Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sing and Shout

Scriptural Reading: Isaiah 12:1-6
Devotional Reading: Psalm 92:1-8

As I was driving a number of years ago I passed out due to a seizure. I was driving eastbound in the inner right lane. The car veered to the right and ran into an electric pole. The pole was damaged, but it did not fall. The electric lines came down and cracked the car’s windshield. Surprisingly no glass came in to harm me. My forehead hit the steering wheel upon impact, but I only had a headache. The police officer who assisted me asked whether I desired to go to emergency. Although I had the headache, I looked at my totaled car and asked for a ride. The accident had occurred in front of a funeral home. The Lord had blessed me, and it needed to be proclaimed. I wanted to praise God and let everyone know my testimony.

The Discovery Channel recently expressed its deepest condolences in the loss of three tornado/storm chasers in a tornado in Oklahoma on Friday, May 31st. Researchers Carl Young, Tim Samaras, and his son, the videographer, Paul Samaras were victim to a particularly unpredictable storm, even for a tornado. Not only does a preliminary National Weather Service rating peg its winds at more than 136 mph, many reports indicate it took a sudden left-hand turn along its path, about 30 miles west of Oklahoma City. Prayerfully they knew the Lord before they met their last storm. If so they are praising in eternity. In St. Peters, Missouri a firefighter by the name of Mark Bush survived a tornado on that same day. He hid behind the open fire truck door and part of the garage door of the engine house blew over his head hitting him in the shoulder. The chief took him to the hospital, and he was treated and released. Mark Bush may have endured pain, but he had a great reason to thank and praise God for his deliverance. The Bible itself speaks of storms also. One example was given when the disciples were in the ship and Jesus was asleep when a tempestuous storm arose. (Matt 8:24-27 KJV) The waves were tossing the ship in such a way the disciples were in fear. They went to Jesus to ask how He could possibly sleep through all the stormy commotion. Jesus inquired as to their faith. They had no need to be in fear for they were in the presence of God, but they did not realize it. Sometimes people learn best with show versus tell. Jesus rebuked the winds, rains, and all the components of the storm. The disciples were in awe. They looked at each other and inquired at Matt 8:27b, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (NKJV) They had a reason to praise and thank the Lord for their deliverance.

As we continue this quarter of study entitled “God’s People Worship” we are mindful of: (1) how Christian worship compares today both in its devoted and revered practices and its disrespectful practices and (2) what we can learn from God’s relationship with the worshipping ancient Israelites that will help us honor and worship Him today. We are in Unit I – “The Prophet and Praise” of the three units of the quarter. This is the second lesson of a four-lesson study of worship in Jerusalem during the time of Isaiah.

The prophet Isaiah ministered before the nation of Israel was taken into captivity. He penned a divine visionary hymn of praise beginning in Is 12:1, "And in that day you will say, O Lord, I will praise You; Though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.” (NKJV) This evangelical song was prophetic. “And in that day” refers to God’s people in different periods of times. Part of the prophecy has occurred, some is presently occurring, some is yet to come, but still all was written by Isaiah through divine inspiration in a vision received from God. In the days of the ancient Israelites, the prophet envisions how God attempts to awake the sinners to repentance as He pronounces judgments upon the people. (Is ch 5) The Lord used the King of Assyria, Sennacherib, to carry out his plan of judgment. The Northern Kingdom (Ephraim/ten tribes/capital city Samaria) along with Damascus was successfully captured. The Southern Kingdom (Judah and Benjamin) was terrified. The city of Jerusalem was in Judah. God assured the Jews in the Southern Kingdom that, though the Assyrians would come against them, the Assyrians would be destroyed. He sent Isaiah to meet with King Ahaz, a wicked king, but yet a descendant of King David, to comfort him and the people. God had Isaiah take his son, whose name was Shearjashub meaning “the remnant shall return”, with him to deliver the message. God was their protector and His anger had turned away in forgiveness. In Isaiah 10:5-34 it is foretold how the prideful King Sennacherib was to be destroyed. The remaining Jews of the Northern Kingdom that had been destroyed were forced to flee to various nations. Some returned to the Southern Kingdom for protection. The Jews had been delivered from captivity and had reason to be thankful with songs of praise to their God.

Isaiah also foretold, in many passages, the future coming and reign of Jesse’s Offspring, the Messiah. In Is 11:10-11a the prophet declares, "And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious. It shall come to pass in That day that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left.” (NKJV) Jesus Christ is of the lineage of Jesse, the house of David, and Son of God. When the prophet approached King Ahaz to comfort him against impending danger (ch 7) he gave the king a sign of God’s Word of Comfort at Is 7:14, "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”As believers we have accepted the virgin birth of Christ, His life’s works, death, Resurrection, and Ascension. We have confessed it with our mouth and believe He was raised from death with our hearts, (Rom 10:9) Holding Him up as our banner, Jewish and Gentile believers alike shall be just like Moses who lifted up the serpent in the wilderness “that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:15 NKJV) Believers living in the church age have the faith we shall receive the promise of the second coming of Christ. We know that Christ is the Prince of Peace as the prophet stated in Is 9:6b, “His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (NKJV) To further define and comfort the world at peace during His reign Isaiah elaborated at Is 11:6-8. The idea is peace and security will be experienced even in the presence of wild animals among domesticated animals where it is stated. “…And a little child shall lead them.” (NKJV) In each of these time periods the believers shall praise God for the deliverance and opportunity of eternal life.

“And in that day” there is no longer any anger for the ancient Israelites. There is forgiveness on the cross. We were redeemed and set free. That is something to shout about.

The prophet continued his song of praise at Is 12:2, “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the Lord, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.” God is the Author of the plan of salvation. No human being or other creature can take credit for the plan. Jesus Christ gave His life to redeem man from Satan and give us the opportunity to be saved and experience the glory of eternal life. This was part of God’s plan of salvation. As He is the Creator and man is the created, believers have no cause to be afraid. Put your trust in Him who created, loves, and protects you. As He is faithful to keep you, have faith in His saving power. To repeat God’s name “YAH" and "LORD” seems to place emphasis on His strength and song. When the Lord Jehovah is your salvation, He is your strength and song. He is unchangeable and always there for us. Some Christians claim Him to be their salvation and strength, but they forget He must be their song. Don’t walk in darkness. God will send you a song for endurance, even in the middle of the night. It is a beautiful feeling to wake up with praise.

Since God is our salvation, strength and song, the faith of believers are greatly encouraged and their expectations are increased in Isaiah’s exhortation at verse 3, “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” (NKJV) Salvation is from the love of God the Father, it comes to us through God the Son, it is applied by the new creating power of God the Spirit. When this is seen by faith, the trembling sinner learns to hope in God, and is delivered from fear. The purifying and sanctifying influences of the Holy Ghost often are denoted under the emblem of springing water. With joy they sing praises as they are refreshed with the great saving gifts from God’s bottomless wells. In the wells believers will find the Savior. They will find love, peace, happiness, and all the components of refreshing springs. The believers will be able to partake abundantly of these mercies of salvation and as David wrote in Ps 23:1-3, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want, He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” (NKJV) It is a great praise to sing of the comforting waters where believers find the Savior.

Isaiah proclaimed that God’s deliverance (salvation plan) and deeds were so great that all the Earth should know. The prophet exhorted the people to praise the mighty God at Is 12:4-6, “And in that day you will say: Praise the Lord, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted. Sing to the Lord. For He has done excellent things; This is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!” (NKJV) In this day God is owed thanks. Thanksgiving is given for rescuing believers from dangers seen and unseen. Thanksgiving is given during formal and informal services, on our knees, on our face, in the car, in our secret closets, as long as it is done daily. Believers proclaim His Name and celebrate His works all over the Earth to announce His glory. Our lives and our public worship are to make everyone remember His name. God is the only reason for our praise. Cry and shout to all inhabitants of the Earth, welcome the Gospel, and publish it in preaching, teaching, and praise with a shout for victory. Call upon His Name in song and in prayer. If we can cry aloud and make noise grumbling when we are upset, we must cry and shout for joy when we receive blessings from the Almighty God.

Great is the Holy One of Israel, God the Father! Great is the Holy Messiah, God the Son! Great is God the Holy Spirit! Ps 92:1-2, 4 exclaims, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night, For You, Lord, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands.” (NKJV) Let us sing and shout praises to our God for our deliverance and salvation.

Written by Deborah C Davis

No comments: