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."
Isaiah 30:15 NIV
Why is it so hard to trust in an unseen God? Israel continually struggled with finding its strength in alliances rather than in the Lord. Alliances with Egypt against Assyria or with Assyria against Egypt.
And what did these alliances really gain them? Israel ended up the loser, as both the battleground and the victor's reward. The whole time God was offering them independence through His salvation and strength, "but they would have none of it."
Can we condemn them, really? Don't we make our alliances, too?
Some of us trust in our earthly relationships (spouses, parents, children, friends), our assets (bank accounts, investments, houses, cars), our vices (alcohol, drugs, gaming, shopping), or our public image (we spend an awful lot of time managing how people view us). We rely on those things to make us feel safe and strong.
The Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says that repentance and rest are our salvation. We are saved from our enemies when we turn away from them and rest in an unseen God. We are saved from our sin and the penalty of it when we repent and rest in an unseen God. We are saved from destructive patterns when we change direction and rest in an unseen God.
Repent and Rest.
The Sovereign Lord also says that we find our strength in quietness and trust. How many of you feel tired? Do you often find yourself praying for strength? I do. A lot. "In quietness and trust is your strength."
Isaiah 30:15 says that Israel "would have none of it" and continued to put its trust in horses and chariots. Their alliances brought destruction and so do ours. But verses 18-19 say,
"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you."
What a gracious God! He is listening for us to repent, rest, and quietly trust. He does not withhold His salvation and strength.
Let us break our worldly alliances today in favor of an unseen God, who is Sovereign and Holy over all.