Isaiah 12

 

 

            THE SONG OF THANKSGIVING OF THE UNITED CHURCH

                                                            (vs. 1-6)

                       

 On each of her deliverances the Church is bound to praise God. In some parts of the

Church it is customary on every such occasion to sing a "Te Deum." The ordinary

Israelite hymn of praise appears to have been the hundred and thirty-sixth psalm

(1 Chronicles 16:34, 41II Chronicles 5:13 7:3Ezra 3:11Jeremiah 33:11;

I Maccabees  4:24); but on extraordinary occasions special thanksgivings were sung

(Exodus 15:1-21; I Samuel 7:18-29).  Isaiah is now inspired to give a pattern song,

suitable for the Church to sing when she is reunited, enlarged, and restored to favor. 

 

 

1 “And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast

angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.”

In that day. In the day of deliverance and restoration. Though thou wast angry;

literallybecause thou wast angry. Kay understands an actual thankfulness for

the severe discipline, which had checked them, and not allowed them to glide

on smoothly to ruin. But perhaps the idiom is rather that of the passage,

"Father, I thank thee that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent,

and hast revealed them unto babes" (Matthew 11:25), where it is only the

last clause that expresses the true object of the thanksgiving. Comfortedst;

ratherhast comforted, since the effect continued.

 

2 “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.”

God is my salvation (compare Psalm 27:1 38:22). The employment of the abstract

"salvation" for the concrete "Savior" is extremely common. The Lord Jehovah;

literallyJah Jehovah - a combination which occurs only here and in ch. 26:4,

where it is again used as an encouragement to perfect confidence and trust. 

Is my strength... salvation. This is quoted from the song of Moses

(Exodus 15:2), which the prophet has throughout in his thoughts.

 

3 “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”

With joy shall ye draw water. The prophet interrupts the song to give a

comforting promise. The "salvation" granted to the Church shall be as an

inexhaustible well, from which all comers may draw continually. Compare

our Lord's promise to the woman of Samaria in John 4:14.

 

4 “And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon His name,

declare His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted.”

Declare His doings among the people; literally, among the peoples (compare 

Psalm 9:1177:12 107:22118:17). It is always regarded as one of man's chief

duties to testify of God's goodness to others. Here Israel is called upon to

publish God's mercies and great deeds to the Gentiles. His name is exalted.

God is in His Name, and His Name expresses His nature. As there is nothing

so exalted in all the universe as God, so there is no name so exalted as His Name.

Hence His Name is protected by an express commandment.

 

5 “Sing unto the LORD; for He hath done excellent things: this is known in all

the earth.”  Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things. This is

another quotation, very slightly modified, from the song of Moses, in which

these words were part of the refrain (Exodus 15:1, 21). This is known;

ratherlet this be knowni.e. publish it - noise it abroad.

 

6 “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel

in the midst of thee.”  Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion; i.e. raise a

"cry" that may be heard far and wide - a cry that shall be a "shout" of rejoicing.

The word translated "inhabitant" is feminine, and designates the entire

community or Church that dwells on the holy hill. For great is the

Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. The crowning glory of the Church

is THE PRESENCE OF HER LORD IN THE MIDST OF HER – 

A PRESENCE CONTINUOUS ("I am with you always"), effective,

 (John 15:4-6), yet invisible (1 Peter 1:8). The Church is ever to proclaim this

presence and rejoice in it.

 

Blessings of salvation, of the past, of the future, His

presence  - delight and happiness!

 

This section commemorates:

 

  • deliverance from the wrath of God

 

  • possession of salvation

 

  • the Presence of God in her midst

 

  • recognition of spiritual benefits of the past

 

  • joys and hope for blessings in the future

 

  • admiration for all God’s works

 

  • adoration of His majesty

 

 

What is most remarkable in Isaiah’s representation is the absence

of all reference to temporal blessings. The spiritual benefits absorb

all the thought and attention of the Church’s members, and are alone

celebrated in their song of rejoicing.

 

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