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!
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.
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 when he who is helped will fall down;
They all will perish together.” – Isaiah 31:1-3
Israel was in trouble. They’d already lost 10 tribes to the rampaging of the Assyrians, who inflicted unspeakable evil and suffering upon their victims. The southern 2 tribes that comprised the Kingdom of Judah were struggling to survive. Their previous rulers had weakened the country on every level, and morality was at an all-time low.
Enter Babylon – the kingdom that bucked the Assyrians and completely conquered the heartland of Mesopotamia. Everything had been subdued… save Judah. The small kingdom stood with, basically, no defense against the onslaught. Previous rulers had been bad, but the Babylonians would take oppression and destruction of morality to a whole new level.
Judah was afraid.
Just across the Sinai Peninsula from Judah stood another country – Egypt. This country had thrown off their previous Assyrian overlords, and was, on all accounts, a powerful ally. They retained their own culture and defied Babylonian military, preparing for the oncoming war.
It totally made sense for Judah and Egypt to unite. Therefore, in spite of Isaiah’s warning, they did. As it turns out, Necho II, the Pharaoh of Egypt, was allied with the remnant Assyrian empire. Traveling north to face the Babylonians alongside the Assyrians, the Egyptians were completely overrun by the Babylonian army. With nothing else in their way, the Babylonians marched to Jerusalem where, in 586 B.C., the Hebrew army was completely defeated, Jerusalem leveled, and the people carried away captive.
Now we look at this account and say, “Well, of course; God told them not to rely on Egypt because ultimately, as God knew, Egypt couldn’t stand against Babylon, and it meant that people were placing their trust in men, not God.” Now Egypt was no “nice” kingdom either. Egypt’s own pagan, polytheistic culture was just as morally depraved and oppressive as Babylon’s, the only difference between the two was that, at the moment, Egypt wasn’t trying to conquer Judah; Babylon was. Egypt was “the enemy of my enemy,” so Israel aligned itself with a kingdom that, while they had some similar surface goals, was just as dangerous as Babylon was.
May I be blunt – why would we trust in the Egypt that is Donald Trump because of our fear of the Babylon that is the Democratic Party? I have heard time and time again, “Anybody but the Democrats!” at trainings and caucuses leading up to the selection of the Republican nominee. People are always quoting statistics and chances as though humans were scientific entities that are always predictable. I’ve heard things like “A vote for Carson is a vote for Trump,” or “If Trump is nominated, a vote for a third-party candidate is a vote for Hillary.” Folks, if statistics were the only factor, then Israel did the right thing! It would have been “suicide” to try and stand against the Babylonian army alone.
You can almost hear the commanders of the Judean Army discussing the options.
“Egypt can provide the firepower that we need to defeat the Babylonians.”
“But… that would mean aligning ourselves with somebody just as bad as Babylon…”
“I don’t care; anybody but the Babylonians.”
“What if we only subscribed to Jehovah’s principles and only aligned with and supported people who do the same?”
“That’s suicide; get Egypt on the phone.”
Now, I’m not actually here to promote a particular candidate (though it may be obvious that there are some of whom I disapprove), but let me ask – why would a Christian, who is doing his or her best to reflect the character of Christ, support a man who owns and promotes immoral institutions such as strip clubs, verbally attacks people of whom he has a low opinion, and has no biblical rooting for his current belief system?
“Well, he’s better than Hillary.”
I’m sorry – say again? Just because a Democratic president might force more things upon Christians does not mean that the country’s leader is a better or worse person.
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
‘I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.’
Therefore, ‘Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.’
‘I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,'
Says the Lord Almighty." – II Corinthians 6:14-18
Folks, if it comes down to Trump vs. Democrats, why would we associate with the moral darkness that is Donald Trump? Because he’ll take less of our money – I would hope we have a better reason to associate with darkness than that; we are explicitly told to love God more than money (Matt. 6:24). Because he doesn’t support abortion – at the moment; he’s changed his stance multiple times, because he has no absolute foundation for his belief; a double-minded man is dangerous (James 1:8-9). Because he’ll strengthen our military – because that always stops terrorism; God doesn’t apply (Deut. 3:22). We are told to be separate from those in darkness, not to make an alliance when it’s pertinent or helpful.
I’ve also heard that we are the instruments that God uses to work, but we should never intentionally violate a Scriptural principle. To be honest, folks, God doesn’t need our help (case in point… He killed 185,000 invading Assyrians with an angel in one night… no humans necessary; II Kings 19:35). That’s not to say He can’t work through our mistakes (Gen. 50:20), but they are still that – mistakes, and it grieves Him when we make them.
Think about it when it comes to voting – are you aligning yourself with the lesser of two evils, or are you living your life and stamping Christ’s name (via your support) on somebody directly opposed to Him?
Odds don’t stand a chance against God. Egypt or Babylon don’t stand against God.
God’s our trump card.