In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15
In the early days of the American Revolutionary War, an expedition was launched against British forces in Quebec. When the expedition passed through Newburyport, Massachusetts, on the way to Canada, they visited the tomb of the renowned evangelist George Whitefield. Whitefield’s coffin was opened and his clerical collar and cuffs were removed. The clothing was cut in pieces and distributed in the mistaken belief that it could somehow give the soldiers success.
The expedition failed. But what the soldiers did demonstrates our human tendency to trust in something less than a relationship with God—money or human strength or even religious traditions—for our ultimate well-being. God cautioned His people against this when invasion from Assyria threatened, and they sought Pharaoh’s help instead of turning from their sins and turning personally to Him: “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. You said, “No, we will flee on horses.” Therefore you will flee!’ ” (Isaiah 30:15–16).
Their “expedition” failed as well (just as God said it would) and Assyria overwhelmed Judah. But God also told His people, “The Lord longs to be gracious to you.” Even when we have trusted in lesser things, God still holds out His hand to help us return to Him. “Blessed are all who wait for him!” (v. 18).
In what other than God are you sometimes tempted to place your trust? How will you rely on Him today?
I trust You, God. Please help me to always rely on You because You’re always faithful!
Contrast is one of the literary tools many of the prophets utilize in their writings. When actions or ideas are set in contrast to one another, the better/worse or good/bad nature of the two choices is crystalized. This contrast is often identified with the use of the word but. In Isaiah 30, the prophet Isaiah uses this approach to show the folly of Israel’s choices. In verses 1–5, Israel hoped in the protection from an alliance with Egypt, “but” (v. 3) that hope would be turned to “shame.” And in verses 15–18, God describes the way of salvation, “but” (v. 15) Israel would choose their own way and find themselves in ruin (vv. 16–18).