For thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel “in returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15 ESV)
Isaiah is giving a direct quote from God. This appears to be slightly different from speaking or writing as one carried by the Holy Spirit. No authorial personality to cloud our understanding, this is a direct quote from God, so listen up people of Israel! “thus says the Lord…”
This clear statement is nestled between admonitions and warnings about both the futility of trusting others (Egypt) for deliverance, and not trusting in the One whom ought to be trusted – God. The nation finds themselves between the Assyrian threat on one side and the temptation of an unholy alliance on the other. Where else can they turn? To whom else can they go for protection?
They will turn and trust in what they know best – horses and pharaohs – worldly power.
Obedience and trust – the heart and legacy of a faith-filled life – is our calling, and our greatest challenge. God understands the challenges of living in a curse-stained world. A world where glimpses of His presence are not always enough to “turn” us back to Him and away from what we see – swift horses and powerful armies.
In Isaiah 30:18, a comforting insight is revealed. The Lord will be gracious and merciful, He waits for us; He understands our fears and our hesitations. He will be gracious at the sound of our cry and He WILL answer us!
Even though He allows the “bread of adversity and the water of affliction” (30:20) in our lives, our Teacher will reveal Himself and guide us in the truth. We WILL hear him say, “this is the way, walk in it.” (30:21)
Do you hear God’s thundering voice through the whispers? – Re-turn to Me, trust in Me, you WILL find rest for your souls…
When the army of oppression is charging the gates of our lives, our natural inclination will be to turn to that which we know best, that which seems strong and protective. Will we turn first to our Egyptians, and their swift horses? Or will we recognize the Teachers voice?
Thus says the Lord… “in returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength.”
Lord, the world we live in makes it so easy to trust in worldly power. We can see the strength in tangible and visible things – strong horses, kings and armies. We can see the brilliance of man’s intellect and ingenuity in science and medicine. The world and its system promises answers to all our problems. This present world deceptively entices us to trust only in what can be seen, and to disregard the unseen.
Through the whisper of brilliant sunsets, the majesty of the Rockies, and in the quite beauty of snowfall… having looked down on towering clouds filled with flashes of energy that are not man-made, I’ve heard your thundering voice calling me to “turn” and to “trust” in You first. You are not an unseen God!
Lord, thank you for the peace, rest, hope and salvation that comes from trusting in You. You’ve shown me the way. You’ve held my hand. By Your power may I continue to know the way and to walk in it. Amen.