No rest for the wicked
I am God, your God, who teaches you how to live right and well. I show you what to do, where to go. (Isaiah 48:17)
It is in this same chapter of Isaiah that we get our saying, "No rest for the wicked". The exact reading is: "There is no peace," says God, "for the wicked." The nation of Israel, delivered from Egypt to enter into a great land of prosperity and promise, chose to walk away from the one thing God asked of them - undivided and unchallenged loyalty to him. In the end, they knew no 'peace' - for they chose to live as the wicked of the land. We make good choices right alongside some not so wise ones, don't we? We do it all the time - choosing 'when' to be obedient and 'when' to live as we want to in the moment. Choice will always be ours - what we do when presented with the 'options' around us is 'learned' - it doesn't always come naturally for us to choose wisely.
God shows us what to do and where to go, but do we consistently listen to his direction? If you are like me, the answer to that one is a resounding 'no'. We know the right way to go - the right choice to make - how to deal with the struggle we are facing with right and 'not so right'. Yet, we choose to forsake the struggle in pursuit of the wrong way! In spite of 'knowing', we choose to go with our 'feelings'. That is how we get ourselves into compromise, isn't it? We lean into our feelings instead of relying upon the wisdom God is giving us. It is God's main goal to give us all we need to make wise choices - we just don't pay attention. Then we wonder why we find ourselves in a place of compromise - not really 'too far gone' - but 'gone the wrong way'. We need a course change.
Live right and well - in accordance with all that is good, proper, and just. When was the last time you were faced with choices that didn't quite measure up to 'good', 'proper', or 'just'? It is probably daily! With all these 'not so good' choices all around us, is it any wonder we need all the help we can get from God to learn to live right and well? We cannot do this on our own - we need to be instructed in how to choose well. Reject his urging and lean into those feelings - no peace for the wicked. Embrace his urging and lean into what he promises us in his Word - peace abounding for the obedient. Life with God isn't like one of those rides where we have tracks to follow that keep us from getting our 'wheels' outside of prescribed track, but we do have ample warnings along the way that indicate we are about to veer! Just sayin!