QUIET RESTING PLACES
"My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places."-- Isa 32:18.
ISAIAH'S CONCEPTION of these quiet spots in our lives is set forth in Isa 32:2 of this chapter, as also by the Psalmist in the Psa 23:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. It is scorching noon. The glare from the limestone rocks is almost unbearable. The sunbeams strike like sword-blades. Every living creature has fled for shelter from the pitiless heat, with the exception of the little green lizards that dart to and fro in play, or searching for food. The shepherd has led his panting flock down into the valley, where great rocks cast dark shadows. Listen to the musical ripple of the brown-hued brook, as it glides lazily between the mossy banks, and breaks against the little pebbles that line its bed! These are the green pastures and the water of rest!
Have they not their counterpart in our lives! The happy days of childhood, when as yet we hardly knew temptation, and had not felt the unceasing strain of life's tasks; perhaps it is the Sunday rest, with its blessed pause from the fever of activity, the calm and restful atmosphere of the House of God, the quiet stillness of worship and meditation; perhaps a period of convalescence after long illness, when we come slowly back to health and strength; or, it may be the annual holiday, when we spend long happy days by the sea, or in the country, amid the Alps or on the Broads. For physical, mental, and spiritual well-being we need days and weeks when the machinery of life has time to cool, and the water to drop its silt.
But if we would have an entrance to this peaceful habitation, we must fulfil the conditions. We must make Jesus our King, and put the scepter of our life absolutely into His hands. We must hide under the shadow of the crucified Man of Nazareth, Who offers Himself as a hiding-place from the scorching sirocco, and a coven from the tropical tempest (Isa 32:1, Isa 32:2). Isaiah says this quietness and confidence rests on Righteousness and Justice. They are not the gift of caprice or arbitrary choice. "God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins," because in the Person of His Son all possible claims have been met (Ro 5:1-note).
O God, may there be a pause in the busy rush of daily life, not only in outward seeming, but in our inward temper. May our anxieties and cares be borne by Thyself on Whom we cast them, that there may be nothing to break the repose and serenity of our hearts. Ordain peace for us, because Thou hast also wrought all our works in us. AMEN