In Old Testament history we read the story of Judah‘s king Hezekiah and the Invasion of the Assyrian army (Isa. 36-39, 2 Ki. 18-20, & 2 Chr. 32). Israel had already fallen, and Judah was one of the few remaining nations who had not come under Assyrian control.
The only other nation who had the strength to resist Assyria was Egypt. Thus, as King Sennacherib turned his eye on the prize of the conquest of Judah & Jerusalem, the leaders of Judah were faced with a very real political dilemma. The survival of their nation & way of life seemed to hang in the balance. Many of the leaders of Judah were advocating an alliance with Egypt.
The prophet Isaiah had a word for the leaders who were advocating this course of action: “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD (Isaiah 31:1)!”
In his commentary on this chapter Motyer notes,
They faced the most critical of tests – the Assyrians – but the real crisis was: ‘Where is your faith placed?’
The 21st century evangelical church of the United States faces a very similar dilemma as 8th century Judah did. We are facing a muscular foe of secularism, humanism, despotism in the form of the liberal progressive agenda as espoused by Clinton and Sanders. But over yonder in Egypt is a Pharaoh strong enough to push back; he can self-fund his campaign of chariots, and he says it like it is. He is unafraid of the Assyrian media and he promises to make Judah great again. The caveat?
Forsake your loyalty to God, His Word, and the principles found therein, and trust in the mere “brute force” of Pharaoh’s dynasty. The people of Judah found that an allegiance with Egypt only bought upon them the rage of Assyria, and ultimately, a century later, the shame of a Babylonian exile; all because they did not trust God and remain faithful to follow His commands.
Life must be faced theologically, that is to say, in the light of what we know about God.
The 2016 presidential campaign is the touchstone of our Nation’s theology, and sadly, all too many evangelical leaders are making a statement that their theology is far more pragmatic than they’ve led us to believe.