“You will say in that day: “I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me. 2 “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” 3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day: “Give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the peoples, proclaim that his name is exalted. 5 “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be made known in all the earth. 6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 12:1-6)
Isaiah 12:1-6 is another song by the prophet. I’m coming to the realization that Isaiah was a prolific songwriter and musician along with being a great prophet.
In actuality, Isaiah 12 contains two songs of praise (vs. 1-3 and vs. 4-6). Both songs are earthly counterparts to the heavenly doxologies found in Revelation 4, 5 and 19:6-8. Vs. 1-3 contain indicatives or realities concerning our covenant relationship with God. Vs. 4-6 contain imperatives or our responsibilities of praising and giving thanks to God.
The song in Isaiah 12:1-3 begins in vs. 1 with a profession of praise because God has withdrawn His anger away from His people. This is ultimately because of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ who bore the wrath of God on behalf of sinners while on the cross (Romans 3:21-26; 2 Corinthians 5:31; I John 2:1-2; 4:7-11). This is applied to the sinner’s behalf by grace alone, through faith alone, and in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. Otherwise, God’s anger remains.
Isaiah 12:2 says that not only does God provide salvation from the penalty, power and eventual presence of sin, but He is personally our salvation. He is the LORD God: Yahweh Elohim. This double name emphasizes His covenant keeping faithfulness. It is because God is trustworthy, dependable and worthy of our worship that each believer in Christ can continually trust in, depend upon, commit to and worship this one, true, covenant keeping God.
Isaiah 12:3 draws upon a familiar image of salvation: water from the well. Isaiah’s readers would have understood the importance of wells filled with life sustaining water. They could also recall how God provided water for their ancestors in the Wilderness (Exodus 17:1-7). This image is properly applied to the satisfaction of an individual’s spiritual thirst of soul. This could very well be the passage Jesus was thinking of when He spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4.
Isaiah 12:4 emphasizes the importance of giving thanks. In fact, God commands the giving of thanks by each believer. Additionally, the believer is to call or proclaim the name of the LORD among the people so that He will be exalted.
Isaiah 12:5 stresses the importance of singing praises to the LORD and making known all which He has done. Concerning the command to sing to, and about, the LORD, hymn writer Keith Getty explains that. “We do not sing because we have to. We sing because we love to.”
Isaiah 12:6 places great importance regarding the command of making a loud noise and singing with great joy or a loud and ringing cry about our LORD. This is because God is great. He is the Holy One of Israel. Believers are to sing with loud voices about the greatness of God.
Let me encourage you to memorize Isaiah 12, or at least to meditate upon it daily. May this chapter resound within your being about the importance of filling your mind, emotions and will with the thoughts of God and expressing these thoughts by singing praises to Him and about Him.
Soli deo Gloria!