Pray, Praise, and Proclaim

Isaiah 11 predicts the coming of a Savior, a Messiah for God’s people. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him, “the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord” (Isaiah 11:2-3). He will judge the poor with justice (Isaiah 11:4) . His armor will consist of righteousness, faithfulness, and “the breath of his lips”(his word?) (11:4-5). Repeatedly the prophet Isaiah says, “In that day…” to stress the dramatic actions of the Messiah. Finally, he says,” In that day” to indicate how the rescued people will respond.

Isaiah writes: “In that day you [singular] will say:”

I will praise you, O Lord. Although you were angry with me, your anger has turned away and you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:1-2).

At the time Isaiah prophesied these events, the armies of powerful Assyria were overwhelming Israel to the north of Jerusalem and Judah. It probably seemed inevitable to Isaiah’s contemporaries that Jerusalem too would fall. The idea that a messianic figure would arise in the future to initiate an era of justice and peace seemed unlikely. Isaiah says that salvation would come and that God’s people would respond in prayer, praise, and proclamation. God’s people would no longer fear, but would trust. They would know comfort and salvation. They would praise him in prayer and song. God’s people would no longer fear, but would trust. They would know comfort and salvation. They would praise him in prayer and song. Isaiah summarizes the experience: “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3). His words resonated with inhabitants of a desert region.

The response continues. Isaiah writes, “In that day you (plural) will say:”

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Should aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you” (Isaiah 12:4-6).

Imperative verbs give force to this community’s hymn of thanksgiving and praise. “Give thanks, make known to the nations, call on his name, proclaim that his name is exalted, shout aloud and sing,” Isaiah says. Gratitude will erupt in proclamation to the world that God has acted to save his people.

Christ has come. We live in the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Christ has rescued us. Let’s remember when we pray what God has done for us. Give thanks, call on his name, make known among the nations what he has done, proclaim that his name is exalted, shout aloud and sing! Let our praise and prayer infuse our telling of the good news that the Savior has come. Isaiah’s prophecy of prayer, praise and proclamation describes how the experience of salvation is known as an individual in community with other believers. The saved cannot hide their good news; they must share it. Pray, praise and proclaim. Remember what Jesus did for you as you pray; may our drinking from the well of salvation result in peace in our world. Dispel fear. Trust and obey. Tell the good news; shout what God has done for you.

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About Michael Summers

Michael Waymon Summers has preached in twenty-seven of the United States as well as seven other countries. He currently preaches for a Church of Christ in Leavenworth, Kansas. Michael earned a Master of Theology degree. He also has done graduate work in international studies. Michael runs more than twenty miles most weeks, loves to sing, and reads voraciously.
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