12:1 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.”
Why is it that learning something can be so hard? Or why is it that we–or maybe it is just me–but we are so hard-headed and hard-hearted that it takes us time and time again of hearing something before we learn it? Why is learning so painful at times?
This morning I had to come to a realization. Or a revelation. Or something.
I spent a great deal of time writing about Isaiah 12 this morning. In fact, I’d say that almost 75% of my time set aside for prayer and study this morning was spent on this Psalm. I’ve studied it before. I’ve prayed it several times before. But it wasn’t until this morning that I actually “saw” it with my soul. And it was a wake-up call.
Verse 2, in particular, took my mind and my soul. Here it is, pulled out from the other 5 verses:
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.”
I am NOT one who believes in having a “life verse”. To me, that is cheesy, cliche-ish. I’m not saying it is wrong, it just is not how I operate. I’ve come to look at all of scripture as my lifeline, my connection along with prayer, to my God. But I would have to say that this morning, verse 2 characterized for me my life. As it is now. As it is after becoming a believer. Regardless of the difficult things that have happened since then, this is still the words of my life.
God is my salvation. He is my all in all. I was not a believer. I was hard, cynical. I still can be hard and cynical. But God pursued me. He pursued me with a fervor and, like my Uncle Lewis, I had no choice but to believe, albeit it kicking and dragging my feet. But in those words “God is my salvation”, is the truth that my life is now founded upon. Nothing else is my salvation. So much has been stripped away. So much has been taken. And yet, He remains. He remains my salvation. And because of that, I have hope of an eternal home, where all will be made right.
But it doesn’t stop there. Verse 2 goes on to say “I will trust and will not be afraid”. Fear is a big issue in my life. I know it is a big issue in many people’s life. I’m not afraid to do things. I’m not afraid of being in unsafe places, or unfamiliar situations. I’m not afraid of speaking before crowds or of traveling around the world by myself. Instead I am afraid of internal things. Fear of failing. Fear of what other people think. Fear of loss. Fear in the middle of the night. Tremendous fear in the middle of the night. Fear of the future. Fear of parenting. But this verse says “I will trust and will not be afraid.” O, how hard that is. How hard to trust. How hard to not be afraid! But I can trust and I can be unafraid because of the first part of this verse: God is my salvation. God please help me to trust. Help me to not be afraid.
How beautiful the next words are: The Lord God is my strength and my song. He is my strength. I am so very weary tonight. So tired. It’s been a long, tough day of intense work, intense parenting, and broken vehicles. And tomorrow is another day. I can’t do it. I can’t. You can’t do it either. But you know what? Just when I think I can’t go another step, God honestly gives me the strength to walk a little bit further. To work a little bit longer and harder. To love a little bit more. To listen a little while longer. Because He is my strength. Without Him, I am so weak. With Him, I am doing this hard life.
And He is my song. I love to sing. I don’t sing well, but I love to do so. Singing is important to me. Words of songs are important to me. And the idea that God is my song, what a gift! What a beautiful picture that is. We sang “Blessed Be Your Name” tonight in choir rehearsal, and I can honestly say with Job, “You give and take away, Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”