"A BROKEN CRUTCH"
I. THE NEED FOR A CRUTCH.
A. Judah was facing a situation in which they knew they could not stand, the Babylonian forces were superior to theirs, thus they knew that they would surely fall.
1. They were forced to reach out for help.
2. The issue is where do they look for help?
B. Their comes a time in each of our lives where we are facing problems or circumstances that are beyond our ability to handle, we must reach out for help, where do we reach?
1. Everyone has a crutch, no man is an island, no man stands alone.
2. The question is not whether or not you have a crutch, but who or what is your crutch.
II. SOME CRUTCHES ARE DANGEROUS BECAUSE THEY WILL BREAK UNDER PRESSURE.
A. In our text God is rebuking Egypt because when Judah leaned on them they were like a crutch made of the reeds that grew in the Nile, and they broke and Judah fell.
1. They looked substantial, they offered hope, but under pressure they broke.
2. The reeds looked a lot like bamboo. It would appear that they could be leaned on, but they make a poor crutch.
B. Let's look at some of the crutches that people are leaning on today.
a. There is a person or several persons, that you call to share the things that are going on in your life.
b. You seek their support and assurances.
c. You want their advise and approval.
d. You know that if things go bad, they will stick by you, at least you hope they will.
e. You often do not know who your true friends are until you are in a severe crisis.
f. How many times has a person found to their own dismay that the persons that they had trusted on and had bared their souls to were unfaithful to that trust, and had later turned on them and used the information to their hurt.
g. Relationships are often broken, and prove to be a broken crutch that in the end bring pain and suffering.
a. There are many fallen people today who could not cope and turned to alcohol to help them face the pressures of life.
b. It usually started with social drinking, someone invited them to have a drink.
c. They found that as the alcohol hit the brain cells that it gave to them sort of a pleasant state of altered consciousness.
d. The realities of life were not so hard to face, they felt that they could make it after a few drinks.
e. The drinking in reality caused the problems to increase, for they were not being faced or dealt with, but the person under the influence of a few drinks did not worry about it. They were developing a distorted perception on life.
f. Friends could see what was happening, and tried to warn them, but they scoffed at the idea that they had a problem and finally drove their friends off, for under the influence of a few drinks that they could tell their friends where to get off.
g. The very crutch that they leaned on, was the very thing that destroyed them, it was a broken crutch.
3. Drugs have become a crutch to many people. Prescription and non-prescription.
a. We knew a fellow who was a Psychiatrist whose wife would almost get wild at times with her strong over reactions. When he would see things building up, he would give her a Valium to take, sometimes she would refuse to take it, so then he would take it.
b. Drugs are not a solution to the problem, but only allow a person to be able to live with the problem.
c. In time the drugs often become a problem greater than the original problem.
d. They can become a broken crutch.
4. Religion is a crutch.
a. Religion can be a very dangerous crutch, because it gives such a false sense of security.
b. There are millions today who are trusting in religion to save them.
c. Religion can never save a person, what most people fail to realize is that religion and salvation are two different things.
d. Salvation can come only through Jesus Christ. There is no other name under heaven whereby man must be saved.
e. Many have been damned by religion, it is a broken crutch.
III. GOD WAS ANGRY AT EGYPT FOR LETTING THE PEOPLE DOWN WHEN THEY NEEDED HELP.
A. He rebuked them for breaking under pressure, in fact he promised that they were going to be punished for their failure to provide the promised help.
B. God knows that we all need crutches to lean on, He told us to bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.
1. In Judges 5
in the victory song of Deborah over the defeated foe, there was a curse pronounced upon Meroz, for the failure to come and aid in the battle against Sisera.
2. We are to seek to lift the fallen, to help those who are weak and in need.
3. We are not to close our eyes to the needy, but support those who have fallen.
IV. GOD KNEW THAT EGYPT WOULD BE A BROKEN CRUTCH.
A. The prophet Jeremiah warned against looking to an alliance with Egypt, as their salvation.
B. What God really wanted was for them to lean upon Him as their crutch.
C. Sometimes people say, "Jesus is just a crutch."
1. Truer words were never spoken. I freely admit that Jesus is my crutch, I lean upon Him every moment of every day. If it were not for Him, I would fall.
2. I frankly confess my weakness, and inadequacies. I know that I cannot stand against the pressures of this world governed by Satan. I need something to lean upon. I am so glad that He has allowed me to lean upon Him.
D. My crutch has never broken. He has never let me down. He sustains me when I am weak. He holds me up when I have no strength. I will lean upon Him until I die. I wouldn't trade Him for all of the crutches in the world. For the world and all of the desires of the world will fade away, but he that doeth the will of God will abide forever. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.