Isaiah 30:15-18. This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will get our help from Egypt. They will give us swift horses for riding into battle.’ But the only swiftness you are going to see is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you! One of them will chase a thousand of you. Five of them will make all of you flee. You will be left like a lonely flagpole on a hill or a tattered banner on a distant mountaintop.” So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.
The only way to be saved (a) is to:
1. Return to the Lord. You have gone other ways (roads) and towards other things as the source of your life, joy and wisdom. Now come back to God as your one true love and the focus of your life.
2. Rest in God. Stop striving and struggling, allowing anxiety and pressure to get the better of you. God is in control. He has all the wisdom, power and love you need. Find a sense of peace IN HIM, even in the midst of the storm and your unanswered questions.
(a) Saved. The verb (Hebrew yasha‘) means removing an object from a dangerous situation or the state of being delivered from distress. In some contexts, it has added associations to a loving relationship with God. The related noun (Hebrew yeshu‘ah) refers to the salvation that the verb enacts.
Where does strength come from?
1. Quietness. Learn to be still. Stop being in such a hurry and frantically running around after so many things. Be still and know that I am God. Center yourself on GOD! Life is not about noise but about an inner depth.
2. Confidence. Out of quietness will come confidence, which leads to strength (energy). Confidence is knowing that God is in control, that He will use you to carry out his purposes, and that in Him you have all you need. As Paul said, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (makes me equal to the task at hand)."
Once you have this inner quietness and confidence, you will find an amazing strength that sustains and empowers you for everything God has called you to be and do.
This is God's intention and purpose. This is what he desires for your life. Yet, how often we seek help from 'Egypt' which represents the world and any person or place other than God. Egypt, with all its wisdom, power and style, does not know God.
What is our first course of action when we are in need? Do we look to ourselves, other people (even Christian people – peers, friends and work associates), books, or to the world? OR do we look to God and His Word? If we do the former, we will only experience failure and defeat. What seems to be efficient ('swift') will actually be ineffective (a 1,000 losing to 1!).
What is the result of all of this?
The Lord must wait for us to come to Him. Only then can he show me his love and compassion (b). He is a faithful God – true to himself and to his Word (promises).
(b) Compassion. This Hebrew verb means to have a feeling of strong affection for someone, usually based on a prior relationship. The word has a special focus on mercy or pity toward a person in difficult circumstances. It is often characterized as unconditional love.
When we wait for His help, we are blessed (c)!
(c) Blessed. Hebrew 'ashrey: happy, blessed. This word points to a heightened state or condition of joy and rejoicing, implying very favorable circumstances and enjoyment. It may be implied that it is a state to be envied or highly desired.
What is NEEDED:
1. More time spent waiting, resting and being still before God (being – relationship). Learn to be silent and spend time simply basking in God's presence.
2. Less time spent in striving, busyness and anxiety (doing – tasks). We are not in control.
3. More focus on drawing wisdom, strength and vision (direction) from God and his Word, not from other sources (who should only be confirmation and amplification, not our source).
4. More time receiving and enjoying God's love (unconditional), compassion (strong affection, mercy, pity) and faithfulness. Only as we come to Him, is he enabled to reveal this to us. While we are busy elsewhere, he waits …
How often we run to broken cisterns that cannot hold water and neglect the Lord, who is the fountain of living water. JESUS is that river that we thirst for. We can go in as deep as we want. It's up to us. Come in deeper. There are waters to swim in.