Thursday, January 17, 2008

Isaiah, Chapter 12

How important is praising God? Back when I first began to publish this blog, I used a sermon series about the four Spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting, silence, the Word, and Worship. Since praising God is obviously an act of worship, I would say it is a pretty important part of what we do. Sometimes I think we get lost in seeking God for guidance and strength while forgetting to praise him for what He has done. I try to head this off each morning by beginning my day, before even getting out of bed, by thanking God and giving both myself and the day to Him.

I think Isaiah is reminding us to praise God in all things when it comes to chapter 12. It is a very short chapter, but it carries with it a reminder to sing a song of praise in all things. Yesterday, in chapter 11, we saw the promise of Christ laid out and how he would eventually be both loving and judging. Before that, in chapters 9 and 10 we saw evidence of God's anger against both Assyria and Israel. Chapter 12 certainly takes on a different tone, as the Israelites were asked to praise the God that was judging them.

1 In that day you will say:
       "I will praise you, O LORD.
       Although you were angry with me,
       your anger has turned away
       and you have comforted me.

 2 Surely God is my salvation;
       I will trust and not be afraid.
       The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song;
       he has become my salvation."

 3 With joy you will draw water
       from the wells of salvation.

 4 In that day you will say:
       "Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
       make known among the nations what he has done,
       and proclaim that his name is exalted.

 5 Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things;
       let this be known to all the world.

 6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
       for great is the Holy One of Israel among you." – Isaiah 12:1-6

That is the entire chapter right there. It is quite different from what we have been reading Isaiah, wouldn't you say? Isaiah writes this to get the Israelites (those who still followed God with all their hearts) minds off of their suffering and back onto God. This song of praise offers hope that God will deliver on His promises. He is almost saying here that God's love was evident even in the judgments because it showed He was not some aloof character far away. He was right there, involved and caring in human affairs, which He still does to this day.

I love how this shows the depth and power of God's love, as His anger is not out of hate but out of love. It is a love for us that is so deep that He would go to any length to correct us when we fall away.


1.      How have you felt comforted from God even when you feel His hand of discipline?

2.      How can you apply this lesson of praising God in all things?

3.      Why do you feel that Isaiah placed this in the middle of dire prophecies?

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