I’ve been working my way through Isaiah 12, one verse per week, hoping to put the entire wee chapter in my memory bank. But more than that I’d like it to be true in my life. Here’s what it says:
1 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." Is.12:1-6 ESV
Now from the context (Is.11) it is pretty clear that this prophecy is specifically referring to Israel and is descriptive of their Messiah’s return to set up His Kingdom and to deliver them from their enemies. But there’s also a pattern here which I believe holds true for all who have found peace with God, all those who have found the comfort of knowing that their sins are no longer held against them and God’s wrath toward them has been turned away because of Jesus.
The pattern I see is one of deep heartfelt gratitude for God’s salvation, and of fearless trust in light of who God is to me. It is one of confidence and joy as a result of continuing to drawing on this salvation for daily strength. This phrase: “With JOY you will DRAW WATER from the wells of salvation” is a beautiful one. Salvation is not a one-time thing, but a continual life sustaining refreshment. The reality that I’ve been ‘saved’ from God’s wrath and made His child is never meant to grow ‘ho-hum’ or irrelevant to my daily experience, but rather to result in a continual consciousness of God’s greatness and His active presence in my life and in all the world around me.
“Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel."
We live between Jesus’ first and second comings. His salvation has been provided through the cross for all who will look and live. The wells of salvation have been dug, so to speak. And they are sufficient to sustain life and godliness in this broken world despite the blight of sin within and without, despite its consequences, despite disappointments and pain and sadness. At the wells of salvation there is always strength, always grace, always rest, always wisdom, always joy! This is a great salvation we are meant to draw from and to keep drawing from.
We were never intended to settle for fearful, joy-deprived, burdensome living. Instead, we are invited to draw water and drink deeply from the wells of salvation and there to find joy unspeakable. And if this passage is any clue, it all seems to begin with gratitude for what Christ has done in turning away God’s wrath so that we might know His comfort.
And curiously enough, the words of a song entitled: “Jesus, Thank-you” have been playing over and over in my mind this past week. They’ve been just what I’ve needed! I commend them to you.
The mystery of the cross I cannot comprehend
The agonies of Calvary
You the perfect Holy One, crushed Your Son
Who drank the bitter cup reserved for me
Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You
By Your perfect sacrifice I’ve been brought near
Your enemy You’ve made Your friend
Pouring out the riches of Your glorious grace
Your mercy and Your kindness know no end
Lover of my soul
I want to live for You.
May you (and me too!!) know the joy of drawing deeply from the wells of salvation this week, and for eternity
“…so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Heb.9:28
Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. I Pet.1:8,9
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Mt.11:28-30 as paraphrased in The Message by Eugene Peterson