Isaiah 12 — Judgment and Mercy

“In that day you will say, ‘I will praise you, Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me.’ ” It’s an almost daily comfort to us that God’s anger was not his permanent and ultimate response, but a measured action to judge, discipline, and refine. God’s anger has a purpose, and when that purpose is fulfilled, his anger goes away. Praise God for that. In this case, it seems, it was not even conditioned on the response of repentance and the prayers of the remnant, but just on the duration that God had set for the measure of his wrath.
V. 2: “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” We are not saved by the military, our money, the government, or our own wits. We tend to trust what we can see and what we can do. We trust our own thoughts and our own way of doing things. We need to stop thinking in natural ways and instead to think in spiritual and godly ways. I find that one of the most challenging things in MY life right now is to think in Godly ways, by God’s wisdom, and not by man’s. We have so many avenues of access to man’s wisdom, and that’s good for a lot of daily tasks, but God’s wisdom can come from only one source, and it’s not easy to find. It’s so hard to trust when you can’t see what God is doing, and it seems like he’s not even there. The future is so uncertain, and God makes no guarantees. Fear is a very natural response. We need spiritual eyes, spiritual thoughts, and spiritual perspectives. It’s the only way we will see our way clear to trust and not be afraid. And I can’t be my own strength. I don’t have it in me. And I don’t trust my own thoughts. I have far too many inadequacies and vulnerabilities.
v. 3: “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” The image is that of life-giving refreshment and sustenance. See John 4. Again, the well I have to go to is God’s well, and not anything else.
v. 4: “In that day you will say: ‘Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted.’ ” Despite that there were years of suffering, when God finally comes through for you, your attitude should be that of thanksgiving. He didn’t have to come through for you, but he did. He doesn’t owe you anything, but he blessed you. Be thankful for what you got. And proclaim his name. It’s like the phone lines are open again. For years prayers went unanswered, but now the lines are open again. Feel free to talk. The walls are down.
v. 6: “Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” Our gratitude and worship causes us to emotionally burst forth. In this case, as in most places in Scripture, worship is not a calm recognition or an intellectual exercise, but an emotional response of celebration. The impression is that it is unrestrained and boisterous.
“For great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” Amen.