Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Isaiah 12 - Short and sweet

This chapter provides a little break from the previous chapters which all include warnings for Israel.  Here is presented the bright future that awaits those who have repented and endured.  Notice in the first verse that we learn something important about the state of the righteous:

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.

The righteous people described here have at some time in the past angered the Lord.  Their overflowing joy, as described in later verses comes because they are aware that God’s anger has been “turned away” from them and he has brought them peace of mind (comfort).  In the next verse, we learn who has turned away God’s anger:

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.

At face value, we read here that God has saved Israel from Himself.   It would appear then, that Isaiah is speaking of the God Head here, and of Jesus Christ’s role in answered the demands of Justice to the Father, effectively turning away His punishments against those who have willingly disobeyed Him (but have repented).  

I think Isaiah is aware at this point that his readers may not understand the significance of what Christ will do (has done) for us, for in the rest of the chapter he describes how the righteous will express their feelings at being saved in the kingdom of God:  Joy, praise, singing, crying, shouting…  This certainly makes me think about my own devotions.  As the Lord comes more and more into my life, the stronger my love will be for Him and the more I will want to praise him and teach others about him.

As one final thought, the words in verse three reminded me of the conference address by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin.

3 Therefore with ajoy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

Here is a portion of Elder Wirthlin’s conference address.

The Savior taught that "whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give . . . shall never thirst; [for it] shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

Fully understood and embraced, the gospel of Jesus Christ heals broken hearts, infuses meaning into lives, binds loved ones together with ties that transcend mortality, and brings to life a sublime joy.

President Lorenzo Snow said, "The Lord has not given us the gospel that we may go around mourning all the days of our lives."

The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a religion of mourning and gloom. The faith of our fathers is one of hope and joy. It is not a gospel of chains but a gospel of wings.

To embrace it fully is to be filled with wonder and to walk with an inner fire. Our Savior proclaimed, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

Do you seek peace of mind?

Drink deeply of living waters.

Do you seek forgiveness? Peace? Understanding? Joy?

Drink deeply of living waters.

I look forward to a day when we will all sing aloud together about the mercies of the Lord.  A day when we will all live together in joy, because He will be in our midst.

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