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Betrayal by our ally? God will not abandon Israel

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Have you ever trusted someone and thought they were your friend, only to have them turn against you and wrongly accuse you of doing something terrible? You feel hurt, confused and betrayed.

When Israel was so brutally attacked by 3,000 Hamas terrorists on October 7, there was a surprising outpouring of support and sympathy from many around the world. It brought us a measure of comfort in our worst day since the Holocaust. But it didn’t last. It took no time at all until our ‘friends’ began to criticize our actions and turn against us. Now even our greatest friend, the USA, appears to be turning against us too. We are not surprised perhaps, but we nevertheless feel hurt and betrayed.

Prior to the Babylonian exile, in the face of military threats from Assyria in the north, the Kingdom of Judah formed an alliance with Egypt without consulting the LORD. They put their trust in fallible men rather than in God. The prophet Isaiah, and also the prophet Jeremiah, rebuked them and warned them not to trust in Egypt and its military prowess, but in the LORD God of Israel. Isaiah said,

“Woe to the obstinate children,”
  declares the Lord,
“to those who carry out plans that are not mine,
    forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit,
    heaping sin upon sin;
 who go down to Egypt
    without consulting me;
who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection,
    to Egypt’s shade for refuge.
 But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame,
    Egypt’s shade will bring you disgrace.

Isaiah 30: 1-3 

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
    who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots
    and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
    or seek help from the Lord.

Isaiah 31:1

But the people of Judah did not listen, and after the army of Egypt was defeated by the army of Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish, they were carried off to Babylon.

Are we doing the same thing today? Is Israel choosing to put her trust in the USA and other allies, who will prove neither willing nor able to protect us, rather than trusting in the LORD?

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust is your strength,
    but you would have none of it.

Isaiah 30:15

As a nation, we trust in men and man-made laws and do not know nor trust the LORD. Nothing much has changed since the days of Isaiah, who said,

The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth
    and honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
    is based on merely human rules they have been taught.

Isaiah 29: 13

The writer and philosopher George Santayana penned the words, “Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it”. Have we as a nation not learned from our own history? Are we putting our trust in the might and power of the United States instead of in God? Like Egypt, perhaps the US will soon crumble and fall. Cracks are appearing from within and threats from without. How much better to lean on God, in repentance and trust?

In spite of our stubborn foolishness, God longs for us to repent and call out to him, waiting for his deliverance in faith.

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
    Blessed are all who wait for him!

Isaiah 30:18

Recently we celebrated the Festival of Purim in which we remember God’s deliverance of Israel from the threat of annihilation while in exile in Babylon. This year, on the Eve of Purim, the President and other secular and religious leaders in Israel called for us all to stand and recite the ‘Shema Israel’ together; “ Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). It’s a good start, but it does not yet go nearly far enough. What must God do to bring us as a nation to our knees in heartfelt repentance? I dread to think!

I do know though that, as in the time of the Babylonian Exile, God will not abandon Israel. When we call upon his name, He will swiftly answer us and deliver us.

People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.

Isaiah 30:19

Talia Voice grew up in New Zealand but came to Israel about 40 years ago. After teaching science in various schools, she is now retired and lives in Mevaseret Zion where she leads a home group and attends a congregation in Mevaseret. She is the author of the book “I’m Single, OK?” and writes on

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