Advent Week Three: An Ode to Joy! The Gift of Drawing Waters of Joy!

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”, is a favorite song of many to sing at this time of year. This hymn is generally considered by hymnologists to be one of the most joyous expressions of hymn lyrics in the English languageIt portrays a joyful interplay between God’s created world and the manifestation of this same creative spirit in the life of a believer. Such interesting similes as “hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee …” illustrate this interesting technique. The second verse reminds us that all of God’s creation speaks of His glory and, in doing so, directs our worship to the Creator HimselfThe fourth stanza concludes with a glorious, raucous invitation for all of God’s children to join the mighty chorus of joy begun at creation’s dawn (Job 38:7) and, in so doing, to find the encouragement, the hope, joy, needed for any circumstance of life.

Isaiah 12 Complete Jewish Bible

12 On that day you will say:

“I thank you, Adonai,
because, although you were angry at me,
your anger is now turned away;
and you are comforting me.

“See! God is my salvation.
I am confident and unafraid;
for Yah Adonai is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation!”

Then you will joyfully draw water
from the springs of salvation.
On that day you will say,
“Give thanks to Adonai! Call on his name!
Make his deeds known among the peoples,
declare how exalted is his name.
Sing to Adonai, for he has triumphed —
this is being made known throughout the earth.
Shout and sing for joy,
you who live in Tziyon;
for the Holy One of Isra’el
is with you in his greatness!”

The Word of God for the Children of God. In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

Isaiah 12 is a message of joyful encouragement. It is a great hymn of praise (about the coming of Jesus, the Messiah). (At a time of) of the return of the outcasts of Israel from their long captivity, (it also speaks to one alienated from God, encouraging them to find peace and joy in believing; and to that of the whole company of the redeemed, when they meet before the throne of God in heaven. The promise is sure, and the blessings contained in it are very rich; and the benefits enjoyed through Jesus Christcall for the most enlarged thanksgivings. (Henry, M., & Scott, T. (1997). Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary (Is 12:1). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems.)

This short, yet powerful and vastly transformational passage from Isaiah 12 calls each, of us to joyfully worship and delight ourselves in God because of what He has done and promises to do for us. In sending us the Messiah, Jesus Christ, those in Him can have joy even in the midst of difficulties. 

Isaiah shows us this because of 3 wonderful realities: 

We see revealed the reality of a 1) Joyful Pardon (Isaiah 12:1-3), responding with a 2) Joyful Proclamation (Isaiah 12:4-5) and finally because of the revelation of God, 3) Joyful Presence of the Messiah Himself (Isaiah 12:6).

Let us delight ourselves in God because of a:
1) Joyful Pardon (Isaiah 12:1-3)

Isaiah 12:1-3 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“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 (ESV).

From Isaiah Chapter 12 verse 1, in describing: “You will say in that day”, we are listening here to our own voices from the future. The “day” in question that Isaiah is describing the revival of the church in the latter days. Focused not so much on giving us details about the end times

He is creating an impression for his readership, giving each of us a genuine foretastof what it means to live in a spirit of praise.  It refers to the time of deliverance which has been described back in Isaiah 11:1–12:6. When the nation is regathered and the Messiah is reigning (Martin, J. A. (1985). Isaiah. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 1058). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.)

The “you” in verse 1 is singularIsaiah is saying, “In that day, each of you individually “will” “give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me”What we see written here is Isaiah describing is how God gives individually redeems us. 

There is no secondhand salvation. Our deepest problem is not whether we will love God, but whether God will love us. Considering how sin is a direct offense against God, the question to wonder is why shouldn’t He hate us forever? The most dangerous assumption that most people have is that either God doesn’t exist, doesn’t care or is just naturally positively predisposed to people

If we were to poll Christians with the question, “What is the greatest wonder in all of your salvation?” Isaiah’s answer would be, “God is your former enemy. Now He comes to comfort you.” Question: Have you and I transitioned from being frustrated with a reluctant God who isn’t cooperating with yours and mine agenda to now being genuinely comforted by a God who is lavishing you with grace upon grace? 

Okay, just how does anyone turn that corner? 

By repenting, going back to the foundational basics of the gospel that makes us Christians in the first place (Mark 1:14-15). Through faith in Christthose who were under the curse of the wrath of God, those who God was angry with, now have that anger turned away. That is the joy of God sending His Son that we celebrate at this time and what should be our greatest source of joy and delight. The greatest gift of Immanuel and the greatest gift of joy to share. 

Thus, praise and thanks are essential to robust spiritual life, not because God needs them like some neurotic tyrant, but because we need to give them. It is only in this way that we can refocus our attention upon how much we have received from a loving Father and in that appreciation stop attempting to use him as our servant (idolatry). (Oswalt, J. N. (1986). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39 (p. 292). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

This gift of joy connects the birth of Christ with the death of Christ. The wrath of God at our real guilt is warranted, even required for God to be true to himself. His condemnation does fall, and with full force, but not on us. It falls on our SubstituteIn his great love for guilty peopleJesus changed places with us at the cross. His sacrifice is the reason why God’s grace is morally entitled to treat us like royalty, which He does. If Jesus bears our condemnation far away, then all-forgiving grace toward us is not an extravaganceit is the morally beautiful meaning of our new connectional relationship with our great God.

For us to go boldly now into his presence for comfort, as Isaiah describes, to receive mercy and find grace whenever we have a need, brings God’s own purpose to fulfillmentHe wants every one of us to be able to say to him, “You comfort me.” 

If we will discover what that means for us nowwe will be saying it forever. 

Having afflicted the comfortableIsaiah’s task is to comfort the afflictedThis song in chapter 12 may well have been for the day of deliverance from Assyria, but it is a song that we can sing too(Believers) know that Christ has turned God’s anger away from us and allowed it to fall upon him instead. We know that ‘God our Father … loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace’ (2 Thessalonians. 2:16). (Thomson, A. (2012). Opening Up Isaiah (p. 54). Leominster: Day One.)

Isaiah spent his life trying to persuade people to trust in Godnot be afraid and not give themselves to false saviors as he testifies in verse 2His book makes the question unavoidable for us today: Will we trust God through our crises? Or will we fearfully surround our trust in God with mechanisms of self-help, just in case God fails? Do we feel secure with God alone

One of the striking things about this testimonythis voice out of the future, is its simplicityWe complicate our trust in God. We mix in other things. We trust in our trust in God. We trust in our theology of God. We trust in our worship of GodWe cling to God plus whatever makes us feel comfortable and superior.

And the more props we needthe more insecure we become. But when the grace of God overrules our follyreal faith comes alive, and our outlook is simplified so that we say, “Behold, God is my salvation. This expresses the truth that there is no salvation apart from God. It is not merely that he saves; he is salvation

To know him is to know deliverance and not to know him is to be deluded about deliverance.

I believe that this is why the prophets in general, and Isaiah in particular, heap such a mountain of scorn upon attempts to find deliverance in the might of this world (30:1–5; 31:1–3; Jeremiah. 42:7–17; Ezekiel. 29:6–9; Hosea 5:13, 14; 7:8–12; 8:8–10)). (Oswalt, J. N. (1986). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 1–39 (p. 293). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

He is enoughPeriod.” We then discover that, in Christ, we can trust and not be afraidWhen we experience how strong God really is on our behalfbetter than we thought he’d be, He becomes not only our strength, but we express the joy of that fact as our song

Remember the old musicals like Singin’ in the Rain? Gene Kelly is walking down the streethappily sloshing in the rain and puddleswonderfully in love, and he just starts singingTo enjoy that joyful scene, it’s as if we have to suspend belief just enough to play along with the movie. Somehow, we have to identify with a grown man out in the rain, soaking wet and not caring at all and singing his head off. Why do people make films like that? Why do we watch them?

The reason is that it isn’t really crazyGod has put into our hearts that very capacity, the freedom to break out into song as the wonder of his saving love, the gift of His salvation, fills our heartsThat holy delight is what we were created forIn Christ we are opened up to that wonder and the Holy Spirit enables us to glorify and enjoy God with unrestrained song. The gift of this joy is real, not visionary; suitableabiding, and inexpressibly precious; it is also likewise associated with all good, both in this life and that which is to come; it is the precursor of everlasting joy. (Bertram, R. A., & Tucker, A. (1892). Isaiah 1–39 (Vol. 1, p. 224). New York; London; Toronto: Funk & Wagnalls Company.)

Isaiah 12:2-3 Complete Jewish Bible

“See! God is my salvation.
I am confident and unafraid;
for Yah Adonai is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation!”

Then you will joyfully draw water
from the springs of salvation.

We all go through fearful and unsettling times. Sometimes, those moments occur when we’re worried about our families or friends; at other times, we may be concerned about our careers or work projects; there may also be times when our health declines or something accidental occurs in our lives. Whatever the circumstances, we feel frail and vulnerable, unprotected and absolutely human.

When we are fearful, it helps us to understand that God is always faithful. His words and promises from the past become relevant and meaningful to us, especially when we read them in times of trouble or crisis. God’s Spirit reaches to us from the pages of the Holy Scriptures and across the centuries to let us know that He is with us, standing beside us, or even carrying us through painful moments and worrying times.

Grace and love and Joy are the great gifts He bestows upon us; compassion and comfort are blessings that will sustain us, enabling us to endure and overcome whatever assails us.

These few verses from Isaiah 12:2-3 are a beautiful promise that can help us get through our present difficulties and personal problems. As Christians, we ought to be receiving these prophetic words through the blessings of our Savior Jesus Christ, who forgives our sins, unerringly guides us through life, and restores us to God’s everlasting favor. Our faith, our hope, our joy is focused on Him, for in Him we 1000% have everything that we will ever need in this life and the next.

Questions for personal reflection

What presently troubles or worries me?

How can God’s promise through Isaiah 12 help me to get through today?

In the name of Yahweh, the Father, Yahweh the Son, Yahweh the Holy Spirit, let us now enter His Tabernacle of Praise with our Prayers and Petitions,

Prayer: Lord Immanuel, You are the Savior of our souls and the Light of our lives. In You and through You, we experience God’s grace, love, and compassion. Thank You for allowing us to come to You with our prayers and problems. Thank You for being with us every day. In Your Holy Name, we gratefully pray. Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

3 thoughts on “Advent Week Three: An Ode to Joy! The Gift of Drawing Waters of Joy!”

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