God Is My Salvation ē Isaiah 12

I.†† INTRODUCTION

A.The Fork

1.†† A pastor was visiting an elderly woman in her home

2.†† She had made the appointment with him because she wanted to go over the arrangements for her memorial service and make sure things were done the way she wanted

a.†† they talked about the order of the service,

b.†† the music that would be played

c.†† and the scripture verses she wanted read

3.†† Finally, she said, "Pastor, when they fix me up and put me in the coffin, I want them to put my bible in one hand and a fork in the other."

4.†† He asked why such an unusual request

5.†† She said, "Well you know how whenever we have potlucks and we eat off paper plates with plastic forks, people always say, 'Save your fork, we still have dessert coming.'"

a.†† "Dessert is my favorite part of supper, and there have been so many good desserts over the years."

b.†† "So I keep my fork, because I know the best is yet to come."

c.†† "I want to be buried with a fork in my hand.And as the people walk by and see me and wonder why I'm holding a fork, I want you to remind them that this life is just the beginningand the best is yet to come."

d.†† "I've just gone on ahead and am enjoying the best."

B.Last Sunday

1.†† Least week we took a look at the future and the hope that is our sure possession because of Christ

2.†† This morning, we are going to consider that future once again . . .

II.TEXT

A.Isaiah 12:1-6

1And 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.

2Behold, 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.'"

3Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.

4And 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.

5Sing to the LORD, For He has done excellent things; This is known in all the earth.

6Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!"

1.†† Note the first words of v. 1 - "And in that day . . . "

a.†† what day is Isaiah speaking of?

b.†† Chapter 11 gives us the answer

c.†† it's the day when Jesus returns and sets up His throne on earth

d.†† He will then re-gather the Jewish people from the four corners of the earth and bring them back to their homeland

e.†† they will see Him, and will repent of their rejection of Him as their Messiah

f.††† He will restore them and establish them in peace in their land

2.†† We refer to that period of time, that "day" as it's called here, as the Millennium

3.†† And on that day when Israel is dwelling safely, and enjoying the fruit of the Messiah's reign, they will lift this song of praise and joy

4.†† The time of God's judgment on them and their nation will be past

5.†† And they will experience the fullness of His goodness and comfort

B.God Is My Salvation

1.†† They will say,

2Behold, 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.'"

2.†† We fail to realize just how substantial and weighty these words are

3.†† Remember, this is the confession of the Jews on that day when Jesus rules from Jerusalem

a.†† it's only as we consider what the Bible tells us will take place before He comes that they stand out as remarkable

b.†† you see, before they say this, they will experience a period of tribulation so intense, history has seen nothing like it -

1) Jeremiah calls it the time of Jacob's trouble

2) Jesus said that it would be a period unlike any other

c.†† the Holocaust of Nazi Germany and the pogroms of Russia were but foreshocks of the kind of hellish hatred and violence the Jews will experience prior to this day

d.†† for they will have been duped by a charismatic world ruler who will convince them that he's their Messiah - but he is a false messiah - the antichrist

1) he will make a covenant with them to be their protector

2) he will bring in a short period of false peace and prosperity that will have the world falling all over itself to sing his praises

3) but he's a demonic imposter whose real agenda is to establish himself in the seat of power and then demand that people worship him as God

e.†† the Jews, who have fallen for his ruse to that point, will realize he's an imposter and reject him

f.††† in his fury, he will move against them to utterly wipe them out

4.†† That's when Jesus will come and bring an end to the antichrist and his plans

5.†† Then, the eyes of the Jewish people will be opened and they will realize that Jesus is their TRUE Messiah

6.†† So on that day when they say, "God is my salvation,"it's against this backdrop or recent events

a.†† they will say, "God is my salvation"

b.†† "Not some man who claimed to be our Messiah."

c.†† But Jesus - our True Savior."

7.†† They will say, "I will trust and not be afraid.Because YAH (Jehovah), is my strength and song.He has become my salvation."

a.†† the name Jesus is the English form of the Hebrew - Yah-shua

b.†† which means "Yahweh (or Jehovah) is salvation"

c.†† Here in Isaiah, it is prophesied that the Jews will finally acknowledge, Jesus as their salvation and God.

8.†† But again, these words have to be considered against the backdrop of what has taken place before this . . .

a.†† they will have just witnessed the attempted decimation of their race

b.†† and in the middle of it all, the skies were ripped apart, and Jesus came

c.†† the antichrist and his seemingly invincible armies were immediately defeated and disarmed

d.†† Jesus took His throne in Jerusalem, cleansed the land of violence, secured the borders and boundaries of their land, and set up the rule of His kingdom over all the earth

e.†† after having witnessed such surpassing power and an astounding rescue from the very jaws of annihilation,

f.††† they KNOW they are now secure!

g.†† this is why they can say with complete confidence ad conviction, " I will trust and not be afraid.Because YAH, [Yahshua] is my strength and song.He has become my salvation."

9.†† While Israel will sing this in the Millennium, is it not true that those of us who believe in Christ can say it with equal conviction and confidence today?

a.†† consider the backdrop against which we can say it

b.†† we were lost in sin and headed for hell

c.†† the devil pulled the strings of our lives, and the sad thing is, we didnít even know it

d.†† as it says in Ephesians 2, we were so much a part of his system, we were blind to it

e.†† but Jesus came and did for us what we could not do for ourselves

f.††† He went to the cross and died in our place

g.†† He took the just penalty for our sins on Himself and bore them on the tree

h.†† He went into the very domain of death, and snatched us from it's teeth

i.††† as it says in Col. 2, at the cross, He defeated and disarmed the devil and the demons

j.††† and now Jesus has become our salvation

9.†† Therefore, "We will trust and not be afraid, because the Lord, is our strength and our song."

10. And greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world

11. That reminds me of a story about a man who had to cross a wide river.

a.†† it was winter and the river was frozen

b.†† but he was afraid it might be too thin, so he began to crawl on his hand and knees in great terror.

c.†† he thought he might fall through at any moment.

d.†† but just as he reached the opposite shore, exhausted from his fright, another man nonchalantly glided past him sitting on a sled loaded with pig iron

12. This is the way some Christians live their lives

a.†† they tremble at every step because they are unsure of God's power and promises

b.†† and they are puzzled by those they know who seem to sail along without the least care or fear

13. It's only as we rest completely on God and take His promises at face value that we can drive out the fear that seeks to paralyze us.

14. Listen friends - God is our salvation

a.†† science is not our salvation

b.†† education is not our salvation

c.†† the Republicans and the Democrats are not our salvation

d.†† the Greens and the Libertarians are not our salvation

e.†† psychology and psychotherapy are not our salvation

f.††† GOD AND GOD ALONE IS OUR SALVATION!

C.With Joy!

1.†† In v. 3, Isaiah tells them what they will do on that day . . .

3Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

2.†† Let's say after church today, you went home and went out in your backyard and did some gardening

a.†† and in order to plant a shrub you had to dig down a foot or so

b.†† and as you did, you hit oil

c.†† would that excite you?Would that create joy?You bettcha!

d.†† that's the picture here

3.†† In the same way we look at oil as being precious and the means of gaining wealth and all that wealth then allows, the people of Isaiah's day looked at water

a.†† water was the oil of the ancient world

b.†† because their whole economy was based in agriculture, water meant LIFE and prosperity

4.†† The Hebrew word for salvation also carried far more than what most of us think of

a.†† for us, salvation refers mainly to a spiritual peace of mind that comes from know we're going to heaven rather than hell

b.†† but the Hebrew word salvation means health and wholeness

c.†† it speaks of life as it was meant to be, free of anything that would hinder or limit joy and happiness

5.†† Friends, Jesus saved us, not just so He could fill heaven

a.†† He is not in a contest with the devil in which each side is trying to see how many souls they can win

b.†† salvation is much more than fire insurance

c.†† it is a restoration to joy!

d.†† it is the means by which we can experience life as it was meant to be

6.†† Jesus said, "I have come that you may have life - and that, more abundantly."

a.†† He wasn't talking just about heaven

b.†† He was talking about the here and now

c.†† Jesus saved you so that you might be saved-wow, that's profound!

7.†† Salvation comprehends all you are and do

8.†† The Lord wants you to draw with joy from the well of salvation

a.†† so dip your bucket into your relationship with God and draw forth life and pour it into your marriage

b.†† into your family, into your school, your job, your hobbies and recreation

9.†† Far from the mediocrity that marks so many peoples - the Christian is the one who can live a life marked and filled with joy because he are saved!

10. And that salvation is a present reality that breaths life and purpose into all we are

11. Really, people ought to come to us and say - "You're different - Why?"

12. I have discovered that joy doesn't come by sitting back passively and waiting for it to come to me

a.†† joy is something that comes when I forget about myself and invest myself in others

b.†† note the picture Isaiah paints here - drawing water from a well - that was work!

c.†† but it was joyous work

13. That's how you and I find - not by sitting back and channel surfing - not by waiting for it like a spectator - but by investing our lives in the things that matter

a.†† home

b.†† ministry

D.Sing To The Lord

4And 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.

5Sing to the LORD, For He has done excellent things; This is known in all the earth.

6Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!"

1.†† Isaiah says that in the Millennium, the people of Israel will call on one another to declare the praises of God

2.†† Everywhere they go, they will sing and shout the news about what He has done for them

3.†† They will exalt His name and make mention of His perfection

4.†† It seems that there are waves of public discourse and conversation

a.†† when a new president is elected, it becomes the main topic of conversation everywhere you go

b.†† when a Mark McQwire or a Michael Jordan set a new record, everyone talks about it

c.†† people get caught up in the more important news stories of the day, and these become the subjects everyone talks about

d.†† in the Millennium, there will be one new story, one subject everyone will talk about without ceasing or end - Jesus!

III. CONCLUSION

A.The Best Is Yet To Come

1.†† While that's the topic of conversation that will occupy the world's attention during the Millennium, ought it not be the main topic of discourse in the Church NOW?

2.†† You see, as we saw last week, though we arenít in the Millennium yet, as believers in Jesus Christ, we already enjoy His salvation and rule

a. we are like time-travelers from the future who have come to this time to declare what is coming

b.†† and to help people get ready for it

3.†† We donít wait for the Millennium to sing God's praises - we sing them now!

4.†† And as we do, it's a declaration of our faith that the best is yet to come!

5.†† Remember the elderly woman's instructions to her pastor - how she wanted to be buried with a fork in her hand?

6.†† That fork was a sign of her faith after death that the best was yet to come

7.†† The sign of our faith that we can carry now is not a fork - it's our praise!

B.Sing!

1.†† So sing to the Lord!

2.†† Make mention of His name!

3.†† Praise the Lord

4.†† Declare His deeds among the nations!

5.†† Cry out and shout because the Holy One is in our midst!