“For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.”
The Lord was reproving Israel for their stubbornness and rebellion. They were guilty of looking to Egypt for their help and rejecting the Word of God. Rather than being still and coming to God with a heart of repentance, they preferred running from God and trying to manage without the direction and blessings of their Creator and Sustainer. God’s message to them was a promise of divine intervention. “In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Their salvation would be in returning to God and in trusting Him completely, but they “would not.” They would not listen, and they suffered the consequences.
This passage is a piece of timeless and transforming counsel for all who will take heed. We appear at times to have this innate tendency to exhaust all other resources and possibilities of solutions before we bring our needs to the Lord. Busyness is not a suitable substitute for quietness before God. Programs and innovations will not provide what waiting on God’s promises can produce. Running here and there and refusing to receive God’s wisdom cannot bring peace and rest, only frustration and weariness.
When our typical, stress-filled schedules do not seem to provide time for being still and quiet before the Lord, we must take seriously the challenge to prioritize our activities and make time for what is important. Though our calendars are full, and our time is committed to many obligations, we must schedule appointments with God.
Sometimes the problem with not spending quiet time with God is not a lack of time, but more a lack of interest or desire. People use their busyness as an excuse to avoid spending time alone with the Lord, an escape from doing what they know they need to do, but are not willing to do. It is not always that we do not have time to wait on the Lord; but more likely that we do not find it as important as other things.
God has promised to strengthen us in our times of quietness before Him. He strengthens us to endure the difficulties of life, to love and forgive beyond our human ability, and to believe and trust in Him during what might seem impossible circumstances. In quietness, we will find strength.