“In repentance and rest you will be saved; in quietness and confidence is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
Sometimes the way forward is to go back. Repentance is when we return to God and find our rest in His forgiveness and acceptance again. The new beginning He gives requires an exchange of strength. Instead of seeing our activity and energy as the way forward, we learn to quiet ourselves and to find our strength in God.
“Cease striving and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10) Quieting ourselves and encountering God will produce a new confidence to face life’s challenges that isn’t based on our ability to control, but on God’s ability to work all things for His glory and our good. Here’s the end of Psalm 46:10, “Then I will be exalted in the nations; I will be exalted in all the earth.”
In our text above, Israel was unwilling to repent. They decided to go forward even faster than they had begun, and they became a sign to others of what not to do. (Isaiah 30:17)
What was God doing while they rejected His counsel? “Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and He waits on high to have compassion on you…” God is waiting for you and me to come to the end of ourselves and our own devices, so He can have compassion on us! Sometimes the way forward is to recognize we’re eating pig’s food, come to our senses, and then return to our Father no matter what it looks like. (see Luke 15)
It turns out that the One who owes us nothing, longs to give us everything, if we’ll just come home!