The Duty of Retirement
Isaiah 26:20
Come, my people, enter you into your chambers, and shut your doors about you: hide yourself as it were for a little moment…

There are periods in a nation's history, and there are times in a good man's life, when it is well to hear and wise to heed the admonition, "Enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee." We may let this language suggest to us that we should -

I. MAKE TIME FOR DEVOUT REFLECTION. In busy, outwardly active times, when there is an imperious demand on every hand for "work," there is urgent need that this counsel should be given and be taken. Enter into the chamber of solemn and sacred meditation; consider what is your present spiritual condition; estimate the progress you are making in your course; reflect upon the swift and steady passage of your life; realize that the time is not far off when all earthly interest will be nothing, and when it will be everything to know that the righteous Judge is well pleased with the witness you are bearing and the work you are doing.

II. COMPEL EACH DAY TO YIELD ITS HOUR OF DIRECT INTERCOURSE WITH GOD. We cannot live, spiritually, on public devotion. Nothing will nourish the soul in the absence of private, individual fellowship with God. "Enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray... in secret" (Matthew 6.). The most pressing cares, domestic, or official, or public, will not excuse the neglect of private communion with God. If Daniel, with all the cares of Babylon upon him, found time to pray three times a day regularly (Daniel 6:10), we can compel our duties to make room for devotion. Every day let God speak to us, and let us speak to him, within the shut doors of our own chamber.

III. TAKE UP THE ATTITUDE OF REVERENT EXPECTATION. There are times when man can do nothing more than he has done, and all that is left is patient waiting for God. "And now, Lord, what wait I for? My hope is in thee." This may be the attitude:

1. Of the diligent, waiting God's increase on his industry.

2. Of the disciplined, waiting God's crowning of his patience; whether of the embarrassed, of the sick, or of the defamed. It is to these that the words of the text are most applicable; for it is they who are to wait for a little while, "until the indignation be overpast," i.e. until the hour of deliverance is fully come, and the work of redemption has been wrought. But we may also regard this as the attribute:

3. Of the co-worker with Christ, waiting the Divine blessing on his zeal. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

WEB: Come, my people, enter into your rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourself for a little moment, until the indignation is past.

The Advantages of Religious Retirement
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