“For thus says 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. . .”
We will not look for that which we’ve lost unless it’s precious to us.
“Returning and rest.”
Pause for a minute and ponder these words. What do they mean to you—“Returning and rest”? Say them aloud again: “Returning and rest.” We know the word “return” means to “come back to a prior point” and “rest” means “to cease and desist.”
But, the question is, “What the connection between the two?”
The Hebrew word “shuwbah” used here comes from the root word “shuwb,” which means “to repent, a turning away from, to retreat, come home again, come back, etc.” Interestingly, it has sometimes been translated “to rescue, recover, refresh, relieve, retrieve, etc.” It’s the beautiful picture of “restoration and reconciliation”—much like the prodigal son experienced after he returned home to the father (Lk. 15:11-24).
Thus, “returning” is a prerequisite to “resting” (Heb. “nachath”—“to lie down, be quiet, descend, depose, etc.” It’s the picture of serene sheep “lying down in green pastures and beside still waters” (Ps. 23:2). There’s no frightened bleating. . .no harried scurrying or scattering. No, there’s just peaceful repose.
Because the shepherd is near, ever-watching with his rod and staff (Ps. 23:4).
And, so it is with all those who “return to the Lord.”
When we “turn from our sins”—our self-centered, “I did it my way” attitude and actions—we will find “rest unto our souls” (Mt. 11:28-30). As Augustine once said, “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee, O God.” So true, so true.
Is it any wonder, then, this will produce “quietness and confidence (Heb. ‘bitach’—‘trust, safety, assurance, hope, security, etc.’) within us, which will be our strength (Heb. ‘gebuwrah’—‘force, valor, victory, mastery, might, power, etc.’)”? No, not at all—which is why the Apostle Paul said “I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST Who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). And, it was this assurance of His Presence, Power and Promises that enabled him to write “For when I am weak, I am strong and His strength is made perfect in my weakness” (II Cor. 12:9-10). Hallelujah!!
“Returning and rest.”
They always travel together, Pilgrim. Are you “seeking Him first” (Mt. 6:33)? Is your “mind stayed on Him” and your “eyes riveted on the Author and Finisher of your faith” (Is. 26:3; Heb. 12:2)? Rest in Him today by returning to Him; that way His indescribable peace will flood your soul (Phil. 4:4-9; Jn. 14:27) as you say, “Not I, but Christ” (Gal. 2:20).
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated July 10, 2009