Temptation to Trust in Diviners
Isaiah 19:3
And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the middle thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols…

They shall seek... to the charmers. "A time of panic, when the counsels of ordinary statesmen failed, was sure in Egypt, as at Athens in its times of peril, to be fruitful in oracles and divinations." The most remarkable instance recorded in Scripture is that of King Saul, who in his extremity, and after having himself driven the witches out of his land, imperiled his life to consult the witch of Endor. And even in these days there are most curious survivals of the old spirit, in the consultations of fortune-tellers, and the confidence placed in the guesses of prophesiers, and the vague generalities of so-called astrologers. Large numbers of ignorant and only partly educated people hold to this day their confidence in lucky and unlucky times, and their fears of thirteen at the table, the ticking of the death-watch, and the coffin-shaped cinder. In times of national distress men who pretend to prophesy find their harvest, and trade upon the fears and hopes of men.

I. THE UNIVERSAL DESIRE TO PIERCE THE UNSEEN AND THE FUTURE. On this desire rests the success of modern spiritualism. Where there is no restful confidence in God's love and lead, men try to force aside the veils that hide God and God's purposes from mortal view. Man can do so much in the present that he is fretted and annoyed because he can get no guarantees for tomorrow, and every day must act upon the uncertainty whether, for him, there will be any to-morrow. After this life, what then? Men are angry because no fellow-man has ever answered that question or ever can. Revelation from God can alone relieve the mystery. Show how in all ages men have peered into the dark future, and been compelled to confess that they could see nothing but the "folds of the wondrous veil."


1. It is necessary for our probation.

2. It prevents procrastination by impression of the supreme value of now.

3. It keeps from the self-security which nourishes free indulgence in sin. 4. It makes our life manifestly a life of faith.

III. THE REST WHICH RELIGION GIVES FROM THE CARE ABOUT THE FUTURE. Religion brings God into direct relations, and gracious relations, with the individual. Past, present, future, are all in God's control. If the soul is in right relations with God, the present is his overruling, and the future is his provision. If we are with God, all is well, here or there. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.

WEB: The spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst. I will destroy its counsel. They will seek the idols, the charmers, those who have familiar spirits, and the wizards.

Political Commotion Regarded as Divine Judgment
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