Whole Lotta Woe
Posted on June 4, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“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!” Isaiah 31:1 (NKJV)
According to the King James Bible Dictionary, the word “woe” is used 106 times throughout Scripture. That’s a whole lotta woe. The word is a noun, pretty means sorrow, grief, misery and apparently isn’t something nice to have happen to you, or others if you have chosen unwisely. Moab is the first receiver of woe (Numbers 21:29) and the last reference we see is a doozy, “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Rev 12:12) ‘Nough said there.
There are seven woe’s attributed to those wacky Pharisees that Jesus hammers them with and let’s face it, they had it coming to them. Those guys wore a mask of righteousness that hid their wicked thoughts. They taught about but didn’t really love YHVH. They taught Law but practiced the lesser things over the major things. They made converts to a dead religion, their oath swearing was off the mark, they were phonies when it came to being “clean” and for as much as they regarded the prophets of old, they had the blood of those who murdered them running through their veins. Woe indeed!!
Maybe the reason there is a whole lotta woe in Scripture is that there’s a whole lotta distrust displayed for God. Maybe it’s because its scary to trust in God. I mean, we can’t see Him, we never really can tell what He’s doing and yet many are out there saying, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7), and they seem to a have a joy that, deep down, we want as well. So, what should we do? Well in chapter 31 of Isaiah we’ll see why we should trust God. (This is the part where you open your Bible)
The first thing to understand is that God is wise. Verse two will point out one important factor and that is God doesn’t go back on His word. Nowhere in Scripture does God ever go, “So much time and so little to do, Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.” The apostle Paul will also reinforce how this verse plays out in 1 Corinthians 1:20-27.
“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Cor 1:27)
The next thing to grasp is in verse three, where we see that God is transcendent and humanism being a perennial problem. Sounds kinda technical but let’s all face this fact…man isn’t great enough to make an adequate god and the Triune God is unlimited, greater than anything in this corrupted world. Lastly, when you look at verses four and five, we see how God is our protector and will fight on our behalf, like a lion (can you say Lion of Judah?), or like a mother bird, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34b)
So, the battle against distrust and fear is to see how God’s Word connects. That alone oughta take care of all your woe but let me show you a bigger connection. Did you know the Book of Ruth is considered the 31st Jewish Book? And even though it seems a stretch the stuff that connects with Isaiah 31 is that people leave Israel for a foreign land, YHVH’s hand goes out against them and there is a returning back to Israel. Oh, before I forget the theme of Ruth is there IS a kinsmen redeemer.
Our Bibles aren’t the result of some accidental writings that are designed to make us feel better. On the contrary, it is written in a way that proves that God is wise, transcendent, fights for us, protects us, and wants to redeem us for Himself. Sometimes it takes a whole lotta woe to get our faces back into the book and see, that for centuries when we trust God, He delivers us from our woe and makes us a light on a hill that shines for Him to the rest of the world. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Think About This: “It is impossible for us to place confidence for our salvation in creatures and at the same time in God, for our eyes must be withdrawn from Him as soon as they are directed to them. We should employ lawful and customary means provided that we do not at all deny the power of God and at the same time seek God.” — John Calvin
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. –Matthew 16:24-25
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.