In To Know as We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey, Parker J. Palmer wrote of his efforts to establish a discipline of silence in his classrooms: “Eventually my students feel a sense of community in the silence that is deeper than what they feel when the words are flowing fast and hard. Words so often divide us, but silence can unite.”
As we’ve seen, silence is a key dimension—sometimes negative but often positive—in our spiritual walk. It’s part of community, it’s part of worship, and it’s part of our relationship with the Lord. Today’s reading reminds us that strong faith is often quiet faith. This makes sense, for if we find our security in the Almighty there’s no need to boast or “talk ourselves into it.” Such faith may be “silent,” but it speaks volumes to those around us.
This is the way it should be: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (v. 15). To repent is to turn back to the Lord, to rest in the certainty of His forgiving love. In such rest and trust there is no need for posturing or anxiety—God is in control! Like all faith, quiet faith is strong because of its object—God.
Tragically, the people of Judah “would have none of it.” Instead of repenting and waiting on the Lord, they put their confidence in earthly factors such as horses (cf. Ps. 20:7). In God’s poetic justice, they would eventually be forced to flee on horses (vv. 16–17).
Despite their stubborn rebelliousness, Isaiah reminded them that God remains gracious and compassionate (v. 18). Justice will be done—that is, Judah’s conquest and exile—but that would not be the end of the story. One day they would again be blessed by Him!
Would you join us in thanking God for the service of the Student Dining Room crew? Today, let’s encourage in prayer Brianne Dueck, Gonzalo Garcia, Gregory Dickson, and Jeffery Williams who provide our students and faculty with nutritious meals.