Spiritual Side Trip

I borrowed a book from my father-in-law  early this year,  a devotional book by Vance Havner, old-time evangelist and conference speaker, and one of my dad’s favorites through the years.  These thoughts are verbatim from Day By Day,  for October 19th,  first written and © in 1953.



Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help.

Isaiah 31.1 


ABRAM DID IT and got into an embarrassing predicament, denied his wife, and was sent out of the land.  What a testimony for the Father of the Faithful!  But he was not the only good man who visited Egypt in time of famine.  We forget so easily that God can furnish tables in the wilderness.  When times are hard we turn to the world for help.  And sometimes Egypt offers a bigger salary!

    We never need to leave Canaan and go back over Jordan for any reason whatsoever.  We commonly think of the Promised Land as flowing with milk and honey, flourishing with figs and pmoegranates.  But sometimes God sends a drought and the pickings are slim and the garlic and onions and fleshpots tantalize us, tempt us to Egypt.

    Are you passing through a dry spell and a lean season?  Christians and churches are apt to turn to Pharaoh in spritual famine.  But it always means denial and embarrassment and humiliation and loss of testimony.  All that we need we have in Canaan.  No side trips are necessary.   Settle down in Beulah Land and enjoy the country!


I can just hear his old Kentucky-country voice, click-click-clicking through his phrases, making his point loud and clear.   Pertinent words for today too, aren’t they?  A careful reading of Isaiah 31.1 sheds additional light on Havner’s thoughts:

“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.” (NIV)

That sounds like me sometimes.  Like our country right now. 

Lord, help me always look for my help from You first. Last. Only.


2 Replies to “Spiritual Side Trip”

  1. teachmedad

    Phil, thanks for the devotional by Vance Havner. I have to tell you a story.

    When I came to Hawaii 30 years ago, the General Manager of our radio our station would always read from Vance Havner in our staff devotions. But the GM and I had issues and consequently, I transferred some of my feelings onto good old Vance. If the GM liked Vance and I didn’t like the GM then I wasn’t going to like Vance.

    Okay, so I was young and immature.

    But when I read your piece this morning, I thought, “Wow! That was really good! I wish I would have written that.”

    Vance would have had an awesome blog!


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