Lenten Week 6: In Repentance and Rest is Your Salvation

Written by: Abby Fritzgerald

Abby is a licensed counselor and has worked with the Set Free Movement since 2014. She currently works as the Assistant Director of Team Care and Development by providing emotional and spiritual support to the Set Free Leaders in the US. 

Isaiah 30:12-18

12 Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says:

“Because you have rejected this message,
    relied on oppression
    and depended on deceit,
13 this sin will become for you
    like a high wall, cracked and bulging,
    that collapses suddenly, in an instant.
14 It will break in pieces like pottery,
    shattered so mercilessly
that among its pieces not a fragment will be found
    for taking coals from a hearth
    or scooping water out of a cistern.”

15 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.
16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’
    Therefore you will flee!
You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’
    Therefore your pursuers will be swift!
17 A thousand will flee
    at the threat of one;
at the threat of five
    you will all flee away,
till you are left
    like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
    like a banner on a hill.”

18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
    Blessed are all who wait for him!

 

How often do we find ourselves attempting to sort through our problems on our own first? How quickly do we ask for help from others? Are we dismissive of the Lord’s answer when we think we know a better way? 

Looking at Isaiah 30:12-18, we see a warning to the people of Judah. If they choose to follow their plan of “oppression and deceit” (v. 12) they will see their plans crumble before them (v.14) and their attempts to escape their pursuers will be in vain (v. 16). In this passage, the people of Judah were planning to form an alliance with Egypt in order to gain protection from the Assyrian army. The Lord had alternate plans– offering them salvation and strength (v. 15). Despite their rebellious hearts, the Holy One of Israel longs to be gracious and compassionate (v. 18). He is asking Judah to wait on Him and receive His blessing instead (v. 18). Because He is a God of justice (v.18), the Lord allows Judah to face the consequences of their choices. Yet, His gracious compassion is also ready to receive them back with open arms (v. 18). 

Unfortunately, we can all relate to the difficulty of turning to the Lord in our times of need, especially when we think our plan is better. We can read this warning for our own lives. Our actions always produce consequences. The distressing problem in front of us will continue to cause us pain until we surrender to the Lord’s plan. You see there is no way to avoid the pain. Either we feel the painful consequences of our stubbornness in choosing our own way or the painful surrender to the Lord who is asking us to take a step of faith. The God of grace is asking us to trust Him, and His just character will not stop the consequences we face when we reject Him. Let’s consider together how we need to be vulnerable before the Lord today. 

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly, we are your children in need of your guidance. We confess that many times we rely on the physical realities surrounding us rather than consider the ways You are working on our behalf. Teach us how-to walk-in humility and unity. Help us to know how to wait on You rather than taking matters into our own hands. May we surrender every fear, doubt and temptation that threatens to pull us away from relying on You alone. Thank you for the ways that your compassion has led us to repentance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Reflection Questions:

  • What problem or need in your life have you been trying to solve on your own? Ask the Lord and trust that He will show you.
  • What makes it difficult to rely on the Lord for His guidance and providence?
  • Gratitude reflection: In what ways has the Lord shown you compassion?

How can we respond this season of Lent? 

  • Give Instead of Giving Up: 

What if instead of giving something up for lent you gave something? What if you gave just $2 a day through the season of lent to help expand the work in Kenya to help keep girls in school through the Wunders program?

You can invest here today.

  • Reflect and join the community conversation: 

For additional ways to grow and reflect during this Lenten series, follow us on social media for journal prompts.

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