For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall you be saved…
These beautiful words suggest -
I. THE FIRST DUTY OF THE ERRING. Judah had forsaken God to find a refuge in another power; the first duty of the nation, therefore, was "to return" unto the Lord, and to find its rest and its salvation in him. This is now and ever the immediate duty of all wanderers from God; both of those who have never been reconciled to him through Jesus Christ, and of those who, like the Jews on this occasion, have temporarily forsaken his service. The way of return is that of penitent confession (Romans 10:10), of trust in the Divine promise (Acts 10:43), of surrender to the Divine will (Acts 9:6).
II. THE STRENGTH OF QUIET ACTIVITY. "In quietness... shall be your strength." It is a common fallacy that noise and strength are closely allied. On the contrary, it is the quiet and even the silent things which are the strong ones. The thunder startles or appalls, but it effects nothing; gunpowder deafens the ear, but it enriches no one; tempestuous rhetoric excites to momentary force of feeling, but it adds nothing to character. It is the silent forces of gravitation and electricity acting for ages without being known to exist; it is the soft sunshine and the still rains of heaven; it is the quiet words of the calm teacher finding their way to the mind and working conviction and conversion there; - it is in these things, and in things like these, that real power resides. The quiet strength of a gentle mother's purity and love, of a faithful father's warning, of an honored teacher's counsel and example, of an earnest Church's testimony and work; - these are the God-given agencies by which the world is to be won to righteousness and truth. Noisy, spasmodic, irregular outbursts may be auxiliaries, but they are only that.
III. THE POWER OF FAITH. "In confidence shall be your strength." Sometimes we have simply to wait for God, and the best thing we can do is to "be still" and wait; our activity would only be harmful (see Exodus 14:13). So it was on this historical occasion (see Isaiah 37.). So was it often with our Lord's disciples (Mark 4:39, 40; Acts 1:4). So is it now, when in duty or in danger we have done all that we can do;. then we wait for God - our expectation is in him only (Psalm 39:7; Psalm 62:5). - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: For 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.