Taken from Winter 2012 “More Excellent Way” Magazine
The wayward people of the Lord were frustrated at the pointed warnings of the Lord’s prophets. They were being warned of the futility of placing their trust in flesh. “Egypt’s help,” said the prophet, “is vain and empty.” (Isaiah 30:1-7) There is only shame and reproach to be found in their assistance. “They are men and not God, and their horses are flesh and not spirit.” (Isaiah 31:3) “Behold, you rely on the staff of this crushed reed, even on Egypt on which if a man learns, it will go into his hand and pierce it.” (Isaiah 36:6) By many other warnings they were encouraged not to forsake the Lord, the Fountain of living waters, only to hew for themselves broken cisterns that can hold no water. Yet, they ran full steam ahead to solicit the protection of Egypt.
Just so, the faithless nation obstinately resisted the prophet’s clear word that both Assyria and Babylon would become God’s instruments of chastening in their lives. They would be carried away by Assyria; they would be brought into captivity by Babylon. If they would not return in repentance unto the Lord they would experience both the vain help of Egypt and the powerful arm of Assyria and Babylon.
“Unfair! Unjust! We do not deserve this! Why God, are you allowing Egypt to fail us? Why are you allowing your people to be dragged away into captivity by heathen nations?” Jeremiah the prophet gives the clear answer. “Have you not done this to yourself by forsaking the Lord your God when He led you in the way?” (Jeremiah 2:17) “Your own wickedness will correct you, and your apostasies will reprove you.” (Jeremiah 2:19) “Your ways and your deeds have brought these things to you. This is your evil. How bitter! How it has touched your heart!” (Jeremiah 4:18)
If you do not want Egypt to fail you, then get off the road to Egypt. If you do not want to end up in Assyria or Babylon, get off the road that leads to Assyria and Babylon. We must not blame the Lord for our destination, if we are pursuing the path of that destination. “What are you doing on the road to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria to drink the water of the Euphrates?” (Jeremiah 2:18) The failure of creature resources and the lordship of the enemy over them were the consequences of the path that they themselves had chosen and on which they were walking.
I want God to receive all the glory,” says the Christian. A book by Watchman Nee named after, and based on 1 Corinthians 10:3, Do All to the Glory of God, was published in 1975. There are ten chapters in the book, each beseeching the Christian to live for the glory of the Lord. Give Him glory in marriage; give Him glory in mating; give Him glory in the marriage union; give Him glory in parenting; give Him glory in choosing friendships; give Him glory in all recreation; give Him glory in speech; give Him glory in the choice of clothing and food; give Him glory in self-denial and give Him glory in finances. A noble call! “Give God glory!”
The question God asked through the prophet can be applied to the desire to bring God glory. Are you on the path that leads to the glory of God? It is easy to say, “I want God to have all the glory in this or that,” but am I walking on the road that leads to His glory? If I am not on the road that leads to His glory, I will never arrive at His glory, no matter how earnestly I pray, “Father, glorify Thy name!”
The only road that leads to the Glory of God is Christ. He is the Glory of God! If my heart is set to please Him and appropriate His Life in exchange for my life, then I am walking on the path that leads to His glory. If I am not on the path that leads to His glory, it will not help to shed Esau’s tears because I am denied the blessing. May God plant our feet firmly in the One who called Himself, “The Way!”