Friday, January 25, 2013

Isaiah 30:15-18

I'm a tad bit of a nerd.  I actually like studying and homework if it's something I'm interested in.  So I was all in when I read Beth Moore's blog today and saw a homework assignment. 

This morning, she had tweeted a picture of a Bible verse written on a sticky note.  It was from The Message Translation, and basically said "Settle down".  How many times have you needed to be told to settle down? If you're anything like me, a lot.  The verse was one she had read in her quiet time, and her homework was for anyone who wanted to to read three different translations of the verses, and discuss what they meant personally.  The verses were Isaiah 30:15-18.  I read in the King James Version, the HCSB translation, and the NLT. This is a beautiful passage, and really spoke to my heart this icy morning.
15- This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: (I'm so glad He speaks to us.  I'm so glad He calls us out.)
“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.

(Returning... that means we left.  Isn't it good news that He will allow us to return? That He woos us?  That He wants us back?  And in this passage, He's talking about salvation.  I don't know about you, but when I feel threatened, the last thing I want to do is rest... but He's saying that resting is the only thing.  Going back to Him, and finding our rest in Him. Letting Him fight our battles.  And quietness?  When we are weak, do we not tend to be the loudest?  Ever heard of the quote, I think he protests too much? Too many times we try to distract others from our weakness by loudly discussing our strengths... and it's true, in confidence, we tend to be quieter.  Here, though, it is not confidence in ourselves, rather, confidence in God. And here's the kicker. He's basically telling us how to be saved... but says we'll have none of it.  This is that old, "I'll do it myself" adage.  Stubborness.  Pride.  No matter what the costs...)

16 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!

We turn to ourselves... and say, my money will save me.  My husband will save me. My job will save me. My children will save me.  My... you fill in the blank.  But they can't. And it's not fair to ask them to.  The only person we can truly count on to save us has already done the job... we just have to ask Him to save us...and set aside our own wants.  Because whatever we put our faith in other than Jesus will be temporary, and we'll soon be tucking our tails between our legs and running...

17 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.”
When we rely on something other than Jesus, how easy is it to give up hope?  To become scared? And when that person we just know we can rely on doesn't come through... how lonely are we?  I don't want to be that only flagpole or banner standing, tattered and torn from a battle I was never meant to fight.

18So 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.

God's a gentleman.  He doesn't want to fight our battles for us unless we want to. So He sits back, waiting for us to humble ourselves.  He wants to show us His love and compassion.  And how faithful He is!  Blessed...happy... are those that wait... that allow Him to work and do His job and be the Savior.

We can't always see what God's up to... but know He's up to something.  He wants us to stand firm and be still, waiting on Him.  Humble ourselves and not give into self-sacrifice and self-salvation... and when we do this, our enemies (the devil) will flee, rather than us fleeing from them. 

And sometimes, we don't even have to pick up the sword... He's good like that. 



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