For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall you be saved…
In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength. Because, "if God be for us, who can be against us?" When the winds are in our favor, all we have to do is to set our sails. When the tides are with us, we need not fret concerning the issues of the voyage. God is on the side of the just man, the true man, the pure man. The disciples of his Son are not likely to lose his favor and reward. "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city."
I. THE DICTUM IS DIVINE. "Thus saith the Lord God." There is direct and special emphasis given to this promise. And he calls himself "the Holy One of Israel." So that the "holy people" need not fear, inasmuch as the Holy One cannot lie, cannot prosper anything opposed to holiness, cannot therefore let evil overcome goodness. What we have to look to is our state. We need not dream that quietness will help us if it be the indifference of sloth or the quiescence of an indulgent soul in evil. But if "holiness unto the Lord" be written on our hearts and lives, God, who is the Holy One, will surely prosper us.
II. THE DECLARATION IS DUAL. "Quietness and confidence." Because there, is a quietness which comes from the paralysis of fear, or from the coma of fatalism. We are to have a confidence which keeps the soul alive, and fills it with intense ardor and devotion. Nature is intensely active, but all her ministrations, as in the light and the dew, are quiet. Fussiness and loudness are no true signs of energy. Nay, rather they bespeak a superficial and shallow nature. Confidence is the child of wisdom and courage. It is not the result of ignorance, or of under-estimating the power of our foes. It takes cognizance of them all - their number and their variety and their ubiquity, but then, looking up to him who is mightier than them all, it says, "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
III. THE STRENGTH IS WITHIN. What we need is not so much a lessening of the forces without us, but a strength in the inward man to overcome them. Take temptation. We are told that no temptation shall come but such as we are able to bear. We are not promised immunity from keen attacks. Everything depends upon the state of the soul. Temptation, to be successful, requires correspondency within. Sparks falling upon the ocean are not dangerous. Christ said, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." Take trial. Sorrow, coming to the worldly heart, breaks it down - it ends in the death of hope and energy and joy. Sorrow to the Christian is an angel of discipline. The soul is sustained by the presence within us of the Man of sorrows, who can make all grace abound. So even the martyr and the confessor have been able to rejoice; even Paul and Silas sang "songs in the night." "As thy day thy strength shall be." This, then, is proven true in human history, and must be accepted as a fact. Spiritual consciousness is worthy of as much honor and to be accepted with confidence, as the boasted facts of science. The promise, therefore, is comforting to every generation. "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength." - W.M.S.
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.