“For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling,,,” Isaiah 30:15 (ESV)
Our verse is part of a prophecy God sent to His people Israel through Isaiah His prophet. Isaiah delivered this important message to His people. It is a promise for all but in this instance it was a promise that the people rejected and were unwilling to submit to it. By not accepting the promise Israel missed the blessing of it. God wanted to them to learn this truth, and it is still effective even today. You and I will do well to listen to this promise. God wants us today to know the secret to salvation and strength. Rest, or relax, and trust in Him. If we have been trying to live right by our own effort, we need to realize that God offers to help us to live right and also to accomplish lasting results. The kind of rest promised comes from trusting the words of God. We can rest by believing and following God’s instructions. Let’s believe His words and quit trying in our own strength. Let’s remember these words, “In quietness and trust is your strength.” It’s a promise and a blessing for us if we will have it.
Isaiah, rest, salvation, strength, trust
“These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13 (NASB)
The Apostle John tells us very plainly why he wrote this letter to all believers near the end of the first century (A.D. 90-94). His message extends to all of us through all the years since he wrote the letters. John wrote this letter to give us the assurance that by believing in the name of the Son of God, our salvation is sure. We have eternal life⸺which means more than just a period of time⸺it means a person (1 John 5:20). . Eternal life is a relationship with the person of Jesus Christ it means possessing His nature which He has given to us. This is a certainty of our Christian life. We can trust with confidence what God has promised to us through this letter by John. What a great promise God has given to us so that we can live according to His will and know that we belong to Him. More than just belong but belong as having Jesus within our lives. Although we do experience doubt cast our way by the enemy of God we have this assurance to overcome those doubts.
“Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, according to all that he promised. Not one word has failed of all his good promise, which he spoke by Moses his servant.” 1 Kings 8:56 (ESV)
These words of praise were spoken by the King of all Israel, Solomon, son of David at the time of the dedication of the temple which he had built in Jerusalem (10th century B.C.). It reminds us of God’s perfect faithfulness of and that we can trust all of his promises to us. God had given many promises to His people through Moses almost 500 years before Solomon. In Joshua 21:45 Joshua had reminded them “Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Did you note what Solomon said about these promises? He said the same thing Joshua had said, “Not one word has failed.” God had kept his promises in every detail. This is the kind of God we have today. Most days we look at a specific promise to remember and today that promise is that He’ll keep every word of His promises to us. Think of some promise or promises God has given you my friend. He will be faithful to you as he was to Israel then and now.
“Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.” – Psalm 91:9-11 (ESV)
Ever heard often about promises of guardian angels? We believe that they are watching over us although we can’t see them. Sometimes we sense God’s Spirit and presence and believe this is because of His angels watching over us. As we read this promise today, we are reminded who it is that gets this special protection. Notice that it is those who believe in the LORD, Most High. Our spelling and grammar checkers want to change the “Most High” to “Highest” but that is not really the same thing, is it? It is in the LORD Most High that we find our dwelling place and profess Him as our refuge. How do we dwell in the Most High? We do so by faith believing the promises God has given to us. So let’s remember that we live, or dwell in our LORD when we trust Him at all times – not just once in a while. We learn to trust and obey not only when things are tough but even when they are not so tough. Living in God is a constant that comes through a constant faith.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV)
“It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1 (NASB)
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” – 1 Peter 2:16 (ESV)
Today we have three verses on freedom. The United States will be celebrating freedom on the nation’s newest federal holiday. Juneteenth National Independence Day became the 12th legal public holiday on June 17, 2021. The action of one human owning another and determining all aspects of another’s life has always been a tragic part of human history. Slavery continues around the world even to this day. The pursuit of freedom from bondage and statutory slavery is a natural desire. Often over-looked is the deadly slavery to sin that holds people in bondage to unrighteous thought, speech, and actions. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God came into our world, born as a baby and lived a perfect human life⸺free of any sin. Christ was never a salve to sin so when He offered himself in our place, to die for us, it gave each of us the opportunity to be free from slavery to sin as well. Christ’s death satisfied the penalty for sin that was due (Romans 6:23). Through faith believing in Christ, we are set free from sin – we are no long in bondage to sin, we are free as we abide in Christ’s righteousness.
“Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:19-20 (ESV)
When Jesus was in his public ministry on earth he took advantage of things that happened each day to teach his disciples. This verse is from one of those times. A father had a boy who was possessed by a demon. Jesus’ disciples had attempted to heal the man’s son but failed. Now the father brings the boy to Jesus and pleads with Him. Jesus rebukes the demon and heals the boy instantly. The purpose of this teaching is not to encourage us to move mountains around. The real lesson which Jesus was teaching was about the nature of the faith which produces results. Jesus spoke of faith being as small as a mustard seed. Ever so small, the seed would produce great results. Jesus was saying that even if their faith was as small as a mustard seed, it would produce great results because the faith would be there. But the results of even such faith come from God and He is great. It is of when we make God – rather than ourselves – the object of our confidence that the greatness of God brings results, providing the faith is in our hearts.
“And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.” Luke 1:46-48a (ESV)
These words are from a song of praise that Mary, the mother of Jesus sang when she visited her cousin Elizabeth before Jesus was born. This song reminds us what true praise is and so we read these words today and think about them. We sometimes think that in order to praise God, we need to say something with our lips. God knows our heart and our thoughts before we even do. We can praise God silently, or orally, or as Mary did when she sang this song with her lips; she sang that it was her soul that was glorifying and praising God. Before she put her thoughts into words she was praising God with her inner being. God has promised to hear us no matter how we communicate if we are sincere and righteous before him. We can glorify God wherever we are. We do not have to be in a particular place with particular people singing out loud particular words. We can all do the same as Mary did. If we praise God in our hearts our Lord is aware of it and He will respond. Let’s praise God with our whole being today.
“Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165 (ESV)
We don’t usually think of a law as something we love but the law of God is different. When we speak of the law of God we are not thinking of more than the ten commandments, although they are a part of what God has revealed to us. We believe that our verse can be applied to the Bible where God has revealed His thoughts on many subjects. We can truly love the truths which He has made known to us in the Bible. What happens when we love God’s word? Our verse says that it gives us great peace in our hearts and minds and protects us from stumbling. The psalmist who wrote Psalm 119, includes his regard for God’s Word in every verse. Those like himself who love God’s Word and hope in Him for salvation, enjoy great peace. We do not have to be disturbed and wonder what real truth is in any situation. We know God’s Word is true and our hearts sense the peace that he gives. It is a promise for us to remember today. Great peace comes when we love the law of God, and it makes our footing is secure.
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29 (NASB)
These are words of Moses are part of his farewell address to those he had led out of Egypt and for more than 40 years in the wilderness to a place near to their entrance into the Promised Land. He was near to the end of his life. God had revealed much to him for His people. Moses knew, however that not all things had been revealed – only the truths which God wanted them, and us, to know. “The things revealed” included the law with its promised blessings and threated curses; that which is hidden refers to the specific way in which God will carry out His will in the future. God used others to pass on truths which we have in the Bible. This revelation is for us and intended to help us live according to His will. Someone once said, “It is better to know than not know,” and that is often true but we must recognize that God knows more than what He has revealed to us and what he has revealed, is in our Bible. Thank God for what he has made known through the Bible and then live by it.
“For our heart rejoices in Him, Because we trust in His holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. ” Psalm 33:21-22 (ESV)
There is joy in the Christian life and our verse reminds us that we rejoice because we trust in Him, in His name. Why is it that trusting the Lord results in joy? Because He is trustworthy. When we trust the Lord we are trusting someone who is dependable. Because we can trust in His name we have a certain hope in what He has promised This whole Psalm, when we read through it, is packed with the magnificence of our Lord God. He looks down from heaven and watches over us. He knows everything we are going through, every challenge we face, every need we have. That is why, when we trust in Him it brings joy to our hearts. And when we look to Him for help and He responds by giving us what we need, our hearts respond and rejoice. That had been the experience of the Psalmist and it can be our experience too. Let’s join with the Psalmist and say as he did, “Because of Him we are happy! We are trusting him. And we trust his holy name.”