January 16, 2016

Isaiah 12:1-6

Much of the book of Isaiah describes the future of Israel and Judah as chaotic and destructive. The reason given in the book is simple—the people have disobeyed God. God’s anger is incensed and judgment is coming. Isaiah 12 is a short interlude from the words of judgement with two short hymns of praise and thanksgiving. Like many of the psalms, these hymns describe worshipping God even in the face of God’s anger. The text says to “give thanks to God,” to “praise the Lord in song,” and to “shout for joy.”

When life is going well, praising God is pretty easy to do. Singing in church or along with Christian radio, giving thanks in prayer, or telling others about what God has done sort of comes naturally. However, what Isaiah describes before and after this particular chapter is not a life of ease. It is destruction.

Why this interlude of thanksgiving? It is simple. Thanksgiving for who God is needs to be given no matter our circumstances. Even in the difficult events of our life, God is still present and real. “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid” (12:2).