Read Isaiah 12:1-3
I. Personal Praise. In our Sunday School material Isaiah talks about a day when the people of God will talk about their personal praise. The Lord’s anger will be turned away from His people, and He will comfort them.
God is the salvation of His people, and they will draw water from the wells of salvation with joy.
- Personal praise. Notice in vs. 1 of our Sunday School material that there should be some personal praise. That is to say, in addition to what we do at church, every believer ought to have some times in his/her life of expressing admiration of, thanksgiving towards, and allegiance to God.
When you think about all that God has done in your life, it should not be too hard to praise Him. Even those who don’t have pockets full of money, the greatest health, nor supportive relationships must admit that things could be worse.
And by the grace of God, we know that at least in Heaven, but hopefully down here, things will get better for the people of God. Let’s work on our personal praise of God.
- From anger to comfort. Notice in vs. 1 that God’s anger turned to comfort. On one hand, when we sin, we run the risk of angering God. When God gets angry, He is known for chastising His children.
But on the other hand, God has a way of showing comfort to His people, when chastisement has served its purpose or when God simply decides to be comforting.
Think about how much more enjoyable the comfort of God is than His chastisements. Think further about how if we obey God, we can experience more comfort than chastisement.
Let’s work on obeying God, so we can experience more comfort and less chastisement. Let us also keep the faith, as we endure our seasons of chastisement. God’s anger doesn’t last forever.
- Trusting in the Lord. Notice in vss. 2-3 of our Sunday School material that Isaiah moves form fear to faith and trust in the Lord. The Lord is pictured as Isaiah’s strength, defense, and salvation. He talks about joyfully drawing from the well of salvation.
First, faith and fear cannot dominate the same personality. The one you feed the most will be the dominate one. We feed our faith by prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word with the support of other disciples.
Second, God is our strength, defense, and salvation. He is our source of courage, not our own strength, resources, or even relationships. With God we can face whatever is coming. Without God, we are doomed before we start.
Third, we are urged to draw from the well or partake in the salvation, defense, and strength of the Lord. We can draw from the well by thinking on how good God has been and promises to be.
We can draw from the well by behaving as if we believe the promises of God, which always includes obedience to His word. Let’s develop faith in God to face the challenges of our lives.
Read Isaiah 12:4-6
II. Public Praise. Isaiah goes on to talk about the people of God giving praise to the Lord and making known His name among the nations. They are to sing to the Lord. They are to shout aloud and sing for joy. God’s greatness is the reason for such enthusiastic praise.
- Corporate worship. Notice in vss. 4-6 of our Sunday School material that one of the products of praise, especially corporate praise, should be that others learn that the Lord is powerful and loving.
First, believers should partake in corporate praise. It is embarrassing to claim that we praise God privately or personally but not corporately. We are better together.
Second, what we say and do in worship should help others understand the power and love of God. Our lyrics and then our behavior should support this message. Let’s work on worshipping together in a way that God’s love and power is understand by those who observe our worship.
- Enthusiastic worship of God. Notice in vss. 5-6 in our Sunday School materialthat our worship should be known for singing with joy and shouting aloud in response to God’s greatness.
First, believers ought to have enthusiasm when we have a corporate worship experience. We cannot sing joyfully or shout aloud and be a “bump on the log” at the same time. It is sin to be silent, when the Lord is calling for shouting.
Second, the greatness of God moves us to have enthusiastic worship. It is not the skill of the choir, our trouble free and blessed lives, nor even a great enjoyment of the song that moves us to be so enthusiastic.
It is the greatness of God and our commitment to obey His will about worshipping Him that moves us to worship Him with enthusiasm.
Let’s work on consistent enthusiastic worship of God, in response to His consistent greatness and instructions for us to worship Him with enthusiasm.
Conclusion: Let’s work on improving our worshipping God at both a personal and corporate level. God has much for those who obey His will.
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