A huge mistake of Israel against God was turning to the nations for help and not Him. This made God angry, primarily because it was He who begot them and did everything for them, more than they could have asked or imagined. Turning to the nations for help meant He was not all-important, not all-powerful and not all-knowledgeable. They not only put Him to test and grieved Him, but also put Him to open shame. It’s like children not being loyal to or dependant on parents; it is loathsome pain. The main reason for their turn is unbelieving heart. This attracted them to the world of idolatry. Idolatry contained activities, interests and ways covered in grand glitter. Being influenced by it, they could not see the hidden substance. They distanced themselves from God, since the sinful nature in them got the upper hand. Soon they were corrupted in all forms. They set aside God and His laws, and rather admitting their mistake questioned His values and ways. They transformed wittingly for it so they could defend their lifestyle. Such was the influence of Idolatry and things that amounted to it. They felt it to be innocuous.
So when times of trouble, distress, need and refuge appeared, they did not seek the God of Abraham, Moses, David and the prophets. They sought the nations. They even went to the extent of selling themselves to them – first their mind and then everything else. Still, it brought no change to their circumstances. Rather, it got worse and worse. Besides hurting and destroying themselves, they even dragged the glory of God that rested on them into drains. This made God ire. He had been warning them of it for a long time and then said, “Now the Egyptians are men and not God, And their horses are flesh and not spirit; So the LORD will stretch out His hand, And he who helps will stumble And he who is helped will fall, And all of them will come to an end together” (Isa. 31:3).
One of the things I learned strongly from my mother while growing up is to depend on God alone no matter what. In all needs, deficits, sufferings, desires and for all care and forgiveness she sought no one else, but God. And she was utterly satisfied by His provision, because it was so joyous and full of serenity; the enemy could not counter it. She was fairly well-off, but that didn’t keep her from seeking God alone. Watching her became a great asset.
Whatever our needs are, whether financial, health or any personal thing, God knows. One thing that is true of Him is He can fulfill them with ease. All He needs from us is trust. After having been saved by His blood, it is not right and not even wise to go after someone else or thing other than Him. If we do the contrary, we have made to ourselves a form to go to that amounts to idolatry. Many Christians commit idolatry in this sense. They feel pressured by family, circumstances, friends, desires, reputation and habits. But they fail to realize none of these are greater than God. For example, when they sin, they use substitutions to wipe it out by works or even increase their offering to God rather seeking His forgiveness and ways. Turning away from Him only makes it worse.
No man or horse, or spirit, or hand, or flesh or weapon can provide us and rescue us other than the Almighty God in His Son Jesus. By Him there is absolute satisfaction and serenity. If finances are troubling us, we need to pray, and He will provide that too amazingly. He will not make us stretch our hand to a stranger after having trusted and waited for Him. If we are sick, we need to pray, and He will heal us or if He deems it for grace, leads us to the right doctor, medicine and provide the necessary finances for it.
The following can act as stepping stones to our well-being and prosperity.
- Being vigorous for knowledge. “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase” (Dan. 12:4). We ought to keep studying and meditate on God’s word. What happens then is we acquire minute details as well as intricate wisdom regarding God. Add quiet time with God before it and our inner man is strengthened immensely.
- Believe first. “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him” (Matt. 27:42). The Jews in unbelief mocked Jesus not knowing the effect of Him dying on the cross. Had He came down like they asked, He would have proved Himself as God, and maybe they would’ve believed, but then it would mean nothing. It would be loss, God’s failure to redeem mankind. Jesus did not yield to that momentary provocation. Thanks to Him! His death paid the price for all our sin. It then paved the way for His glorious resurrection, the display and proof of immeasurable power. So, believing in Jesus for everything and then turning to Him for everything will do immense good and benefit to us.
- Look from God’s viewpoint. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). When we turn to Him for everything, we get His view of them. We can relax in His wisdom; become serene. We do not yield to fear, habits, deficits, inconvenience, people and the provocations of the devil.