June 26, 2017 • Life for Leaders
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
The people of Israel were understandably frightened as the nation of Assyria threatened them. Yet God had promised to protect them if they would rely on him. Nevertheless, Israel’s leaders decided to turn to Egypt as an ally, contrary to God’s will. They just couldn’t wait on the Lord or trust him to protect them. In response, the Lord rebuked Israel: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it” (30:15).
If Israel would only turn away from their sin and turn to God, if Israel would only trust in him and rest in his promises, then the nation would be saved. But, as the Lord says, “you would have none of it.”
That last line of verse 15 unsettles me. I wonder how many times God has offered me his help, but I “would have none of it.” I wonder how often God has offered me the gifts of rest and quietness, but I have been unwilling to trust him.
I can relate to Israel’s rejection of God’s grace. Can you? Most people I know find that sometimes it is hard to trust in the Lord, to wait patiently. This is especially tough when it seems as if God is dawdling. Our temptation is to charge ahead of God, to make things happen on our timetable. And, at times, we give in to this temptation. We don’t literally make allies with Egypt, but we turn away from God’s help and try to do it all ourselves.
Today, I’m reminded that what was once true for Israel is still true for me today. I will be saved from the threats in my life only as I turn to God and rest in him. My strength comes, not from me, not from my hard work or ingenuity, but from being quiet, trusting the Lord, and living in his gifts of quietness and rest.
O Lord, may it be so for us!
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Have you found that it’s hard to wait upon the Lord? When?
Do you ever charge ahead of God? Why? What happens when you do this?
What helps you to trust God and be patient?
Gracious God, how we need to hear this word today and each day. Our salvation comes from you and you alone. You will deliver us as we turn to you. You will take care of us as we rest in you.
Help us, Lord, to quiet our hearts enough to receive your peace. May we trust in you more fully today, so that we might receive your strength.
All praise be to you, gracious God, our Savior, our Deliverer, our Safety, our Strength! Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary: Created to Rest: Entering Into Joyful Communion With God
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.
I remember questioning why God took leadership from Saul and Moses for losing patience and acting on their own. It is a reminder that our salvation and success are based on him, not our own actions. In that, we can find rest and hope in our leadership challenges and in the ups and downs that our organizations experience.
Thanks for your comment.
This scripture and your comments really encouraged me. I shared them with a friend whose mother is dying.
I’m sorry for your friend, but I’m glad to have been helpful. Thanks for letting me know.