Isaiah 12

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,
that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4

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A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2006 James Melough

12:1.  “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.


“that day” is the Millennium, when converted Jew and Gentile alike will make the same declaration; but surely this has been and is the confession of every believer in every age, Christ’s death having expiated believers’ sins, thus enabling God on a perfectly just basis to pardon sin and bestow blessing.


12:2.  “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”


The OT believer’s salvation rested on the faith to believe that Christ would come and expiate every believer’s sin by His vicarious death, just as that of the NT age believer rests on the faith which believes that Christ has come had made complete atonement for every believer’s sin.  Neither one has actually seen Christ die, but the one believed that He would come, and the other believes that He has, and “... faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” Hebrews 11:1.


The believer’s lack of fear is based on the fact that He loves His Savior, as it is written, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear .... We love Him because He first loved us,” 1 John 4:18-19.  The knowledge that Christ “... loved me, and gave Himself for me,” banishes all fear, because “... we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,” Romans 8:28.  The knowledge that He loved me enough to die for me is the assurance that no matter how adverse any circumstance of my life may seem, I can rest in perfect peace, knowing that it is for my ultimate eternal blessing.


His being “my strength” delivers the believer from all anxious care, for He is omnipotent, and all our affairs are in His hand. His being “my salvation” reminds us that our eternal security is not based on His vicarious death plus our own good works, it being written, “By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast,” Ephesians 2:8-9.  His being “my song” tells us of the peace and joy that attend salvation, the hymnist having expressed this thought beautifully in the words, “Why should I ever careful be, since such a God is mine: He watches o’er me night and day, and tells me Mine is thine.”


12:3.  “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”


Water, which refreshes and cleanses, is a biblical symbol of the written Word, see Ephesians 5:26, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the Church) with the washing of water by the word.”  There is no joy to equal that of the knowledge of sins forgiven, nor is there a more satisfying joy than that derived from the reading of, meditation on, and obedience to the Scriptures, see John 4:14, “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst again; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”


Jennings has pointed out that well is better translated fountain. A well is passive: the water has to be lifted out of it; but a fountain is active: the water bubbles up out of it spontaneously, the type being fulfilled when our lives manifest the joy of salvation, and our tongues proclaim the glad tidings to others.


12:4.  “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.”


As discussed in verse 1, “that day” refers to the Millennium, in which glorious era this will be fulfilled as declared in Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”


The proclamation of God’s glory however, is not limited to the Millennium.  It is to be heralded today by the preaching of the Gospel, Christ’s command to every believer being, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” Mark 16:15, for in nothing is the Lord more glorified than in the salvation of sinners.


12:5.  “Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.”


“Sing” is here used as a synonym for praise or worship, the most excellent thing that God has done being His provision for the expiation of men’s sins through the death of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.


“... this is known in all the earth” is more accurately translated, “... let this be known,” “... this must be made known, etc,” the NT equivalent of the command being, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” Mark 16:15.


12:6.  “Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.”


Zion, meaning “parched place,” is a particularly appropriate symbol of the solid ground upon which the believer stands, for it points to Calvary where the Lord Jesus Christ endured the fire of God’s righteous wrath against sin, see Psalm 102:3, “For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth,” and Lamentations 1:13, “From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them,” both references being clearly to Christ.  At Calvary He endured the wrath that should have consumed us, so that believers now stand in Him, forever beyond the reach of judgment, God counting us as having not only died in Christ, but also as having been raised up with him out of spiritual death, to stand for ever guiltless, and possessing eternal life.


As redeemed Israel was exhorted to “cry out and shout” in testimony to God’s love, grace, mercy, and power, so are we to obey the Lord’s command, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”  Sadly, all too often we stand indicted by our disobedient silence.

[Isaiah 13]

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     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
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