[Jan 21]--Celebration Time

Isaiah 12

I said I wasn’t going to do it, and for the most part, I won’t. I’m referring to my personal commitment to avoid (as much as possible) taking a stand regarding specifics about the return of Christ. I try—again, as much as possible--to keep this devotional such that any Evangelical Bible-believing Christian would agree with it. Part of my reasoning, quite frankly, is because I try to keep my theology practical. I always ask “If this certain interpretation of prophecy is such and such, how would it really affect my daily walk with Christ?” If the answer’s “Not much,” then I tend to avoid talking about it.

But regarding this passage, you might look at the first three words and ask “In what day?” What’s Isaiah referring to? When is this going to take place? I won’t go into anything more specific than to say this: I think it’s partially fulfilled now in the lives of everyday believers, and I think it will be completely fulfilled when our Savior returns.

The reason I brought up this passage is because I think that however you interpret it regarding the Second Coming (and I think it does apply), it’s a beautiful picture of our salvation. There are some great lessons for us here, today, right now. Here’s what I’ve found:

1) This is a song about God’s salvation, right? If it sounds similar to a Psalm, that’s no accident. This could have easily been written by David. And what’s the first thing he praises God for regarding his salvation? The removal of sin. Not just thanking him, but praising him. The fact that God has taken your sin away and placed it on the sinless Substitute is a source of praising him. Only he could have done it.

And before we move on from this subject, this is a good reminder: Before we get into a right relationship with God, before we can truly worship him, the sin issue must be dealt with. That’s our #1 problem, and there’s not even a close second in that department. If you haven’t dealt with that problem by receiving Christ as your Savior and Boss, then nothing else matters as far as God is concerned.

2) I notice the personal aspect of our salvation. It starts out with calling him “God” (which is appropriate), but then moves into calling him—not once, but twice—“Lord.” That’s the translation of the covenant Name by which we know him. It’s not just knowing about him but knowing him on a personal level. There’s an aspect of this when we first receive Christ, and then it grows from there as we continue to live in his presence on earth. And in case you missed it, there’s a very direct allusion here to Miriam’s song about Israel’s Redeemer after they crossed the Red Sea (word for word match).

3) There a final aspect of our salvation that this passage describes which a lot of Christians (including myself) have neglected: Telling others about him. Not just the people in your personal circle, but people all around the world. Those crazy Muslims you see on TV calling for the death of America. The Europeans who've abandoned the God of their fathers. The people in the world who couldn’t make an informed decision about Christ if they wanted to. Do you have Isaiah’s vision? Does God’s salvation and blessings towards you make you want to “make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted”? Why not? I’m not saying that God has called you to drop your life where you are and become an international missionary. But I do believe that he’s called every believer to be involved in his worldwide reclamation project. Are you? Involved, I mean.

Lord Jesus, you’ve been so good to me, and so often I hide it like I’m ashamed of it or something. I want to make known among the nations what you’ve done, and proclaim that your Name is exalted. What do you want me to do?

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