Refresh Devotional Day 27 — Repentance and RestMar 27, 2021
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.”
The brutal forces of Assyria were threatening to flood the land of Israel.
The Assyrian armies were an instrument of correction in the Lord’s hands. Yet the Lord had a way out, a way to stop the impending disaster and bondage that was now to come. It was the way of repentance and rest.
The way to peace and security for Israel was to turn away from the sinful practices they had been embracing and trust God for his protection.
Yet Israel chose to run somewhere else for help. They chose to trust in the Egyptians to protect them.
The Lord made it clear that this choice would not save them: “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help…” (Is 31:1). The wisdom of man would be ineffective against the working of God.
God is attracted to repentant and believing hearts.
Remember that Jesus came to his people after John the Baptist had called them to repentance. Repentance and rest bring us to God and him to us.
The Scriptures say the Lord exalts the humble, is near the broken-hearted, opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. He also stands with those who live by faith and trust in him.
The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please him (Hb 11:6).
Repentance and rest are two sides of the same coin, a coin which holds for us a great promise. In repentance, we turn away from other gods and objects of trust. In rest, we turn to the true God and his faithfulness. The two go together.
The promise God gives to those who choose a little repentance and rest is his help. For the Israelites, it was salvation from the advancing hordes of the Assyrian army. For the Christian, it is freedom from the onslaughts of advancing sin and evil forces.
God draws near to repentant, resting hearts.
Unfortunately, the people of Israel would not accept God’s offer. They chose to trust the forces of Egypt rather than the precepts of God. Their choice led them to suffer unimagined brutality.
When we refuse to repent and rest, we too leave ourselves open to the brutalizing forces of sin and Satan.
God is waiting to draw near. It’s time for some R and R.
Prayer starter: Lord, reveal the “Egypts” I am running to.