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Monday, November 3, 2014

Isaiah 12, Part 1: Anger Turns to Comfort

Isaiah 12, Part 1: Anger Turns to Comfort

What has gone before...

The LORD promised a divine Judge who would end oppression and wickedness on earth.

Isaiah 11:4 (ESV) With righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.

The dispersed tribes of Israel will be regathered and restored to the land around Jerusalem.

Isaiah 11:12 (ESV) He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

All nations on earth will turn to Jerusalem in worship of the LORD.

Isaiah 11:10 (ESV) In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

Moving on...

Now, in Chapter 12, Isaiah breaks into song, calling all the earth to join in worship of the One Who will judge, restore and redeem His creation.

Isaiah 12, Part 1: Anger Turns to Comfort

Isaiah 12:1 (ESV) 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.

"In that day" connects Isaiah's song to the previous chapter:

Isaiah 11:11 (ESV) In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea.

The restoration of Israel to their promised homeland will lift the people's heart in thankfulness and praise. God's anger will change to comfort when the Righteous Judge stands as a signal to all nations as borders and barriers break down over the earth and Israel returns home.

The LORD's anger will turn away, to be replaced by the LORD's comfort.

"Comfort" can convey a feeling of relief at a burden lifted, or at least hope of that relief. Lamech named his son, "Comfort" in the hope of relief from painful toil (Genesis 5:29).

Isaac was "comforted" after his mother's death by Rebekah, his wife (Genesis 24:67).

After the fury and wrath of Assyria's invasion, Isaiah predicts that the remnant of Israel will breathe a deep sigh of relief and sing a song of trust and thankfulness for their salvation.

Isaiah 12:2 (ESV) 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.

"Succor" means assistance and support in times of hardship and distress, from Latin succurrere (run to the help of)

These two words offer a wonderful picture of God running to the help of those who are running to Him for refuge.

What do you think?

photo credit: Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton via photopin cc