The Song of Isaiah

Isaiah 12 is a short but fitting conclusion to the section pointing to Israel’s choice between trusting God or trusting Assyria. This chapter comes directly before the second section of the book’s first unit, where we see several judgments towards various nations.(1)

Even before the judgements begin to come, we see a promise and anticipation of the song that the remnant will sing with joy over their salvation. (Isaiah 12:4) Even amid coming judgement, Isaiah gives a song of praise, pointing us to a God that will comfort and is worthy of trust.

It is interesting to note that the references to ‘that day’ prior to this text are days that bring fear because of not trusting in God (cf. 2:20; 3:18; 4:1; 7:18, 20-21, 23), but chapter 12 brings us a day of hope. A hope that is found only when the focus has been turned back to Him for help, and not looking for it in other places or other people. This hope is ultimately in the coming Messiah which brings us circling back to the beginning to the chapter.

Verse 1 is indeed a fitting description of the gospel! The progression even in that short verse takes us from judgement to comfort. For the believer, there is no more anger from God towards us because His anger has been exhausted or emptied. The only thing that can be poured out on us now is comfort!

So, what does this mean for us today? Possibly the most significant takeaway from Christians today from Isaiah 12 is the focus on God Himself. The progression of the chapter leads us logically and practically through the stages that a Godward focus takes us.

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore, with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 12:2-3

Beholding God will lead us to trust in Him, which will begin to evaporate our fears. (v. 2) He will become the strength that we need, the song that we sing, and we will realize that He has become our salvation, which will inevitably produce a joy that circumstances cannot topple. (v. 3) This joy is where we will continue to draw from everyday of our life. The salvation granted to us will be as an inexhaustible well, from which all comers may draw continually. This is the call of Christ, this is the call of the Spirit, this is the call of the church. Come! Take! Live! Rest!

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (1). Chisholm, Robert, Handbook on the Prophets, (Baker Academic, 2002) pg. 46.

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