Archive for January 29th, 2010

In Repentance and Quietness

January 29th, 2010

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…

Isaiah 30:15


The Prodigal had long ago lost his money and his friends, but his pride and stubbornness kept him working at the Gentile pig farm for a bit longer. He kept thinking that somehow he could turn this all around, that he could get a better job, save and invest, and become wealthy again. Eventually, however, he realized how hopeless his position was and in shame and humiliation trudged home toward the father. From the way he had disrespected his father he only expected to be treated like another hired servant, but that was far better than what the Gentile was paying.


But one miracle had worked its way into his heart: he had become truly repentant, truly sorry for what he had done. He returned in repentant quietness. The reception by his father completely surprised him. The father refused to hear him talk about working as a hired servant: he was a son! His shame was covered and his dignity was restored. His repentance led to his salvation.


The prophet Isaiah proclaimed to the nation of Israel that their repentance would also bring salvation. They had wasted precious time by turning to Egypt for help, looking for solutions that God did not sanction. Their strength was not in others, not even in their own ingenuity. They needed to repent, to turn from what was false and turn to Him who is true. They were to rest in God, meaning that they were to return to God in utter dependence and reliance. The Hebrew parallelism of the verse connects quietness with repentance; quietness means to wait on the Lord and to listen to His commands. It is the opposite of an argumentative or adversarial spirit.


These inspired words apply to our lives as well. God invites us to turn to Him with our sins, for there we find our salvation. Like the Prodigal, pride and stubbornness keep us working on spiritual pig farms far too long, hoping against hope that we may be able to change our spiritual condition by ourselves. But there is only one solution for sin – the blood of Christ – and only One who heals from its effects – the Lord Himself. When we have gone the wrong way, when we have wasted precious moments of our life in pride and rebellion against God, when our alliances are all wrong, contrary to the will of the Father, when our spiritual strength is gone, then we find our salvation and strength in repentance and quietness before God. As the Prodigal’s father did for him, when we return to the Father we discover grace, reconciliation, and restoration.




O Lord, be for us our Redeemer in all ways, who cleanses us from sin and restores us to the fortunes that You have prepared for us to receive. Amen.

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