15For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
16But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.
For decades we have displayed a brass plaque by our front door which has the “quietness and confidence” verse. When things have gotten hectic or tenuous, as we have headed outside, this reminder has registered time and again. We are being told in effect, ‘You are not your own. My Son and I have invested in you, and will not see you cast down. Now make your plans, but do not leave prayer and quiet trust out of the formula. Almighty God is involved here.’
In the scripture portion in Isaiah the people of Jerusalem were facing with trepidation the likely assault of the Assyrians, a mighty host of warring men who had over-run many a nation by brute force. God’s people were considering going back to Egypt for horses and munitions. They did not think it appropriate to recall under current pressing circumstances their slavery of the past in Egypt and God’s mighty deliverance under Moses.
For all time they were supposed to consider “a return to Egypt” as a pathetic back-sliding into the faithless way of life which had brought them only shame and regret. Not a good option.
In parallel fashion today, we are not to face challenges with only the stock-in-trade of the unbelieving. We have been given other mighty resources (prayer, trustful pause, scripture promises, the Saviour’s intercession, support of brethren of faith, a supernatural peace and composure) and we are not to think lightly of them.
Stop. Rest. Pray. Believe. Proceed in cautious measured steps. Rejoice in advance of the victory.
I remember the story of the little boy up to bat in the baseball game. He swung with mighty purpose well beyond the conventional three strikes. Finally a significant hit. An onlooker in the crowd asked a bystander, “How did that happen?”
The response: “His Dad is the Umpire.”
Doug Blair, Waterloo, Ontario