This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
How often is it that we feel the need to take matters into our own hands? To try and get things done on our own?
In the passage above, this is what the Israelites are doing. Isaiah is warning the people of Judah to cease their efforts to form an alliance with Egypt against Assyria. It would be better for the people of God to rest and repent, to be quiet and trust God, rather than try to move forward with their sin and their own plans. If they would rest, as God desired for them to do, that would ensure that their nation would not be totally destroyed. But, sometimes, we think our way is the best way.
Here’s the thing, however: in Christ, what God said to the Israelites all those years ago is true for us now: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” Ephesians 2:8-9 says this: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”
In reality, all we can really do is rest when it comes to salvation. It’s not something we can earn or work for because it isn’t something that comes from us. We’re saved because of who God is and because of His will — not because of anything we’ve done or might do. Salvation is a gift that God wants to give us. We simply need receive it and trust that God invites us to be in relationship with Him, forgives us of our sin, and empowers us to resist it as we walk with Him.
We can’t, but God can. When we rest, God works. When we were in need of a Savior and had no chance of restoring our relationship with God in our own strength, He came down to us, drawing us back to Himself through the cross of Christ.
Father, I thank You that because of who You are, I am saved. Open my eyes today to the wonder of the Christmas story: that through a Baby in a manger, You reconciled the world to Yourself. Amen.