Summary: God predicted a mood enhancer for the Israelites better than any drug or aphrodisia in the waters of salvation.
March 21, 2004 Isaiah 12:1-6
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. 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." With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
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. Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you."
People are paid to make predictions. Sports experts lay odds on who will win the college basketball tournament. Weather men are paid to predict what the weather will be like. Financial analysts put a lot of research in determining which stocks will go up and which will go down. Statistics and scientific data are collected to try and make the most accurate predictions as possible. None of this is an exact science. What is even more difficult and volatile to predict than the weather, the stock market, or sports games - is a person’s mood. It can change in the blink of an eye. It can be effected by hormones, the weather, or even the tiniest word or action. People can go from being on top of the world to the lowest dumps in about two seconds.
Therefore, it would be insane for me to try and predict what kind of a mood you or even I will be in come this Thursday or Friday. There’s no way of knowing. Yet God, through Isaiah, in today’s text, does that very thing. He predicts a day - actually referring to a prolonged period - of praise, joy, and thanks. Only God could do something like that. And only God could make such a prediction come true. We’ll see how he does that with the Israelites and us as we look at -
Isaiah’s Prophecy of Praise
I. Is needed during dry times
Isaiah predicts the exact words that the Israelites would say “in that day.” What would they say? 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. 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." This prediction actually has the exact wording of some Israelites that had lived some 800 years before Isaiah under another prophet named Moses. About two million Israelites had just passed through the Red Sea throughout the night. They must have been completely exhausted - having gone from being at a dead end at the edge of the sea to exhilaration at this great deliverance. After they had completely passed through the dry ground, they were able to then turn and look back through the huge valley that God had created with His mighty wind. But then God lifted his pillar of fire that was separating them from the Egyptian army. The army came charging forward with their horses and chariots - mighty warriors searching for the blood of the Israelites and their children. Yet God said to Moses - “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the LORD swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived. (Ex 14:26-28) Wow. What an amazing deliverance! It was after this deliverance that Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD in Exodus 15 - The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (Ex 15:2) Do you see the similarity between these words and the prediction of Isaiah? They are almost the same.
Therefore, it doesn’t take much effort to see that Isaiah was predicting a day of great joy from a similar deliverance. God wasn’t going to just make them happy with the waving of a magic wand or a simple word saying, “be happy.” He wasn’t going to just go down to the flower store and buy some discounted flowers and bring them to the Israelites. He was going to produce a mood change with a great and mighty deliverance. He was going to change the Israelites from having doom and gloom to joy and praise.