“Then all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the Lord, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel. When they took hold of you with the hand, you broke and tore all their shoulders; when they leaned on you,you broke and made all their backs quiver.”
One of the common criticisms of Christianity asserts it is a crutch for weak people. I would disagree with that accusation based upon its premise. You see, anyone making that statement is failing to see that we, as humans, are all weak and in need of something outside of ourselves to help us along the way. The question is not whether Christianity is a crutch, but whether it is a reliable one. Ezekiel’s message to Israel was that leaning on the strength of Egypt, when threatened by attack from Babylon, was like using a reed to support their body weight. The visual is clear, a reed does not have the strength to support their weight.
This passage is particularly interesting to me, as I hobble from airport to airport with a broken ankle. Because of the break, my left leg can bear no weight. I am dependent on crutches to hold me up. When I reached security, I had to place my crutches on the belt and was handed two wooden canes that bore evidence of not being trustworthy. Instead of leaning all my weight on them, I chose to hop through the line, as though I were playing a childhood game.
It is not a question of whether you have a crutch or not. The question you must ask is, whether your crutch is suitable to bear the weight of both life and death. Things like family, intelligence, physical strength, resolve or riches, might be a sufficient crutch for the struggles of life, but they will not support us in death. The only way to prepare for eternity is to trust in the saving work of Christ.