For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall you be saved…
These terms are related. Quietness is the result of confidence. Confidence is the secret of quietness. The quietness thought of by the prophet was the abandonment of the disquieting and distracting search for earthly aids, as in the case of seeking help from Egypt; the confidence he commends is that patient waiting on God and waiting for God, which are the necessary expressions of our faith in him.
I. A GREAT ATTAINMENT. So great, so nearly impossible for men while on the earth, that, despairingly, men have thought of it as only reached in the grave whither man hastens. Byron says, "I found in the Certosa Cemetery such a beautiful inscription; in Italian the words are absolute music: 'Luigi Martini implora eterna quiete.' On the restless, tossing, changing earth who can be quiet?" "The word is like an angry sea. The vessel of our life is rocked and dashed hither and thither, as blast after blast assails it, and wave after wave comes rolling on. Think what that power must be which comes into a human life in such a condition as this, and gives 'quietness' - a quietness so deep that none can make trouble." Quietness never comes by the smoothing of circumstances. They never are smoothed for more than a very "little while." And fears of the clouds that are gathering disturb even the "little while." Quietness only comes by soul-mastery over circumstances. Hearts must win peace, and then only can they make peace.
II. THE MEANS BY WHICH QUIETNESS MAY BE REACHED. Through confidence; heart-confidence - heart-confidence in God. "We must keep our spirits calm and sedate by a continual dependence upon God and his power and his goodness; we must retire into ourselves with a holy quietness, suppressing all turbulent and tumultuous passions, and keeping the peace in our own minds. And we must rely upon God with a holy confidence that he can do what he will, and will do what is best for his people. And this will be our strength; it will inspire us with such a holy fortitude as will carry us with ease and courage through all the difficulties we may meet with" (Matthew Henry). In this matter the principle holds that our own endeavor must go along with God's bestowments. "Work out your own salvation... for it is God that worketh in you." Some of us make no effort to get outside the whirl of life. How can we expect God to give us quietness?
III. THE ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE USE OF SUCH MEANS. Found in God's gracious ways of giving his people heart-peace, and then peace in circumstances, when they have fully trusted in him. - R.T.
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.