by Pastor Ron Thomas
RODGERS BAPTIST CHURCH
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Text: Isaiah 12:1-3. "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.
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.
3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation."
Introduction: A certain man filled his car with gas at a self-service gas station. After he had paid and driven away, he realized that he had left the gas cap on top of his car. He stopped, looked, and sure enough, it was lost. He thought for a second, and reasoned that other people must have done the same thing, and that it was worth going back to look by the side of the road. Perhaps he could find his cap, and even if he couldn't find his own gas cap, he might be able to find one that fit. Sure enough, he hadn't been searching long when he found a gas cap. He tried it on, and it went into place with a satisfying click. "Great," he thought, "I lost my gas cap, but I found another one that fits. And this one's even better because it locks...!"
Do you ever grow tired of problems and bad news? Living in our present culture, we are constantly bombarded with messages that generate fear, driving us to despair. We are confronted daily with news about natural disasters such as floods, fires or famines, rocketing gas prices, rising food prices, and a faltering economy. We are warned constantly about the threat of global warming, bad air quality, and contaminated tomatoes! Our American culture is characterized more and more by cheating, stealing, greed, all sorts of immorality and violence. Add to this, all the personal issues that crowd into your life, and its enough to make you scream!
Isaiah, was a great prophet of God who knew about difficult times. His nation, the nation of Judah, had turned it's back on God, and was headed for serious trouble. In Isaiah 1:1-9, the prophet Isaiah pictures his people as children who rebel against their parents. The stories of children who run away from home are often found in the news. These children end up on the streets and in all sorts of trouble. Judah's rebellion against God, His Word and His ways, had cost them dearly. Spiritually, Isaiah pictures them as someone who had been beaten, and was full of wounds, bruises, and putrefying sores. Proverbs 13:15 says, "Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard." In reality, we do not break God's laws, we break ourselves over God's laws. The nation of Judah was already paying a high price for their sin and rebellion, but unless they changed their ways and returned to the Lord, the worst was yet to come!
Much of Isaiah's ministry was spent warning his people of coming judgment. It's not fun, always being the heavy. How would you like to be a preacher, a prophet, trying to lead a people back to God who are rebellious and indifferent? As Isaiah looks around, there was little reason to smile, much less rejoice. Isaiah was surrounded with more reasons to pout or throw a pity party, ....than to praise.
With all of this in mind, we come to chapter 12. Here in this chapter, we are surprised by a burst of joy! Notice verses 1-2. "And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD (Jehovah), I will praise Thee: though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned away, and Thou comfortedst me.
2 Behold, God is my salvation (El Yeshua); I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD (Yah) JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation."
Wow! What was that about? Was that praise that came from the lips of the prophet of God? Where did it come from? Why would anyone laugh, sing, praise, and shout for joy in the midst of difficult times, a trying occupation, and surrounded by so much bad news? How can a prophet face a rebellious, sin sick, beaten up people, and shout for joy? Isaiah must be losing it! No. As a matter of fact, Isaiah has found it. Found what? Isaiah has found and personally claimed a name! By faith and the Holy Spirit of God, Isaiah has fast forwarded his heart and mind to a day of salvation, of deliverance; a day of rejoicing and praise! Twice in this short chapter, verses 1 and 4, Isaiah uses the phrase, "...in that day." Isaiah sees through the mind of faith, another day, a better day ahead! It would be a day when the Lord would no longer be angry at His people. The Lord would turn away from His anger, and comfort His people! How could this be accomplished? This day is delivered by a name. Isaiah has fixed his eyes and heart on one of the many names of God.
The Bible teaches us that God is known by many names. Each name reveals a different aspect of His eternal character and nature. Each month, as a part of our God's Place focus, we are considering one of the many names by which God has made Himself known. God's names are given as an extension of Himself, to help us understand who He is, how He is, what He has done for us, and what He can do in us and through us.
In verse 2, Isaiah claims one of the compound names of God. Compound names are names that are given in conjunction with the name Lord or Jehovah and El, which is another name that is translated as God. The particular name of God recalled by Isaiah is El Yeshua. In verse 2a, the prophet Isaiah shouts, "Behold, God is my salvation (El Yeshua)." The Hebrew word, "yeshua" means salvation, deliverance, and victory. Reflecting upon this wonderful name of God, Isaiah chooses to trust God, in the time of trouble! Verse 2 continues, "...I will trust, and not be afraid." Isaiah chose to believe that one day, God would save or deliver his nation and him personally, from sin and it's consequences. Claiming the name "El Yeshua, God is my salvation," Isaiah chose to trust and believe that even at that very moment, God's redeeming, saving purpose was at work!
In what do you place your faith? In what do you have confidence? As if you didn't know, we are in an election year. Listening to the candidates, you would think they are running for Messiah! If they are elected, they promise to bring a better world! They will cool down global warming. They will cut gas prices in half. They will deliver you from all the evils of society! Is your hope, your confidence and faith, in the name Obama or McCain? Are the Democrats or the Republicans going to deliver us?
Looking to the future, Isaiah sees on the horizon, a Savior and a day of salvation. It will be a day when God's justice and judgment upon sin will be satisfied. We must remember that God hates sin! Humanity's problem in Judah's day and now, is a spiritual problem! We are all held captive by sin and death. From the very moment of our conception, we are the natural enemies of God and hostile to His will for our lives!
The Hebrew Nation singing the songs of David, and offering the right sacrifices in the right place and at the right time, does not provide a permanent solution to their sin problem. There was a day coming however, when God Himself would provide a way to be delivered, saved, from the curse and condemnation of sin! Verse 1 says, "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."
What day is the prophet Isaiah speaking about? We must understand that "yeshua" is also a personal name! Yeshua is the original Aramaic, proper name for Jesus. Jesus is His Greek name. Yehoshua or Joshua, is His Hebrew name. Each name means Jehovah is salvation! Back in the fourth century, Jerome who is known for translating the Vulgate, translated Isaiah 12:2, "God is my Jesus," as a way of making sure no one missed seeing the Savior!
I hope you get the picture! Isaiah certainly did! The book of Isaiah contains more than 300 prophecies concerning the coming Messiah! It is often referred to as ‘the gospel of the Old Testament!" For example, in Isaiah 7:14, we are told that the coming Messiah would be born of a virgin. In Isaiah 9:6-7, we are told that the Messiah is the very Son of God. In Isaiah 35:4-6, we are told that Messiah would be a miracle worker. In Isaiah 40:1-5 and 9, we are told of a forerunner, a messenger who would go before the Messiah, preparing His way. In Isaiah 50:6, we are told that this Messiah would be spat upon and beaten. In Isaiah 53:1-3, we are told that Messiah would come humbly, meekly as an unattractive, undesired, rejected person. Isaiah 53:4-6 tells us that Messiah would offer Himself as an atoning, sinless sacrifice for our sin. Isaiah 53:7 pictures the Messiah as an innocent lamb, silent before His accusers. In Isaiah 53:9, we see Messiah buried in a borrowed rich man's tomb. In Isaiah 53:12, the Messiah is numbered among transgressors.
The "day" Isaiah is prophesying of course, is the day Jesus, Yeshua, hung upon the cross of Calvary! This was the day our sin rested upon the Savior. God does not, cannot ignore our sins. God shouts through His prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 18:4, "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Someone must pay sin's wages! Someone must die! Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." How amazing it is that the very One who punishes sin, is also the One we need to run to for our salvation, because God is "El Yeshua, God is my salvation."
There is a life giving message in the name "El Yeshua, God is my salvation."
Yeshua, God's Life Giving Message
First: God is the source of our salvation. Isaiah doesn't say, "I am my salvation," but rather "God is my salvation." Salvation is a work of God, not man! We are not saved by our good deeds, much less by our good intentions. Isaiah knew this for sure.
In Isaiah 64:6 he says, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
7 And there is none that calleth upon Thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee: for Thou hast hid Thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities."
We love God because He first loved us! God has done everything. Our salvation does not depend on what we have done. God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, planned before the creation of the world, set in action, and carried out our salvation, for us.
During the Spanish-American War, Clara Barton was overseeing the work of the Red Cross in Cuba. One day Colonel Theodore Roosevelt came to her, wanted to buy food for his sick and wounded Rough Riders. Clara refused to sell him any, even though Teddy Roosevelt persisted. Finally he asked someone why he could not purchase the supplies. The response came, "Colonel, just ask for it!" A smile broke over Roosevelt's face. Because the provisions were so precious and life saving, they were not for sale. All he had to do was simply ask, and they would be given freely. Everyone must come to God empty handed and ask for forgiveness of sins!
Second: Yeshua, Jesus, is God's provision for your salvation! Salvation is in a person. Yeshua, Jesus, is God's way, the only way of salvation. There is only one name to confess, the name of Jesus! Peter preached in Acts 4:10-12, "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by Him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Yeshua, Jesus, suffered the death that was meant for us, when He hung on the cross. Yeshua, Jesus, became the object of God's wrath and judgment for our sin, so that we might see God's great love for each of us. Yeshua, Jesus became sin for us, so that we might receive by faith, His righteousness!
Benjamin Franklin was visited a few weeks before his death by the President of Yale University, who asked him personally about his religious beliefs and faith. Franklin told the President of Yale, that he was not sure as to the Divinity of Jesus Christ. Franklin said he had never seriously studied the life of Jesus and His claims, but that real soon he expected to learn the truth with less trouble. Benjamin Franklin went out into eternity with a question mark upon his heart and soul. His worldly esteem and achievements did him little good, minus the name of Jesus.
Third, This salvation must become your own personal possession! Isaiah said, "God is my salvation." This great prophet of God, not only prophesied about the coming Messiah, Jesus the Savior of the world, Isaiah made a personal choice! Verse 2 reads, "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." Someone made the observation that the life of Christianity consists of possessive pronouns. It is one thing to say, "Jesus Christ is a Savior," yet quite another thing to say, "Jesus Christ is my personal Savior." The devil himself can say the first. Only a true Christian can say the second! Isaiah invites you to leave behind your sin. Isaiah invites us to run to God, claim that blessed name, because God is our salvation.
What was the result of this purposeful reflection on the name El Yeshua? Verse 2 ends, "...for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation." The name El Yeshua transformed Isaiah! As he trusted in that glorious name, Isaiah was lifted above the trials and troubles of the day. His spirit was made to soar. His will to go on was strengthened. His heart was made to rejoice and sing! Salvation will do that! This confidence in God to save him from his sins, became the same confidence that would deliver him from daily trials and troubles!
When Isaiah claimed the name El Yeshua, God is my salvation, he uncapped some "wells of blessing" in his soul! He says in verse 3, "Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." In the arid climate of Israel, water is an extremely valuable commodity. Without water, crops will not grow, people and livestock will dehydrate and die. Just as thirsty people rejoice in God's provision of physical water, so it is with joy that we draw water from the Lord's spiritual springs of blessing. In John 7:37, Jesus staked His claim to be the fountainhead of the "wells of salvation" prophesied in Isaiah 12:3. At a very strategic point in an elaborate ceremony associated with the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus proclaimed, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." Isaiah found a well in the name El Yeshua, and dropped a bucket; then he found another well, and another! These wells are filled with God's joy.
We who are saved, always have reason to praise "El Yeshua, the God of our salvation." Life may get us down from time to time, but those "wells of blessing" are always there! Like Isaiah, we can always choose to "...set our affections on things above," rather than the "..things on the earth!" The earth is a place of gravity. Its values and concerns will pull you down! Heaven is a place of endless glory. Its eternal vision and promises will lift you up! Even in the midst of difficulties, we can experience the joy of knowing that God will work all things out for the good of those who love Him. We can rest in the promise that God will never leave or forsake us.
Psalm 84:5-7 reads, "Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
6 Who passing through the valley of Baca (the valley of weeping and sorrow) make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God." Are you going through a valley? Claim the name El Yeshua, make it a well, and get out your bucket!
Think about the Wells Of Blessing In Your Life
In times of doubt, through Jesus Christ, draw water from the well of assurance and security. Rehearse in your heart and mind all the promises of God that secure our lives every day. Realize that they are all fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ, who is the "amen" to all the promises of God.
In times of stress, through Jesus Christ, draw water from the well of peace and joy. Jesus has said, "Come unto be all who are weary and weighted down with problems." Cast all your cares upon Jesus, knowing the He cares for you!
In times of despair, through Jesus Christ, draw water from the well of eternal life and hope. Think about the empty tomb on the morning of the resurrection! Because of Jesus, we have a hope that goes beyond the grave.
In times of need, through Jesus Christ, draw water from the well of provision and abundance. God has met our greatest need. In Jesus Christ, we have not just life, but abundant life! Learn to be content with what you have, and trust Jesus to provide your needs, just as He has promised!
In times rejection, through Jesus Christ, draw water from the well of purpose and acceptance. We are accepted by God through Jesus Christ and adopted into His family! If everyone in this world rejected us and walked away, we would be left with the love of God in Jesus Christ! If God be for us, who can be against us!
Is Yeshua, Jesus, your personal Savior? Are the wells of blessing dried up in your life? Are you like Isaiah, with a heart overflowing with praise for God, because of your salvation? Is God YOUR salvation?