In the United States today, many Christians are seeking alliances with a political party, an economic system, or an ideology as “a natural counterweight” to people who they fear. But alliances with political parties, economic systems, or ideologies are as counterproductive and futile as “capitulating to Assyria” or “depending on Egyptian aid”—strategies that Isaiah condemned in favor of God’s people taking an independent path.
Recently, I was struck by the following summary of how Isaiah viewed the options facing God’s people in his time:
At some point, . . . [King Hezekiah] sent an embassy to the Egyptians as a potential ally against Assyria. As the other major power of the era, the Egyptians were a natural counterweight to the Assyrian threat. Isaiah oppose[d] this strategy, insisting that [God’s people] take an independent path, neither capitulating to Assyria nor depending on Egyptian aid. (Note to Isaiah 30:1-7 in the NJPS).
This passage made me think about the ways that many Christians in the United States today are seeking alliances with political parties, economic systems, and ideologies as “a natural counterweight” to people who they fear.
But alliances with political parties are as counterproductive and futile as “capitulating to Assyria” or “depending on Egyptian aid.”
In terms that I like to use, alliances with political parties (whether Democrats or Republicans) are as counterproductive and futile as capitulating to the Power of the Kingdoms of the World.
Alliances with economic systems (whether Socialism or Capitalism) are as counterproductive and futile as capitulating to the Power of Money.
Alliances with ideologies (whether Genderism, Marxism, Racism, or Nationalism) are as counterproductive and futile as depending on aid from the Power of Religion.
As Isaiah foresaw, the only viable strategy in his time, in our time, and in all times—is “insisting that [God’s people] take an independent path.”
What is this independent path?
The Way of Jesus!
Fulfilling the ideals of the Law of Moses and the Prophets. (Matthew 5:17).
Learning to do right. Seeking justice. Defending the oppressed. (Isaiah 1:17).
Hoping in the Lord to renew our Strength. (Isaiah 40:31).
Lighting Humanity with our good deeds—not by Might nor by Power, but by the Spirit of the LORD! (Matthew 5:14,16; Zechariah 4:6).
For similar thoughts about God’s people taking an independent path, please read my blog “Hiding in Plain Sight”.
For similar thoughts about political parties, please read my blog “Poker Lessons: Playing the Cards? Or Playing the People?”.
For thoughts related to the ideas in this blog, please read my blogs “Jesus Climbs the Temple Mount”, “Spilling Coffee”, “Individuals and Systems, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable”, “Nationalism Is Patriotism Gone Astray”, “Keeping the Powers of Money, Religion and Kingdoms Separate”, “The 500-Year Marathon To Overcome Racism,” and “Racism Is America Gone Astray”.
To learn more about Isaiah, please read the chapters “Isaiah’s Vision”, “The LORD Saves Jerusalem From Assyria”, and “Hezekiah Foolishly Welcomes the Babylonians” in my book Healing the Promised Land, at pages 239-266.
To be precise, King Hezekiah was probably the king who Isaiah condemned for seeking an alliance with the Egyptians, but this is not certain. See the full note to Isaiah 30:1-7 in the second edition of The Jewish Study Bible (NJPS).