enemies who chase you will also be very fast!

17 When one soldier from your enemy chases after you, one thousand of your men will run away from him! Five of them will chase away your whole army! Only a few of you will remain, like a stick with a flag on the top of a hill.