Fourth Day of Advent
Isaiah 30:15-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
15 For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,
16 And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses,”
Therefore you shall flee!
“And we will ride on swift horses,”
Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift.
17 One thousand will flee at the threat of one man;
You will flee at the threat of five,
Until you are left as a flag on a mountain top
And as a signal on a hill.
God Is Gracious and Just
18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him.
“In repentance and rest is your salvation.” We don’t believe it—not yet, anyway. As Isaiah says, “You would have none of it.” Someone has said that the fourth commandment (“Remember the Sabbath”) is the only one we brag about breaking: “I’m blowing and going; I’m crazy busy; I’m on autopilot.” We are convinced that if we stop what we’re doing—if we stop attempting to maintain a certain image in the eyes of others; if we stop guiding conversations toward things that we’re comfortable talking about; if we stop comparing ourselves to others; if we stop seeking security in our accomplishments—then we will find ourselves lonely and rejected and unloved. We think we’re running away from such an outcome, but we’re actually running towards it, because we’re thinking like we’ve always thought, which always leads us to a future we dread. We become exactly what we fear. What to do? Stop everything you think you shouldn’t stop. That’s called rest. It isn’t cozy. But you can do it. When you stop (and only when), you will listen, and when you listen—after a time—you will hear God.
Re: Verse reading – John 1:1-18