Rest and Quietness (Isaiah 30:15-18)

Isaiah 30:15-18

 

15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,

“In returning and rest you shall be saved;

in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”

But you were unwilling, 16 and you said,

“No! We will flee upon horses”;

therefore you shall flee away;

and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”;

therefore your pursuers shall be swift.

17 A thousand shall flee at the threat of one;

at the threat of five you shall flee,

till you are left

like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,

like a signal on a hill.

18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,

and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.

For the Lord is a God of justice;

blessed are all those who wait for him.

 

     In the days of Isaiah, the people of God were under a great threat. Assyria for the northern kingdom and Babylon for the southern kingdom were great dangers. God was going to send enemies, allowing them to punish Israel for her sin. But God also promised deliverance. If the people would trust in him, rest and be still, he would be their rescuer. Sadly, Israel did not wish to trust in the Lord. Instead, she would run away to attempt to save herself.

 

     There are great lessons here for us all. If you are not yet a believer in Christ, there is something for you to learn. It is human nature to think that you will rescue yourself, saving your own soul. Most people who believe in God also believe that they will be OK with God if they can manage to live up to a certain set of moral standards. But the Bible makes it clear that none of us are good enough in ourselves to please a holy God. No, the only way to be right with God is not to try, but to trust. God sent Jesus to live the perfection we could not live and to die the sacrificial death that would have kept our souls in hell forever. You cannot be good and get Jesus. On the contrary, all you can do is repent of sin, trust in Jesus, and ask him to save your soul. In quietness and rest is your salvation—quietness from personal works and resting in the person and work of Jesus alone.

 

     For the Christian, there is also a lesson. It is tempting, when we face hardships, to fix everything ourselves. But we are not always wise here. God is active in our lives. Sometimes the best policy for us is to rest in him and allow him to defend us, protect us, and provide for us. Of course this is not about laziness or quietism. However, there is truth in the fact that there is peace for the Christian when he or she will stop trying to run the world and allow God to be in charge (as he will be in charge no matter what we think we can do).